My Everything

for

My God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Central Highlands Congregation of God

 

 

 

My Everything for My God

Introductory Foreword

This devotional has been developed from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, distributed by the Oswald Chambers Publications Assn. Ltd.

 

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was a Scottish minister and teacher whose teachings on the life of faith and surrender to God have endured to this day.  He was born in Scotland and spent much of his boyhood there.  His ministry of teaching and preaching took him for a time to the United States and Japan.  The last six years of his life were spent as principal of the Bible Training College in London, and as a chaplain to the British Commonwealth troops in Egypt during World War I.

After his death, due to complications from an appendix operation, the books which bear his name were compiled by his wife from her own verbatim shorthand notes of his talks.  My Utmost for His Highest is a collection of his teachings compiled by his wife into a daily devotional format.

 

 

Foreword to My Utmost for His Highest

These daily readings have been selected from various sources, chiefly from the lectures given at the Bible Training College, Clapham, during the years 1911-1915; then, from October 1915 to November 1917, from talks given night by night in the Y.M.C.A. Huts, Zeitoun, Egypt.  In November 1917 my husband entered into God’s presence.  Since then many of the talks have been published in book form, and others from which these readings have been gathered will also be published in due course.

A large proportion of the readings have been chosen from the talks given during the Devotional Hour at the College—an hour which for many of the students marked an epoch in their life with God.

“Men return again and again to the few who have mastered the spiritual secret, whose life has been hidden with Christ in God.  These are of the old-time religion, hung to the nails of the Cross.” (Robert Murray McCheyne)

It is because it is felt that the author is one to whose teaching men will return, that this book has been prepared, and it is sent out with the prayer that day by day the messages may continue to bring the quickening life and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

 

B. C.  40 Church Crescent, Muswel Hill, London, N.10.

 

 

Foreword to My Everything for My God

There is much in Oswald Chambers’ devotional that is delightful and praiseworthy and will help you grow in your faith and walk with Jehovah our God and His Anointed Son Jesus.  Indeed, almost sixty percent of his words have been used directly in this version.

However, as he died over one hundred years ago, there were changes made to the devotional to make it more accessible to modern readers.  The thees and thous, etc were converted to modern usage, as were some of his more obscure Scottish slang terms.  There were also a few places where words were changed as their common meaning has also changed over time.  His KJV Bible quotes were replaced with ones from the modern CHCoG version, which bases its New Covenant Scriptures on the Aramaic Peshitta manuscripts.

Finally, and regretfully, there were changes made to correct inconsistencies in his theology.  He taught throughout this devotional that we need to obey God, including His Laws.  But he also said, in several places, that one could obey God even while rejecting God’s Laws.  These errors have been repaired, as our Creator God is our Law-giver and also our Judge.  Scripture clearly teaches that if we love God we must keep His commandments (1 John 5:3), and lawlessness includes both breaking and ignoring God’s Law (Matthew 5:17-19).

Sections have also been added that reveal and exalt in the wondrous future that God has promised us, which were oddly absent from My Utmost for His Highest.  Our Father’s Name, Jehovah, has also been glorified by being used in appropriate places as He requests us to do (Exodus 6:2 and 9:16).

 

May this adaption of Oswald’s devotional be a blessing to you in your walk with our Lord Jesus and our Father Jehovah.

 

Central Highlands Congregation of God

chcpublications.net

June 12, 2021

 

 

 

Table of Contents

January 1st—Let Us Keep to the Point

January 2nd—Will You Go Out Without Knowing?

January 3rd—Clouds and Darkness

January 4th—Why Can’t I Follow You Now?

January 5th—The Coming After of the Life of Power

January 6th—Worship

January 7th—Intimate with Jesus

January 8th—Does My Sacrifice Live?

January 9th—God Within Our Spirit

January 10th—The Opened Sight

January 11th—What My Obedience Costs Other People

January 12th—Have You Ever Been Alone with God?

January 13th—Have You Been Alone with God?

January 14th—Called by God

January 15th—Do You Walk in White?

January 16th—The Voice of God’s Nature

January 17th—Grasp Without Reach

January 18th—It is My Lord!

January 19th—Vision and Darkness

January 20th—Are You Fresh for Everything?

January 21st—Recall What God Remembers

January 22nd—What Am I Looking At?

January 23rd—Transformed by Insight

January 24th—The Overwhelming Relationship

January 25th—Leave Room for God

January 26th—Look Again and Consecrate

January 27th—Look Again and Refocus

January 28th—How Could One So Persecute Jesus?

January 29th—How Could One Be So Positively Ignorant?

January 30th—The Dilemma of Obedience

January 31st—Do You See Your Calling?

February 1st—The Call of God

February 2nd—The Constraint of the Call

February 3rd—Are You God’s Scum?

February 4th—The Majesty of His Personal Power

February 5th—Are You Ready to Be Offered?

February 6th—An Immersion of Fire

February 7th—Joyous Strength

February 8th—Complete Sanctification

February 9th—Broken Bread

February 10th—Lift up Your Eyes!

February 11th—Is Your Mind Fixed on God?

February 12th—Must I Listen?

February 13th—The Devotion of Hearing

February 14th—Listening in the Darkness

February 15th—Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

February 16th—The Inspiration of Spiritual Initiative

February 17th—The Initiative Against Depression

February 18th—The Initiative Against Despair

February 19th—The Light That Fails

February 20th—The Initiative Against Dreaming

February 21st—Have You Ever Done a Beautiful Deed for Him?

February 22nd—The Discipline of Spiritual Tenacity

February 23rd—The Determination to Serve

February 24th—The Delight of Sacrifice

February 25th—The Destitution of Service

February 26th—Inferior Reservations About Jeshua

February 27th—Impoverishing the Ministry of Jeshua

February 28th—Do You Believe?

February 29th—What Do You Want Our Lord to Do?

March 1st—The Undeviating Question

March 2nd—Have You Felt the Hurt of the Lord?

March 3rd—The Unrelieved Quest

March 4th—Could This Be True of Me?

March 5th—Is He Really Lord?

March 6th—Amid a Crowd of Paltry Things

March 7th—Undaunted Radiance

March 8th—The Relinquished Life

March 9th—The Time of Relapse

March 10th—Have a Message and Be One

March 11th—Vision

March 12th—Surrender

March 13th—The Love of God

March 14th—Obedience

March 15th—The Discipline of Dismay

March 16th—The Master Judges

March 17th—Maintaining Our Diligence

March 18th—Shall I Rouse Myself Up to This?

March 19th—The Way of Abraham in Faith

March 20th—Friendship with God

March 21st—Interest or Harmony?

March 22nd—The Bright Hearts

March 23rd—Am I Walking in the Flesh?

March 24th—Decreasing Into His Purpose

March 25th—The Most Delicate Mission on Earth

March 26th—Vision by Personal Purity

March 27th—Vision by Personal Character

March 28th—Isn’t There Some Misunderstanding?

March 29th—Our Lord’s Surprise Visits

March 30th—Holiness Versus Hardness Towards God

March 31st—The Sin of Death

April 1st—Heartiness Versus Heartlessness Towards Others

April 2nd—The Glory That Excels

April 3rd—In Over Your Head or Nothing

April 4th—Readiness

April 5th—Is it Not in the Least Likely?

April 6th—Can a Saint Slander God?

April 7th—Now Don’t Hurt the Lord!

April 8th—What Do You Want?

April 9th—What Will You Get?

April 10th—The Worship of the Work

April 11th—Can You Come Down?

April 12th—The Exclusiveness of Messiah

April 13th—The Discipline of Dejection

April 14th—The Big Compelling of God

April 15th—Watch With Me

April 16th—The Supreme Climb

April 17th—If You Had Known!

April 18th—Those Borders of Distrust

April 19th—His Agony and Our Fellowship

April 20th—The Collision of God and Sin

April 21st—Why Are We Not Told Plainly?

April 22nd—Missionary Preparations

April 23rd—The Deactivation of Sin—Passover

April 24th—Repentance

April 25th—The Forgiveness of God

April 26th—His Resurrection Destiny

April 27th—New Spiritual Order—Wave Sheaf Offering

April 28th—Death Has No Dominion

April 29th—Have I Seen Him?

April 30th—Receiving One’s Self in the Fires of Sorrow

May 1st—Faith, Not Sight

May 2nd—The Passion of Patience

May 3rd—Effective Intercession

May 4th—The Divine Rule of Life

May 5th—Judgment on the Abyss of Love

May 6th—Liberty on the Depth of the Good News

May 7th—Building for Eternity

May 8th—God’s Say-so

May 9th—The Patience of Faith

May 10th—Take the Initiative

May 11th—You Won’t Reach it on Tiptoe

May 12th—Make a Habit of Having No Habits

May 13th—The Habit of a Good Conscience

May 14th—The Habit of Enjoying the Disagreeable

May 15th—The Habit of Rising to the Occasion

May 16th—The Habit of Wealth

May 17th—His Ascension and Our Union

May 18th—Careful Unreasonableness

May 19th—Out of the Wreck I Rise

May 20th—Distinctively Made

May 21st—Divine Reasonings of Faith

May 22nd—Now This Explains It

May 23rd—Careful Unfaithfulness

May 24th—The Delight of Despair

May 25th—The Test of Self-interest

May 26th—Think as Jeshua Taught

May 27th—Get a Move On

May 28th—The Spirit in the Brain

May 29th—Undisturbed Relationship

May 30th—“Yes—But. . . !”

May 31st—God our Father

June 1st—God’s Glorious Son

June 2nd—The Trinity

June 3rd—The Secret Counsel of Jehovah

June 4th—The Never-failing God

June 5th—A Cloud Received Him

June 6th—Work to Save Yourselves

June 7th—Don’t Slack Off

June 8th—What Next?

June 9th—The Next Best Thing to Do

June 10th—Seek to Find

June 11th—Getting There

June 12th—Getting There II

June 13th—Getting There III

June 14th—Reset your Priorities

June 15th—The Life That Lives Within

June 16th—Diffusiveness of Life

June 17th—Springs of Everlasting Life

June 18th—The Joy of Regeneration

June 19th—Service of Passionate Devotion

June 20th—Have You Come to “When” Yet?

June 21st—Priests For The Kingdom

June 22nd—The Undeviating Test

June 23rd—Acquaintance with Grief

June 24th—Acknowledging the Fact of Sin

June 25th—The Warning Against Harlotry

June 26th—Always Now

June 27th—The Overshadowing Personal Deliverance

June 28th—Apprehended by God

June 29th—Direction of Discipline

June 30th—Do it Now

July 1st—The Inevitable Penalty

July 2nd—The Conditions of Discipleship

July 3rd—The Concentration of Personal Sin

July 4th—One of God’s Great Don’ts

July 5th—Don’t Calculate Without Jehovah

July 6th—Vision and Reality

July 7th—All Noble Things Are Difficult

July 8th—The Will to Loyalty

July 9th—The Great Probing

July 10th—The Spiritual Recluse

July 11th—The Spiritual Saint

July 12th—The Spiritual Society

July 13th—The Price of Vision

July 14th—The Account with Persecution

July 15th—The Point of Spiritual Honour

July 16th—The Concept of Divine Control

July 17th—The Miracle of Belief

July 18th—The Mystery of Believing

July 19th—Mastery over the Believer

July 20th—Dependent on God’s Presence

July 21st—The Gateway to the Kingdom

July 22nd—Sanctification I

July 23rd—Sanctification II

July 24th—Disposition and Deeds

July 25th—Am I Blessed Like This?

July 26th—The Account With Purity

July 27th—The Way to Know

July 28th—After Obedience—What?

July 29th—What Do You See in Your Clouds?

July 30th—The Discipline of Disillusionment

July 31st—Till You Are Entirely His

August 1st—Something More About His Ways

August 2nd—The Discipline of Difficulty

August 3rd—What to Do Under Your Conditions

August 4th—The Brave Comradeship of God

August 5th—The Baffling Call of God

August 6th—The Stake in Prayer

August 7th—Prayer in the Father’s House

August 8th—Prayer in the Father’s Honour

August 9th—Prayer in the Father’s Hearing

August 10th—The Sacrament of the Saint

August 11th—This Experience Must Come

August 12th—The Theology of Rest

August 13th—Do Not Quench the Spirit

August 14th—Chastening

August 15th—Signs of the New Birth

August 16th—Does He Know Me?

August 17th—Are You Discouraged in Devotion?

August 18th—Expressionless with Sorrow

August 19th—Self-consciousness

August 20th—Completeness

August 21st—The Ministry of the Unnoticed

August 22nd—“I . . . But He Will”

August 23rd—Prayer Choice and Prayer Conflict

August 24th—The Spiritual Index

August 25th—The Fruitfulness of Friendship

August 26th—Are You Ever Disturbed?

August 27th—Theology Alive

August 28th—What’s the Good of Prayer?

August 29th—Sublime Intimacy

August 30th—Am I Convinced by Messiah?

August 31st—My Joy . . . Your Joy

September 1st—Destiny of Holiness

September 2nd—The Sacrament of Sacrifice

September 3rd—The Waters of Satisfaction Scattered

September 4th—His!

September 5th—The Spontaneity of Love

September 6th—What Do You Make of This?

September 7th—The Uncritical Temper

September 8th—Do it Yourself

September 9th—Do it Yourself II

September 10th—Missionary Munitions

September 11th—The Initiative Against Drudgery

September 12th—By Spiritual Confusion

September 13th—After Surrender—What?

September 14th—Imagination Versus Inspiration

September 15th—What to Renounce

September 16th—The Divine Prayer

September 17th—What’s the Good of Temptation?

September 18th—His Temptation and Ours

September 19th—Do You Continue to Go With Jeshua?

September 20th—His Birth and Our New Birth

September 21st—The Day of Trumpets

September 22nd—The Disciple’s Master

September 23rd—The Disciple’s Goal

September 24th—The “Go” of Preparation

September 25th—The “Go” of Relationship

September 26th—The Unblameable Attitude

September 27th—The “Go” of Renunciation

September 28th—One Thing is Lacking

September 29th—Placed in the Light

September 30th—Atonement and Satan Bound

October 1st—The Mountain of Exaltation

October 2nd—The Valley of Humiliation

October 3rd—Concentrated on Jeshua

October 4th—Called to be Holy

October 5th—The Feast of Booths Begins

October 6th—The Palace of the Holy Spirit

October 7th—Reconciliation

October 8th—The Graciousness of Uncertainty

October 9th—Pull Yourself Together

October 10th—How Shall I Know?

October 11th—After God’s Silence—What?

October 12th—The Last Great Day

October 13th—Antagonism and Paradise

October 14th—Go Until We’re Gone

October 15th—The Key to the Missionary Message

October 16th—The Key to the Master’s Orders

October 17th—Greater Works

October 18th—The Key to Missionary Devotion

October 19th—The Unheeded Secret

October 20th—Is God’s Will My Will?

October 21st—Direction by Impulse

October 22nd—The Witness of the Spirit

October 23rd—Not a Bit of It!

October 24th—The Viewpoint

October 25th—The Eternal Crush of Things

October 26th—What Is a Missionary?

October 27th—The Method of Missions

October 28th—Reconciled by Death

October 29th—Substitution

October 30th—Faith

October 31st—Discernment of Faith

November 1st—You Are Not Your Own

November 2nd—Authority and Obedience

November 3rd—A Bond-Slave of Jeshua

November 4th—Live or Exist?

November 5th—Partakers of His Sufferings

November 6th—Programme of Belief

November 7th—The Unsuspected Sacredness of Circumstances

November 8th—The Unrivalled Power of Prayer

November 9th—Sacrificial Service

November 10th—Fellowship in the Good News

November 11th—The Supreme Climb

November 12th—The Transfigured Life

November 13th—Faith and Experience

November 14th—Discovering Divine Designs

November 15th—What Is That to You?

November 16th—Still Human!

November 17th—The Eternal Goal

November 18th—Truly Free

November 19th—When He Comes

November 20th—The Relapse of Concentration

November 21st—It Is Finished

November 22nd—Shallow and Profound

November 23rd—Distracting Tempers

November 24th—Direction of Aspiration

November 25th—The Secret of Spiritual Coherence

November 26th—The Concentration of Spiritual Energy

November 27th—The Consecration of Spiritual Energy

November 28th—The Bounty of the Destitute

November 29th—The Absoluteness of Jeshua

November 30th—By the Grace of God I Am What I Am

December 1st—The Instructions and the Good News

December 2nd—Perfecting Christians

December 3rd—By the Spirit and Power of God

December 4th—Individual Discouragement and Growth

December 5th—Keep Focused, Stay Afloat

December 6th—The Rainbow in the Cloud

December 7th—Stand With Diligence

December 8th—The Impartial Power of God

December 9th—Can These Bones Live?

December 10th—What Are You Haunted By?

December 11th—Carnality

December 12th—Spirituality

December 13th—What to Pray For

December 14th—The Witness of Peace

December 15th—Perfectly Before God

December 16th—Confronting Evil

December 17th—Redemption Creates the Need it Satisfies

December 18th—The Test of Loyalty

December 19th—What to Concentrate On

December 20th—The Right Lines of Work

December 21st—Experience or Revelation

December 22nd—The Drawing of the Father

December 23rd—How Can I Partake in the Atonement?

December 24th—The Hidden Life

December 25th—Missionary Predestinations

December 26th—The Supernatural Call

December 27th—Where the Battle’s Lost and Won

December 28th—Continuous Conversion

December 29th—Disciple or Deserter?

December 30th—Sex, Marriage and Divorce

December 31st—Yesterday to Tomorrow

 

January 1stLet Us Keep to the Point

“I expect and hope that I shall not be ashamed in anything, but that in showing my face, as always, so now also will the Anointed be magnified in my body, whether in life or in death.”  Philippians 1:20

 

My Everything for My God:  “I expect and hope that I shall not be ashamed in anything.”  We shall all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus on the point He has asked us to yield to Him.  Paul means—“My determination is to risk my everything for my God.”  To get there is a question of will, not of debate or of reasoning, but a surrender of self, an absolute and irrevocable surrender to God on that point.

An excessive consideration of ourselves is the thing that keeps us from that decision, though we claim that we are considering others.  When we consider what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell Jehovah1  He does not know what our obedience will mean.  Be honest; He does know.  He knows every detail and every result of every detail.  Shut out all other considerations and keep yourself before God for this one thing only—My Everything for My God!  I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone.

 

My Utmost for His Holiness:  “so. . .  the Anointed be magnified in my body, whether in life or in death.”  Paul is determined that nothing shall deter him from doing exactly what Jehovah wants.  Often God’s leading has to work up to a crisis in our lives because we will not heed the gentler way.  He brings us to the place where He asks us to be our utmost for Him, and we begin to debate; then He produces a providential crisis where we have to decide—for or against, and from that point the “Great Divide”  begins.

If the crisis has come to you on any line, surrender yourself to Him absolutely and irrevocably.

 

 

January 2ndWill You Go Out Without Knowing?

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he was to receive as an inheritance.  And he went out, when he did not know where he was going.”  

Hebrews 11:8

 

Have you been “out”  in this way?  If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing.  One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question“What do you expect to do?”  You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that Jehovah knows what He is doing.  Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a ‘going out’ of everything, trusting in God entirely.

It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder—you do not know what Jehovah is going to do next.  Each morning you wake it is to be a “going out,”  building in confidence on God.  “Do not worry about your soul . . .  nor about your body” (Mat 6:25)—take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you committed yourself to Christ.

Have you been asking God what He is going to do?  He may not tell you.  Jehovah does not need to tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is.  Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised at anything He does?

Remember that Jehovah is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him—what an impertinence it is to worry!  Let the attitude of our life be a continual “going out”  in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus.  You have to learn to go beyond convictions, beyond traditions, beyond experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing left but your Bible, you and God.

 

 

January 3rdClouds and Darkness

Clouds and darkness surround Him; righteousness and judgement are the foundation of His throne.”  Psalm 97:2

 

A man who has not been born of the Spirit of God will tell you that the teachings of Jesus are simple.  But when you are immersed with the Holy Spirit, you find “clouds and darkness surround Him.”  When we come into close contact with the teachings of Jeshua the Anointed we have our first insight into this aspect of things.  The only possibility of understanding the teaching of Jesus is by the light of the Spirit of God on the inside.

If we have never had the experience of taking our commonplace religious shoes off our commonplace religious feet, and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach Jehovah, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence.  The people who are flippant and familiar are those who have never yet been introduced to Jesus Christ.  After the amazing delight and liberty of realizing what Jesus does, comes the stunning shock of realizing how Great He is and how small we are.

Jesus said: “The words that I speak unto you,”  not the words I have spoken, “they are Spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)  The Bible has been so many words to us—clouds and darkness—then all of a sudden the words become Spirit and life because Jesus re-speaks them to us in a particular condition.  That is the way God speaks to us, not only by visions and dreams, but also by words.  When a man gets to God it is often by the most simple way of words.

 

 

January 4thWhy Can’t I Follow You Now?

Simon Peter said to Him, “My Lord, why can I not come after You now?  I will lay down my soul for Your sake.”  John 13:37

 

There are times when you cannot understand why you cannot do what you want to do.  When Jehovah brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait.  The blank space may come in order to teach you what sanctification means, or it may come after sanctification to teach you what service means.  Never run before God’s guidance.  If there is doubt, then He is not guiding.  Whenever there is doubt—don’t.

In the beginning you may see clearly what God’s will is—the severance of a friendship, the breaking off of a business relationship, something you feel distinctly before God is His will for you to do, but never do it on the impulse of that feeling.  If you do, you will end in making difficulties that will take years of time to put right.  Wait for God’s time to bring it round and He will do it without any heartbreak or disappointment.  When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move.

Peter did not wait on God; he forecast in his mind where the test would come, and the test came where he did not expect it.  “I will lay down my life for Your sake.” (John 13:37)  Peter’s declaration was honest but ignorant.  “Jeshua (Jesus) answered him. . . The cock shall not crow until you have denied Me three times.”  This was said with a deeper knowledge of Peter than Peter had of himself.  He could not follow Jesus because he did not know himself and what he was capable of doing.  Natural devotion may be all very well to attract us to Jesus, to make us feel His fascination, but it will never make us disciples.  Natural devotion will always deny Jesus somewhere or other.

 

 

January 5th—The Coming After of the Life of Power

Jeshua answered and said to him, “Where I am going you cannot come now, but you shall come after Me at the end.””  John 13:36

 

“And when He had spoken this, He said unto him, ‘Follow Me.’” (John 21:19)  Three years before, Jesus had said“Follow Me,”  and Peter had followed easily.  The fascination of Jesus was upon him, he did not need the Holy Spirit to help him to do it.  But he came to the place where he denied Jesus, and his heart broke.  Then he received the Holy Spirit, and now Jesus says again—“Follow Me.”  There is no figure in front now saving the Lord Jeshua the Anointed.  The first “Follow Me”  had nothing mystical in it, it was an external following; now it is a following in internal martyrdom (cf. John 21:18).

Between these times Peter had denied Jesus with oaths and curses.  He had come to the end of himself and all his self-sufficiency.  There was not one strand of himself he would ever rely upon again, and in his destitution he was in a fit condition to receive an impartation from the risen Lord.  “He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive the Holy Spirit.”  No matter what changes Jehovah has wrought in you, never rely upon them, build only on the Person of our Lord Jeshua the Anointed,2 and on the Spirit He gives.

All our vows and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to carry them out.  When we have come to the end of ourselves, not in imagination but truly, we are able to receive the Holy Spirit.  “Receive the Holy Spirit”—the idea is that of total submission.  There is only one goal in our life now, our Lord Jesus the Messiah.

 

 

January 6th—Worship

And he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to Jehovah and called on the Name of Jehovah.”  Genesis 12:8

 

Worship is giving Jehovah the best that He has given you.  Be careful what you do with the best you have.  Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift.  Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship.  If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded.  God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself, it has to be given back to Him that he may make it a blessing to others.

Bethel is the symbol of communion with God; Ai is the symbol of the world.  Abraham pitched his tent between the two.  The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with Him.  Rush is wrong every time, there is always plenty of time to worship Jehovah.  Quiet days with God may be a snare.  We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quiet times with God, however noisy our times with the world may be.

There are not three stages in spiritual life—worship, waiting and work.  Some of us go in jumps like spiritual frogs; we jump from worship to waiting, and from waiting to work.  God’s idea is that the three should go together.  They were always together in the life of Our Lord.  He was unhasting and unresting.  It is a learned discipline, we cannot get it all right at once.

 

 

January 7th—Intimate with Jesus

Have I been with you this entire time, and you have not known Me, Philip?”  John 14:9

 

These words are not spoken as a rebuke, nor even with surprise; Jesus is leading Philip on.  The last One with whom we get intimate is Jesus.  Before Pentecost the disciples knew Jeshua as the One Who gave them power to conquer demons and to bring about a revival (see Luke 10:18-20).  It was a wonderful intimacy, but there was a much closer intimacy to come—“I have called you My friends.” (John 15:15)  Friendship is rare on earth.  It means identity in thought and heart and spirit.  The whole discipline of life is to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jeshua the Anointed.  We receive His blessings and know his word, but do we know Him?

Jeshua said, “It is beneficial for you that I go away” (John 16:7)—in that relationship, so that He might lead them forward.  It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to step more intimately with Him.  Bearing fruit is always mentioned as the manifestation of an intimate union with Jeshua the Anointed (John 15:1-4).  When we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely, we never need sympathy, we can pour out His love all the time without becoming pathetic.

The saint who is intimate with Jesus will never leave impressions of himself, but only the impression that Jesus is having His unhindered way, because the last abyss of his nature has been satisfied by Jesus.  The only impression left by such a life is that of the strong calm sanity that Our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.

 

 

January 8th—Does My Sacrifice Live?

And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.”  Genesis 22:9

 

This incident is a picture of the blunder we make in thinking that the final thing God wants of us is the sacrifice of death.  What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, viz., sacrifice our lives.  Not—‘I am willing to go to death with You’, but—‘I am willing to be identified with Your death so that I may sacrifice my life to God.’  We seem to think that God wants us to give up things!  Jehovah purified Abraham from this blunder, and the same discipline goes on in our lives.  God nowhere tells us to give up things for the sake of giving them up.  He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having—viz., life with Him.

It is a question of loosening the bands that hinder our life with God, and immediately those bands are loosened by identification with the death of Jesus, we enter into a relationship with God where we can sacrifice our lives to Him.

It is of little value to Jehovah to give Him your life for death.  He wants you to be a “living sacrifice,” (Romans 12:1) so let Him have all your powers that have been saved and sanctified through Jesus.  This is the thing that is acceptable to God.

 

 

January 9th—God Within Our Spirit

Now He, the God of Peace, shall make you completely holy; all of your spirit, your soul and your body whole.  He shall keep you faultless for the coming of our Anointed Lord Jeshua.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23

 

“Your spirit. . . . whole.”  The Holy Spirit works mightily in the deep regions of our spirit which we cannot get at.  Read the 139th Psalm; the Psalmist begins—“O Jehovah, You have searched me and known me.  You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts afar off.  You know my way and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my paths.  For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Jehovah, You know it altogether.  You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.  It is high, I cannot attain it”

Do we believe that Jehovah can purify and strengthen us far beyond where we can go on our own?  “The blood of Jeshua Messiah (Jeshua the Anointed) cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7)—if that means our conscious experience only, may God have mercy on us.  The man who does not know God’s Instructions or has been made insensitive by sin will say he is not conscious of sin.  Cleansing from sin is to the very heights and depths of our spirit if we will keep in the light as God is in the light, and the very Spirit that fed the life of Jeshua the Anointed will feed the life of our spirit.  It is only when we are strengthened by God with the stupendous sanctity of the Holy Spirit, that our spirit, soul and body are preserved in unspotted integrity, undeserving of censure in God’s sight, until Jesus comes.

We need to allow our minds to dwell, as they should, on these great and intimate truths of Jehovah.

 

 

January 10th—The Opened Sight

that you will open their eyes so they will turn from darkness to light, and from the authority of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among the holy ones by the faith that is in Me.’  Acts 26:18

 

This verse is the grandest condensation of the creation of a disciple of Jeshua the Anointed in the whole of the New Covenant.  The first sovereign work of grace is summed up in these words—“that they may receive forgiveness of sins.” (Also in Acts 10:43).

When a man fails in personal Christian experience, it is nearly always because he has never received anything.  The first sign that a man is saved is that he has repented and accepted forgiveness through Jeshua the Anointed.  Our part as workers for God is to open people’s eyes so they may be turned from darkness towards the light; but that is not yet salvation, as no commitment has been made.  I do not think it is too sweeping to say that the majority of nominal Christians are of this order; their eyes are opening, but they have not reached out for regeneration.  This is one of the neglected factors in our preaching today.

When a person is being born again, he knows that it is because he has received forgiveness solely as a gift from Almighty Jehovah and not because of his own worthiness.  Protestants register their vows and sign their pledges, Catholics go to mass and auricular confession, but none of this is salvation.  Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we receive forgiveness directly from God, based only on the Stake (cross) of Jeshua the Anointed.

Then there follows the second mighty work of grace—“an inheritance among the holy ones.” (Acts 26:18)  That inheritance is everlasting life as a priest with Jeshua. (Rev 5:10 & 20:6)  The regenerated soul deliberately gives himself to Jeshua the Anointed, and harmonises himself entirely with God’s interest in other men.

 

 

January 11th—What My Obedience Costs Other People

 

Now as they took Him away, they seized Simon, a Cyrenian, who came in from a village, and they laid the stake on him, that he might carry it behind Jeshua.”3  Luke 23:26

 

If we obey God it is going to cost not just us, but other people too, and that is where the sting comes in.  If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not really cost us anything.  It is a delight, but it may cost those who do not love Him a great deal.  If we obey Jehovah it will mean that other people’s plans are upset, and they will jeer at us with it—“You call this Christianity?”  We can prevent their suffering; but if we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be paid.

Our human pride entrenches itself on this point, and we say—‘I will never accept anything from anyone.’  We shall have to, or disobey God.  We have no right to expect to be in any other relation than our Lord Himself was in (see Luke 8:2-3).  Stagnation in spiritual life comes when we say we will bear the whole thing ourselves.  We cannot.  We are so involved in the universal purposes of God that as soon as we obey God, others are affected.  Are we going to remain loyal in our obedience to Jehovah and go through the humiliation of refusing to be independent, or are we going to take the other line and say—‘I will not cause other people to suffer.’?  We can disobey God if we choose, and it might bring immediate relief to the situation, but we will be a grief to our Lord.  Whereas if we obey God, He will look after those who have been affected by the consequences of our obedience.  We simply have to obey and to leave all consequences with Him.

Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what you will allow to happen if you obey Him.

 

 

January 12th—Have You Ever Been Alone with God?

And He did not speak to them without parables.  But with His disciples, He would privately explain everything to them.”  Mark 4:34

 

Our Solitude with Him:  Jesus does not take us alone and expound things to us all the time; He explains things to us as we can understand them.  Jehovah is teaching us to sort out our own souls.  It is slow work, so slow that it takes more than our earthly lifetime for God to make a man or a woman into His own image.  The only way we can be of use to Jehovah is to let Him take us through the crooks and crannies of our own characters.  It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves!  We do not recognize envy when we first see it, or laziness, or pride.  Jesus reveals all that we have been harbouring before His grace began to work in us.  How many of us have learned to look in His mirror with courage?

We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves; it is the last conceit to go.  The only One Who understands us is God.  The greatest curse in spiritual life is conceit.  If we have ever had a glimpse of what we are like in the sight of Jehovah, we need not say—“Oh, I am so unworthy,” because we will know we are, beyond any possibility of stating it.  As long as we are not quite sure that we are unworthy, God will keep narrowing us in until He gets us alone.

Wherever there is any element of pride or conceit, Jesus will have to reveal it to us.  He will take us through the disappointment of a wounded pride of intellect, through disappointment of heart.  He will reveal our inordinate affection about things which we never thought He would have to get us alone over.  We listen to many things in classes, but they are not an exposition to us yet.  They will be when God gets us alone over them.

 

 

January 13th—Have You Been Alone with God?

But when they were alone, His twelve who were with Him asked Him about that parable.”  Mark 4:10

 

His Solitude with Us:  When God gets us alone by affliction, by heartbreak, by temptation, by disappointment, by sickness, by thwarted affection, by a broken friendship, or by a new friendship—when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are dumbfounded and cannot ask one question, then He begins to expound.

Watch Jeshua the Anointed’s training of the twelve.  It was also the disciples, not just the crowd outside, who were perplexed.  They constantly asked Him questions, and He constantly explained things to them; but they only really understood after they had received the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26).

If you are going on with Jehovah, the only thing that is clear to you, and the only thing God intends to be clear, is the way He deals with your own soul.  Your brother’s sorrows and perplexities are an absolute confusion to you.  We imagine we understand where the other person is, until God gives us a dose of the plague of our own hearts.  There are whole tracts of stubbornness and ignorance to be revealed by the Holy Spirit in each one of us, and it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone.  Are we alone with Him now, or are we taken up with little fussy notions, fussy friendships in God’s service, fussy ideas about our bodies?  Jesus can expound little until we set aside all the noisy questions of our heads and are alone with Him.

 

 

January 14th—Called by God

I heard the voice of Jehovah, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”  Then I said, “Here I am!  Send me.”  Isaiah 6:8

 

God did not address the call to Isaiah; Isaiah overheard God saying, “Who will go for us?”  The call of God is not for a special few, it is for most people.

Whether or not I hear God’s call depends upon the state of my ears; and what I hear depends upon my disposition.  “Many are called but few are chosen,” (Matthew 22:14) that is, few respond and become the chosen ones.  The chosen ones are those who come into a relationship with Jehovah through His Son Jeshua, where their disposition has been altered and their ears unstopped, and they hear the still, small voice asking, “Who will go for us?”

It is not a question of God singling out a man and saying, “Now, you must go.”  Jehovah did not lay a strong compulsion on Isaiah; Isaiah was in the presence of Jehovah and he overheard the call, and realized that he could say, in conscious freedom, “Here I am, send me.”

Get out of your mind the idea of expecting God to come to you with compulsions and pleadings.  When our Lord called his disciples there was no irresistible compulsion from outside.  The quiet passionate insistence of His “Follow Me” was spoken to men who could have refused.

If we let the Spirit of God bring us face to face with God, we too shall hear something akin to what Isaiah heard, the still small voice of God; and in perfect freedom we can say, “Here I am; send me.”

 

 

January 15th—Do You Walk in White?

We were buried with Him through immersion into death, that as Jeshua our Messiah rose from the dead through the glory of His Father, so we also shall walk in new life.”  Romans 6:4

 

No one enters into the experience of entire sanctification without going through a “white funeral”—the burial of the old life.  If there has never been this crisis of death, sanctification is nothing more than a vision.  There must be a “white funeral,”—a death that has a resurrection into the life of Jeshua the Anointed.  Nothing can upset such a life, it is one with God for one purpose, to be a witness to Him.

Have you truly come to your last days?  You have come to them often in sentiment, but have you come to them really?  You cannot go to your funeral in excitement, or die in excitement.  Death means you stop being.  Do you agree with Jehovah that you stop being a nominal Christian, and die to your old self?  We skirt the cemetery and refuse to go to this death.  It is not striving to go to death, it is dying to truly live—“immersed (baptised) into His death.” (Romans 6:3)

Have you been immersed for your “white funeral,” or are you playing the fool with your soul?  Is there a place in your life marked as the last day, a place to which the memory goes back with a chastened and extraordinarily grateful remembrance—“Yes, it was then, at that immersion that I sealed my agreement with God.”

“This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” (1 Thes 4:3)  When you realize what the will of Jehovah is, you will enter into sanctification as simply as can be.  Are you willing to go through that “white funeral” now?  Do you agree with Him that this is your ‘old man’s’ last day on earth?  The moment of agreement depends upon you.

 

 

January 16th—The Voice of God’s Nature

I heard the voice of Jehovah, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”  Then I said, “Here I am!  Send me.”  Isaiah 6:8

.

When we speak of the call of God, we are apt to forget the most important feature, viz., the nature of the One Who calls.  There is the call of the sea, the call of the mountains, the call of the great ice barriers, but these calls are only heard by the few.  The call is the expression of the nature from which it comes.

The call of God is the expression of Jehovah’s nature, not of our nature.  There are strands of the call of God providentially at work for us which we recognize and no one else does.  It is the threading of God’s voice into us in some particular matter, and it is no use consulting anyone else about it.  We have to keep that profound relationship between our souls and Jehovah.

The call of God is not the echo of my nature; my affinities and personal temperament are not so pure.  As long as I meditate on myself and think about what I am fitted for, I shall never hear the call of God.  But when I am brought into relationship with Jehovah, I am in the condition Isaiah was in.

Isaiah was so attuned to Jehovah that his awakened spirit responded to the call of our God.  The majority of us have no ear for anything but ourselves, so we do not hear anything God says.  To hear the call of God is to be profoundly altered.

 

 

January 17th—Grasp Without Reach

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the Instructions.”  Proverbs 29:18

 

There is a difference between an ideal and a revelation.  An ideal has no divine inspiration; a revelation has.  The people who give themselves over to ideals rarely do anything.  A man’s conception of God may be used to justify his deliberate neglect of his duty.  Jonah argued that because God was a God of justice and of mercy,  everything would be all right if he just ran away.  I may have a flawed concept of God, and that may be the very reason why I do not do my duty.

But wherever there is revelation, there is also a life of righteousness, because revelation imparts moral incentive.  Ideals may lull one to their ruin.  Take stock of yourself spiritually and see whether you only have ideals or if you have been given a revelation.

 

“Ah, but a man’s reach

Should exceed his grasp,

Or what’s a heaven for?”

 

“Where there is no revelation. . . .”  When we lose sight of God, we begin to be reckless, we cast off certain restraints, we cast off praying, we cast off the Instructions of God in little things, and begin to act on our own initiative.  If we are eating what we have out of our own hand, doing things on our own initiative without expecting God to come in, we are on the downward path; we have lost His revelation.

Is our attitude today an attitude that springs from God’s revelation?  Are we expecting God to do greater works through us than Jeshua did? (John 14:12)  Is there a freshness and vigour in our spiritual outlook?

 

 

January 18th—It is My Lord!

Thomas answered and said unto Him, ‘My Lord and my God.’”  John 20:28

 

“Give Me a drink.” (John 4:7)  Jeshua asks the Samaritan woman for a drink.  It appears that He needs her to satisfy his needs.  But if we read further, we quickly discover that in fact it is Jeshua who is offering her a gift far greater than any water she could give Him: the Living Water of God’s Spirit.  How easy it is to think that we are satisfying Him, when in reality we depend on Him to sustain us every minute?  As Jeshua says:  “Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)

We should be serving Our Lord faithfully by always drawing on Him to sustain and satisfy us.  “You shall be witnesses unto Me” (Acts 1:8)—that means a life of unsullied and uncompromising devotion to our Lord Jesus, being united with Him and praising Him wherever He places us.

Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to our anointed Lord Jeshua.  A subtle competitor of devotion to Jesus is self-appointed ‘service’ for Him.  The main aim of the call of God is our relationship with God, it is not just a call to do something for Him.  We are to become one with God in His battles.  Are we being more devoted to service than to Jeshua our Messiah?

 

 

January 19th—Vision and Darkness

A horror of great darkness fell upon him.”  Genesis 15:1

 

Whenever our God gives a vision to a saint, He puts him, as it were, in the shadow of His hand, and the saint’s duty is to be still and listen.  There is a quietness which comes from Jehovah’s presence, and then is the time to listen.

Genesis 16 is an illustration of listening to worldly advice when it is dark instead of waiting for Jehovah to send the light.  When God gives a vision and darkness follows, wait.  God will shape you in accordance with the vision He has given if you will wait for His time.  Never try to help Jehovah fulfil His word.  Abraham went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all his self-sufficiency was destroyed; there was no human possibility left of Abram having a child with Sarai.  Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not of displeasure.  Never pump up joy and confidence, instead stay focused upon God (cf. Isaiah 1:10,11).

Have I any confidence in the flesh?  Or have I got beyond all confidence in myself and in the men and women of God; in books and prayers and ecstasies?  Is my confidence placed now in Jehovah God Himself?  “I am the Almighty God”—El-Shaddai, the Father God (Gen 17:1).  The one thing for which we are all being disciplined is to know that Jehovah is real.  As soon as God becomes real, nothing that others do or say can ever perturb your relationship with our God.

 

 

January 20th—Are You Fresh for Everything?

Jeshua answered and said to him, “Truly, truly I say to you that if a man is not born once again, he is not able to see the Kingdom of God.”  John 3:3

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Sometimes we are fresh for a prayer meeting but not fresh for cleaning boots!  Being born again of the Spirit is an unmistakable work of God, as mysterious as the wind, as surprising as Jehovah Himself.  We do not know where it will take us, it is hidden away in the depths of our spirit.  Being born again from above is a perpetual and eternal beginning; a freshness all the time in thinking and in talking and in living, the continual surprise of the life of God.

Staleness is an indication that something is out of alignment with God—“I must do this thing or it will never be done.”  That is the first sign of staleness.  Are we freshly born this minute or are we stale, searching in our minds for something to do?

Freshness does not come from obedience but from the Holy Spirit; but obedience keeps us in the light as Jehovah is in the light.

Guard jealously your relationship to God.  Jesus prayed “that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:22)—let there be nothing in between you and God.  Keep all your life perpetually open to Jeshua the Anointed, don’t pretend with Him.  Are you drawing your life from any other source than God Himself?  If you are depending upon anything but Him, you will not even notice when He is gone.

Being born of the Spirit means much more than we generally take it to mean.  It gives us a new vision and keeps us absolutely fresh for everything by the perpetual supply of the life of God.

 

 

January 21st—Recall What God Remembers

Thus says Jehovah: “I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothal, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.””  Jeremiah 2:2

 

Am I as spontaneously kind to God as I used to be, or am I only expecting God to be kind to me?  Am I full of the little things that cheer His heart over me, or am I whimpering because things are going hard with me?  There is no joy in the soul that has forgotten what Jehovah prizes.  It is a great thing to think that there is something we can give to Jeshua the Anointed—“Give Me a drink.” (John 4:7)  How much kindness have I shown Him this past week?  Have I been kind to His reputation with my life?

Jehovah is saying to His people—“You are not in love with Me now, but I remember the time when you were—I remember . . .  the love of your betrothal.” (Jer 2:2)  Am I as full of the extravagance of love to Jeshua the Anointed as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him?  Does He find me recalling the time when I did not care for anything but Him?  Am I there now, or have I become casual about loving Him?  Or am I so in love with Him that I take no account of where He takes me?  Or am I watching for the respect I think is due to me; then weighing how much service I ought to give?

If, as I recall what God remembers about me, I find He does not mean to me what He used mean, let it produce shame and humiliation in me, because that shame will bring the godly sorrow that leads to repentance.

 

 

January 22nd—What Am I Looking At?

Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth!  For I am God, and there is no other..”  Isaiah 45:22

 

Do we expect God to come to us with His blessings and save us?  He says—‘Look to Me, and be saved.’  The great difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God, and it is His blessings that can make it difficult.  Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings can allow us to relax and look elsewhere.  The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is, in effect—Narrow your interests until the main attitude of body, soul and spirit is concentration on Jeshua the Anointed.  “Look to Me.”

Many of us have a mental concept of what a Christian should be, and the lives of the saints can become a hindrance to our concentration on Jehovah.  There is no salvation in this way, it is not simple enough.  “Look to Me” and—not “you might be saved,” but “Be saved.”  The very thing we look for, we shall find if we will concentrate on Him.  We can get preoccupied and sulky with God, while all the time He is saying—“Look up and be saved.”  The difficulties and trials—the casting about in our minds as to what we shall do this summer, or tomorrow, all vanish when we look to our God.  Rouse yourself up and look to Jehovah.  Build your hope on Him.  No matter if there are a hundred and one things that press on you, resolutely exclude them all and look to Him.  “Look to Me,”  and salvation floods in, the moment you look.

 

 

January 23rd—Transformed by Insight

But we, all of us with unveiled faces, see as in a mirror the glory of Lord Jah, and we are being changed into that image from glory to glory, by the Spirit of Lord Jah.”4  2 Corinthians 3:18

 

The outstanding characteristic of a Christian is this unveiled frankness before God so that our life becomes a mirror for Him.  By being filled with the Spirit we are transformed, and by beholding Christ we become His mirrors.  You always know when a man has been beholding the glory of the Lord, you feel in your inner spirit that he is the mirror of our Lord’s own character.  Beware of anything which would sully that mirror in you; it is often a good thing that sullies, the good thing that is less than the best.

The golden rule for your life and mine is this concentrated keeping of our life open towards Jehovah.  Let everything else—work, clothes, food, everything on earth—go by the board; except that one thing.  The rush of other things always tends to obscure our concentration on God.  We have to maintain ourselves in the place of unveiled beholding, keeping our life absolutely spiritual all through.  

Let other things come and go as they may, let other people criticize as they will, but never allow anything to obscure your life that is hidden with our Messiah in God.  Never be hurried out of the relationship of abiding in Him.  It is one thing that can fluctuate, but it ought not to.  A critical discipline of a Christian’s life is to learn how to “see as in a mirror the glory of Lord Jah.”

 

 

January 24th—The Overwhelming Relationship

And He said to me, ‘Rise to your feet, for I have appeared to you for this: to appoint you as a servant and a witness that you have seen me and are going to see me.”  Acts 26:16

 

The vision Paul had on the road to Damascus was no passing emotion, but a vision that had very clear and emphatic directions for him, and he says, “I did not stand in dispute against the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19)  Our Lord said, in effect, to Paul—‘Your whole life is to be directed by Me; you are to have no end, no aim, and no purpose but Mine.’  And yet we are to be so much more than just God’s servants, for Jeshua saidAnyone who does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and My sister and My mother.” (Mat 12:50)

When we are born again we all have visions, if we are spiritual at all, of what Jeshua wants us to be, and the great thing is to learn not to be disobedient to the vision, not to say that it cannot be attained.  It is not sufficient to know that God has redeemed the world, and to know that the Holy Spirit can make all that Jeshua did effectual in me.  I must have a personal relationship with Him.  Paul was not just given a message or a doctrine to proclaim, he was brought into a vivid, personal, overwhelming relationship to Jeshua the Anointed.  Verse 16 is immensely personal—“to appoint you as a servant and a witness.”

There is nothing greater than this personal relationship.  Paul was devoted to a Person, not to a cause.  He was absolutely Jeshua Messiah’s; he saw nothing else, he lived for nothing else.  “For I determined not to make known anything among you except Jeshua the Anointed and Him impaled.”5 (1 Cor 2:2)

 

 

January 25th—Leave Room for God

Therefore I will look to Jehovah; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.”  Micah 7:7

 

As workers for God we have to learn to make room for God—to give Jehovah “elbow room.”  We calculate and estimate, and say that this and that will happen, and we forget to make room for Jehovah to come in as He chooses.  Would we be surprised if Jehovah came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never looked for Him to come?

Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him.  That is the way to make room for Him.  Expect Him to come, but do not expect Him only in a certain way.  However much we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that at any minute He may appear.  We are apt to overlook this element of surprise, yet God often works in this way.  All of a sudden Jehovah meets our life—“When it was the good pleasure of God. . . ” (2 Thes 1:11)

Keep your life so constant in its contact with Jehovah that His surprising power may break out on your right hand and on your left.  Always be in a state of expectancy, and see that you leave room for God to come in as He likes.

 

 

January 26th—Look Again and Consecrate

But if the grass that is in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven are clothed by God like this, will He not clothe you much more, ones of little faith?”  Matthew 6:30

 

A simple statement of Jesus is always a puzzle to us if we are not simple.  How are we going to be simple with the simplicity of Jesus?  By receiving His Spirit, recognizing and relying on Him, obeying Him as He brings the Word of God, our life will become amazingly simple.  In effect Jeshua says, “Consider how much more your Father who clothes the grass of the field will provide for you, if you keep your relationship right with Him.”  When we have gone back from spiritual communion it has been because we have impertinently ‘known better’ than Jeshua the Anointed.  We have allowed the cares of the world to come in, and have forgotten the “much more” of our Heavenly Father.

“Behold the birds of the air”—their main aim is to enjoy the life that is in them and Jehovah looks after them.  Jeshua says that if you are rightly related to Him and obey His Spirit that is in you, God will look after your ‘feathers.’

“Consider the lilies of the field”—they grow where they are put.  Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere.  Jesus says that if we obey the Spirit Jehovah has given us, He will look after all the other things.  Has Jeshua the Messiah told us a lie?  If we are not experiencing the “much more,” it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us; we are being sidetracked with confusing considerations.

How much time have we used up worrying God with questions when we should have been concentrating on doing His work?  Consecration means the continual separating of myself to worship Jehovah God.  We cannot consecrate ourselves once and then stop.  Am I continually separating myself to consider God every day of my life?

 

 

January 27th—Look Again and Refocus

Because of this I say to you, you should not worry about your soul, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about what you will put on your body.  Is not the soul more than food and the body more than clothing?”  Matthew 6:25

 

A warning which needs to be reiterated is that the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things entering in, can choke all that God puts in.  We are never free from the recurring tides of this encroachment.  If it does not come on the line of clothes and food, it will come on the line of money or lack of money; of friends or lack of friends; or on the line of difficult circumstances.  There is steady encroachment all the time, and unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up His standard against it, these things will come in like a flood.

You should not worry about your soul”  ‘Be careful about one thing above all others,’ says our Lord—‘your relationship to Me.’  Worldly common-sense shouts loud and says—“That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, I must consider what I am going to eat and drink.”  Jeshua says you need not be concerned.

Beware of allowing the thought that this statement is made by One who does not understand our particular circumstances.  Jeshua the Anointed knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not dwell on these things and make them the main concern of our life.  Whenever there is competition, be sure that you put your relationship to Jehovah first.

“For the evil of the day is sufficient for it.” (Mat 6:34)  How much evil has begun to threaten you today?  What kind of mean little imps have been looking in and saying—‘Now what are you going to do next month—or this summer?’  “You should not worry,” Jeshua says.  Look again and refocus.  Keep your mind on the “much more” of your heavenly Father.

 

 

January 28th—How Could One So Persecute Jesus?

‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?  It is hard for you to kick the goads.’”  Acts 26:14

 

Am I set on having my own way with God?  We are never free from this snare until we are brought into the immersions of the Holy Spirit and fire.

Obstinacy and self-will always stab Jeshua the Anointed.  Whenever we are set upon our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus.  Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, and not what we have been told to do, we are dishonouring Jesus.

Whenever we stand on our dignity we vex and grieve His Spirit; and when the knowledge comes home that it is Jesus we have been persecuting all the time, it is the most crushing revelation there could be.

Is the word of Jehovah tremendously keen to me as I hand it on to you, or does my life deny the things I profess to teach?  I may teach sanctification and yet exhibit the spirit of Satan, the spirit that persecutes Jeshua the Anointed.  The Spirit of Jesus is focused on one thing only—a perfect oneness with the Father, and He says, “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in My heart.” (Mat 11:29)

All I do ought to be founded on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination of how to be godly.  This will mean that I can be easily put upon, easily over-reached, easily ignored; but if I submit to it gracefully for His sake, I have stopped persecuting Jeshua the Anointed.

 

 

January 29th—How Could One Be So Positively Ignorant?

So I said, ‘Who are You, my Lord?’  And our Lord said to me, ‘I am Jeshua the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’”  Acts 26:15

 

“Jehovah spoke this to me with a strong hand.” (Isa 8:11)  There is no escape when Our Father speaks; He may come and capture our understanding.

Has the voice of Jehovah come to you directly?  If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which it has spoken to you; perhaps in the language you know best—not through your ears, but through your circumstances.

God has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions.  “I know this is what I should do”—and suddenly the voice of God speaks in a way that overwhelms us by revealing the depths of our ignorance.  We have shown our ignorance of Him in the very way we decided to serve Him.

When we try to serve Jeshua in a spirit that is not His, we hurt Him by our supposed advocacy, we push our claims in the spirit of the devil.  Our words sound alright, but our spirit is that of an enemy.  “But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not understand of which spirit you are.” (Luke 9:55)  We must be very careful about this, as John warns us: “Beloved, do not believe all the spirits, but distinguish the spirits, whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

Have I been persecuting Jesus by a zealous determination to serve Him in my own way?  If I feel I have done my duty and yet have hurt Him in doing it, I may be sure it was not my duty, because it has not fostered a mild and gentle spirit, but the spirit of self-satisfaction.  We sometimes imagine that whatever is unpleasant is our duty!  Is that anything like the Spirit of our Lord?—“I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your Instruction is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:8)

 

 

January 30th—The Dilemma of Obedience

And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision.”  1 Samuel 3:15

 

God may speak to us in startling ways, but also in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, “I wonder if that is God’s voice?”  Isaiah said “For thus Jehovah spoke to me, and He took me aside and held my hand,” (Isa 8:11), protecting him from the pressure of circumstances.  Nothing heals our lives unless it is God Himself speaking.  Do we discern His hand or only see mere occurrence?

Get into the habit of saying, “Speak, my Lord,”  and life will become a romance.  Every time circumstances press, say, “Speak, my Lord”; then make time to listen.  Chastening is more than a means of discipline, it is meant to get me to the place of saying, “Speak, my Lord.”

Recall the time when Jehovah did speak to you.  Have you forgotten what He said?  Was it Luke 11:13, or was it 1 Thes 5:23?  As we listen, our ear gets acute, and, like Jeshua, we shall hear God all the time.

Shall I tell my “Eli” what God has told me?  That is where the dilemma of obedience comes in.  We disobey God by becoming amateur providences—‘I must shield my “Eli”, the best person I know.’  God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli; he left him free to decide that for himself.

God’s call to you may hurt your “Eli”, but if you try to prevent the suffering in another life, it will prove to be an obstruction between your soul and God, and perhaps also in their life.  It is at your own peril that you prevent the cutting off of the right hand or the plucking out of the eye that offends.

Do not ask the advice of another person about anything Jehovah makes you decide before Him.  If you ask advice, you will often be advised by Satan.  “I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood.” (Gal 1:16)

 

 

January 31st—Do You See Your Calling?

Paul, a servant of Jeshua the Anointed, called to be an apostle who was separated to the Good News of God”  Romans 1:1

 

Our calling is not only to become holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the Good News of God.  One thing that is always important is that the Good News of God must be declared as the abiding Truth.  Reality is not human goodness, nor holiness, nor heaven, nor Gehenna,6 but Redemption; and the ability to perceive this is the most vital need of a Christian today.  As Jehovah’s workers we have to rejoice in revealing this Redemption, which is the heart of Reality.

Personal holiness is a result, not the cause of us becoming Christians, and if we place our faith in human goodness instead of in Jeshua’s Redemption, we shall go under when the test comes.

Paul did not say he separated himself, but—“when He who chose me separated me . . . ” (Gal 1:15)  Paul was not obsessed with his own character.  As long as our eyes are upon our own personal glory we shall never get near the reality of Redemption.  Workers can break down because their desire is for their own purity, and not for God: “Don’t ask me to come into contact with the rugged reality of Redemption on behalf of the filth of human life as it is; what I want is anything God can do to make me more desirable in my own eyes.”  To think that way is a sign that the reality of the Good News of God has not begun to touch you; there is no unlimited surrender to God.  God will not deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character.  Paul has lost interest in himself, he is fearlessly surrendered to his Lord Jeshua, separated by God for one purpose—to proclaim the Good News of God (cf. Rom. 9:3)

 

 

February 1st—The Call of God

For Messiah did not send me to immerse,7 but to preach the Good News, not with wisdom of words, lest the impalement of the Anointed would be rejected.”  1 Corinthians 1:17

 

Paul states here that the call of God is to preach the Good News; but remember what Paul means by “the Good News,” viz., the reality of Redemption through our Lord Jeshua the Anointed.  We are apt to make sanctification the end-all of our preaching.  Paul alludes to personal experience by way of illustration, but never as the end of the matter.

We are not commissioned to preach only salvation or sanctification; we are commissioned to lift up Jeshua the Anointed as the source of these things (John 12:32).  It is not enough to say that Jeshua died on a stake to make me a saint.  Jeshua the Messiah died to redeem the whole world, and place it unimpaired and rehabilitated before the throne of God our Father.  The fact that Redemption can be experienced by even one of us illustrates the reality of Redemption, but that is not the end of Redemption.

Nor is Redemption limited to the constant requests we make for our salvation, for our sanctification, for things for ourselves.  When we touch the bedrock of the reality of the Good News of God, we shall understand how much Jeshua has paid to redeem us.

The great passion of Paul’s life was to proclaim God’s Good News.  He welcomed heart-breaks, discomforts and tribulation for one reason only; because these things kept him in unmoved devotion to the Good News of God.

 

 

February 2nd—The Constraint of the Call

Though I also preach the Good News; there is no pride in me, for the necessity is laid upon me; woe to me unless I preach the Good News!”  1 Corinthians 9:16

 

Beware of stopping your ears to the call of God.  Everyone who is being saved is called to testify to the fact; but that may not be the call to be a preacher, it is merely an illustration in preaching.  Paul is referring to the pangs produced in him by the constraint to preach the Good News.

Do not apply what Paul says in this connection to souls first coming in contact with God for salvation.  Getting saved is God’s sovereign work—‘Come unto Me and I will give you rest.’  (Mat 11:28).  We are blessed with salvation through the Stake of Jeshua the Anointed.

***Discipleship has requirements with it—“If anyone . . . ” (1 Cor 3:18, 2 Cor 5:17, 2 Cor 10:7, etc)  Paul’s words have to do with being made a servant of Jeshua the Anointed, and our Lord decides what He wants us to do and where He wants us to go.  To be “separated unto the good news” (Rom 1:1) means to hear the call of God; and when a person begins to respond to that call, then begins trials that are worthy of the Name.  Our focus now is on one thing only—“separated unto the good news.”

Woe be to the soul who tries to put his foot in another direction once that call has come to him.  Let us see whether God has a man or woman here who cares about proclaiming his Good News; to see whether God grips you.  And beware of competitors and counterfeits when God does grip you.

 

 

February 3rd—Are You God’s Scum?

We have become as the scum of the world and the offscouring of every person until now”  1 Corinthians 4:9-13

 

These words are not an exaggeration.  If they are not true of us who call ourselves servants of the good news, it is not that Paul forgot the exact truth in using them, but that we have too much independence to allow ourselves to be made refuse.  “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and I fill up what is lacking in the afflictions for the Anointed in my flesh, for the sake of His body, which is the congregation.” (Col 1:24)  This is not an evidence of sanctification, but of being “separated unto the good news of God.” (Romans 1:1).  “Beloved, do not be astonished by the temptations which will come to you, as if something strange happened to you, as they are for your proving,” says Peter (1 Peter 4:12).

If we do think it strange concerning the trials we meet with, it is because we are cowards.  We have various reservations that keep us out of the mire—‘I won’t stoop, I won’t sink to that.’  You do not have to, you can be saved by the skin of your teeth if you like; you can refuse to let Jehovah count you as one separated unto the good news.

Or you may say—“I do not care if I am treated as the offscouring of the earth as long as the Good News is proclaimed.”  A servant of Jeshua the Anointed is one who is willing to be martyred for the reality of God’s good news.  When a merely moral man or woman comes in contact with baseness and immorality and treachery, their human recoil is so powerful that their heart shuts up in despair.

The marvel of God’s Redemption is that the worst and the vilest can never get to the bottom of His love.  Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but instead “that He would reveal His Son in me.” (Gal 1:16)

 

 

February 4th—The Majesty of His Personal Power

For the Anointed’s love compels us to reason thus: That One died as a substitute for everyone; therefore everyone died with Him.”  2 Corinthians 5:14

 

Paul says he is overruled, compelled, by the love of Messiah.  Very few of us know what it means to be compelled by the love of God; we are compelled only by the constraints of our experience.  The one thing that held Paul, until there was nothing else on his horizon, was the love of God.  “The love of Messiah constrains us”—when you hear that note in a man or woman, you can never mistake it.  You know that the Spirit of God is getting its unhindered way in that life.  When we are being born again through the Spirit of God, the note of testimony is on what Jehovah has done for us, and rightly so.  But the immersion of the Holy Spirit overwhelms that forever, and we begin to realize what Jeshua meant when He said—“You shall be witnesses unto Me.” (Acts 1:8)  Not witnesses to what Jeshua can do—that is an elementary witness—but “witnesses unto Me.”  We will accept everything that happens as if it is happening to Him, whether it be praise or blame, persecution or commendation.

No one can stand like that for Jeshua the Anointed who is not supported by the majesty of His personal power.  It is the only thing that matters, and the strange thing is that it is the last thing realized by many Christian workers.  Paul says he is gripped by our God’s love, that is why he acts as he does.  Men may call him mad or sane, but he does not care; there is only one thing he is living for, and that is to persuade men of the judgment seat of God, and of the love of Messiah.

This surrender to the love of Messiah is the one thing that bears fruit in our life, and it will always leave the impression of the holiness and power of Jehovah, never of our personal holiness.

 

 

February 5th—Are You Ready to Be Offered?

But even if I am offered on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and I exalt with you all.”  Philippians 2:17

 

Are you willing to be offered for the work of the faithful—to pour out your lifeblood as a libation on the sacrifice of the faith for others?  Or do you say—“I am not going to be offered up just yet, I do not want God to choose my work.  I want to choose the scenery of my own sacrifice; I want to have the right kind of people watching and saying, ‘Well done.’”

It is one thing to go on the lonely way with dignified heroism, but quite another thing if the line mapped out for you by Jehovah means being a doormat under other people’s feet.  Suppose God wants to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased” (Phil 4:12)—are you ready to be offered up like that?  Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket—to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the lives you served?

Some saints will not do menial work and attempt to remain ‘dignified’ saints because surrendered service is beneath their dignity.  Can such ‘service’ be reconciled with the example that Jeshua gave us?

Are you willing to spend and be spent; not seeking to be served, but to serve?

 

 

February 6th—An Immersion of Fire

Therefore I am to be offered for a sacrifice, and the time of my release has arrived.”  2 Timothy 4:6

 

“I am to be offered for a sacrifice”  It is a statement of fact, not of sentiment.  Tell our God you are ready to serve; then let the consequences be what they may.  There is no strand of complaint now, no matter what God chooses.  Jehovah puts you through the crisis in private, no person can help another there.  Externally our life may look the same; the difference is in our will.

Go through the crisis in your will, then when it comes externally there will be no thought of the cost.  If you do not interact with God along this line, you will end in awakening sympathy for yourself.

“bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.” (Psm 118:27)  The altar means fire—burning and purification and separation for one purpose only; the destruction of every affinity that God has not started and of every attachment that is not an attachment in God.  You do not destroy it, Jehovah does; you bind the sacrifice to the horns of the altar; and see that you do not give way to self-pity when the fire begins.  After this immersion of fire, there is nothing that oppresses or depresses you.  When the crisis arises, you realize that things cannot touch you as they used to do.  What is your immersion of fire to be?

Tell Jehovah you are ready to be purified, and you will find that God is more than you ever dreamed He could be.

 

 

February 7th—Joyous Strength

Take on My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in My heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29

 

“For whoever Jehovah loves, He instructs him, and He draws aside those children in whom He is pleased.” (Heb 12:6)  How petty is our complaining!  Our Lord begins to bring us into the place where we can have communion with Him, and we groan and say—“O Lord, let me be like other people!”  Jeshua is in essence asking us to take one end of the yoke—“My yoke is easy, get alongside Me and we will pull together.”  Are you identified with our Lord Jeshua like that?  If so, you will thank Jeshua for the pressure of His hand.

“To those that have no might He increases strength.” (Isa 40:29)  Jehovah comes and takes us out of our sentimentality, and our complaining turns into a song of praise.  The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jeshua upon us and learn from Him.

“Do not sorrow, for the joy of Jehovah is your strength.” (Neh 8:10)  Where do the saints get their joy from?  If we did not know some saints, we would say—“Oh, he, or she, has nothing to bear.”  Lift the veil.  The fact that the peace and the light and the joy of God are there is proof that the burden is there too.  The burden God places squeezes the grapes and out comes the wine; most of us only see the wine.  No power on earth or in the grave can conquer the Spirit of God in a human spirit, it is an inner unconquerableness.

If you have the whine in you, kick it out ruthlessly.  It is a positive crime to be weak instead of joyous in Jehovah’s strength.

 

 

February 8th—Complete Sanctification

Now He, the God of Peace, shall make you completely holy; all of your spirit and your soul and your body whole.  He shall keep you faultless for the coming of our Anointed Lord Jeshua.  He who calls you is faithful, and it is He who will do it.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

 

When we pray to be sanctified,8 are we prepared to face the standard of these verses?  We take the term sanctification much too lightly.  Are we prepared for what complete sanctification will cost?  It will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth, and an immense broadening of all our interests in God.

Sanctification means intense concentration on God’s point of view.  It means every power of body, soul and spirit chained and kept for God’s purpose only.  Are we prepared for Jehovah to do in us all that He separated us for?  And when His work is being done in us, are we prepared to separate ourselves to God even as Jeshua did?  “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified in the truth.” (John 17:19)

The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God’s standpoint.  Sanctification means being made one with Jeshua through His Spirit.  Are we prepared for what that will cost?  It will cost everything that is not of God in us.

Are we prepared to be caught up into the heart of this prayer of the apostle Paul’s?  Are we prepared to say—“Lord, make me as holy as You can make a sinner saved by grace”?  Jeshua has prayed that we might be one with Him, just as He is one with the Father (John 17:21-23).  The outstanding characteristic of the Holy Spirit in a man is a strong family likeness to Jeshua the Anointed, and freedom from everything that is unlike Him.

Are we willing to be set apart for the Holy Spirit’s ministrations in us?

 

 

February 9th—Broken Bread

The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.”  Isaiah 40:28

 

Exhaustion means that your vital forces are worn right out.  Spiritual exhaustion can come through service, and whether or not you are exhausted will depend upon where you get your supplies.  Jeshua said to Peter—“Shepherd My sheep for Me.” (John 21:15-17).  The broken bread and poured-out wine means that we, as good shepherds, have to lead other souls to Jeshua and help them learn to feed on Him.9  If they do not feed on Jeshua they will die.  As Jeshua said: “Truly, truly I say to you; that unless you eat the body of the Son of Mankind and you drink His blood, there is no life for you in yourselves.  But whoever eats from My body and drinks from My blood, there is eternal life for him, and I will raise him up at the last day.  For My body is truly food, and My blood is truly drink.  Whoever eats My body and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” (John 6:53-56).

Be careful that you also get your supply, or before long you will be utterly exhausted.  Our God calls us to be our best for His lambs and His sheep as well as for Him.

Has the way in which you have been serving Jehovah led you into exhaustion?  If so, then reassess your position.  Where did you start the service from?  From your own sympathy or from the basis of the broken body and spilled blood of Jeshua the Anointed?

Continually go back to the foundation of your faith and remember where the source of power is.  You have no right to say—“O Lord, I am so exhausted.”  He saved and sanctified you, but also expects you to serve Him.  Be exhausted for God, but always remember that your renewal comes from Him.  “And Jehovah will lead you continually, and your soul will be satisfied with fatness and your bones will be strengthened; you shall be rejoicing like Paradise, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. (Isa 58:11).

 

 

February 10th—Lift up Your Eyes!

Lift up your eyes on high, and see who it is that has created these things.”  Isaiah 40:26

 

The people of Israel in Isaiah’s day had corrupted their faith by looking on the face of idols.  Isaiah made them look up at the heavens, and then look beyond that to discern how great our Creator truly is.  That is, he made them begin to use their minds correctly.  Nature to a saint is sacramental.  If we are children of Jehovah, we have a tremendous treasure in nature.  In every wind that blows, in every sign of the sky, in the germination, growth, blossoming and seed-setting of every plant, in the wondrous abilities given to every animal, there is a realisation of the incredible creativity of God if we will simply open our senses to Him.

The test of spiritual concentration is bringing our worldly nature into captivity.  Are you looking on the face of an idol?  Is the idol yourself?  Is it your work?  Is it your conception of what a worker of God should be?  Is it your own experience of salvation and sanctification?  Then your relationship with God is starved, and when you are up against difficulties you will have no power.  If your love of God is starved, do not look back to your own experience; it is Jehovah who you need.  Go right out of yourself, away from the face of your idols, away from everything that has been distracting you from drawing closer to Jeshua.  Rouse yourself, accept the criticism that Isaiah gave to the people, and deliberately turn your face towards Jehovah.

One of the reasons for deadness in prayers is that there is no relationship, no thrill of putting ourselves deliberately before God.  We have to learn how to partake of the broken body and poured-out blood of our Lord Jeshua.  Prayer and meditation are the tools Jehovah gives a saint to lift himself out of himself and into a deeper relationship with Him.

 

 

February 11th—Is Your Mind Fixed on God?

You will keep the faithful in peace, whose mind is fixed on You, because he trusts in You for peace.”  Isaiah 26:3

 

Is your mind fixed on God or is it wandering?

A wandering mind is one of the most common sources of exhaustion in a Christian’s life.  If you have never focused your mind on Jehovah, begin doing it now.  Do not wait for God to come to you in a blaze of glory; you must immediately turn your mind away from your idols, look unto Him and learn to dwell in His peace.  Our minds are a great gift which Jehovah has given to us and they ought to be devoted entirely to Him.

If you have been bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah, it will be one of the greatest assets to faith when the time of trial comes, because your faith and the Spirit of God will work together.  Learn to praise our Lord Jehovah for all that happens—the sunrises and the sunsets, the sun and the stars, the changing seasons, the astounding plants and animals.  And praise Him too for His promise of eternal life as His own dearly-loved child, living with Him in a perfect Paradise.  Then your mind will not be at the mercy of your impulses, but will always be in the service of our God.

“We have sinned with our fathers; . . .  and have forgotten” (Psm 106:6 & 21)—then put a dagger in the place where you have gone to sleep.  “God is not talking to me just now,”well, is that really so, or are you simply not listening?  Remember who you belong to and who you serve.  Provoke yourself by recalling enthusiastically all He has done for you, and all that He has promised you, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright.

 

 

February 12th—Must I Listen?

Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but do not let God speak with us, lest we die.””  Exodus 20:19

 

Jehovah was personally giving them His Instructions; there they were, but they did not want to listen to Him, because they did not love and respect Him.  “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Exo 20:6, John 14:15)  Why were they so terrified lest God should speak to them?  Because they knew that if Jehovah spoke to them, either the thing must be done or they must tell Jehovah they will not obey Him.  If it is only the servant’s voice they heard, they can feel it is not imperative, they can say, “Well, that is simply your own idea, though I don’t deny it might be God’s truth.”

When we realize that we have been disrespecting God all the time by ignoring His Instructions, we are covered with shame and humiliation because we have not heeded our Creator and Saviour.  We have been like the carnal Israelites:  “You speak with us . . .  but do not let God speak with us.”  We show how little we love Jehovah when we prefer to listen to His servants only.  We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not want God Himself to speak to us.

Can we really expect God to accept us as His child while all the time we are ignoring Him?  When I finally do hear Him, my humiliation becomes acute“My Lord, forgive me for being so thick and so obstinate.”  This is always the beginning of true repentance.

The deep delight of hearing Him soon overwhelms the shame in having taken so long to listen to Him.

 

 

February 13th—The Devotion of Hearing

Then Jehovah came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel!  Samuel!”  And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”  1 Samuel 3:10

 

Because I have listened definitely to one thing from God, it does not mean that I listen to everything He says.  The way in which I show Jehovah that I neither love nor respect Him is by the indifference of my heart and mind towards what He says.

If I love my friend, I listen to him and try to understand what he needs, and Jeshua says, “You are My friends.” (John 15:14)  Have I disobeyed some instruction of my Lord’s this week?  If I had realized that it was a command of Jeshua, I would not consciously have disobeyed it; but most of us show such disrespect to Jehovah that we do not even hear what he says.  He might as well never have spoken.

The desire of my spiritual life is to develop such harmony with Jeshua, Jehovah’s Anointed Son, that I always hear God, and I know that God always hears me (John 11:41).  If I am united with Jeshua the Anointed, I hear God by the devotion of listening all the time.  Sometimes, a lily, or a tree, or a servant of God may convey God’s message to me.

What hinders me from hearing is that I allow myself to be taken up with other things.  It is not that I am not willing to hear Jehovah, but I am not devoted in the right place.  I am devoted to people, to things, to service, to convictions, and God may say what He likes but I am not listening to Him.  The child-like attitude is always, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.”

If I have not cultivated this devotion of hearing, I will only hear God’s voice at certain times.  The rest of the time I am taken up with things—things which I say I must do, and I become deaf to Him.  I am not living the life of His child.

Have I taken time to hear God’s voice today?

 

 

February 14th—Listening in the Darkness

Whatever I tell you in the darkness, you say it in the light; and whatever you hear with your ears, you preach it on the housetops.”  Matthew 10:27

 

At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to listen to Him.  “Whatever I tell you in darkness”—Listen carefully when God puts you into darkness, and keep your mouth shut.  Are you in the darkness just now in your circumstances, or in your life with Jehovah?  Then open yourself to Him and listen for His ‘calm, quiet voice’ (1 Kings 19:12).

If you open your mouth in the darkness, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen.  Don’t talk to other people about it; don’t read books to find out the reason for the darkness, but pray, listen and heed.  If you are talking to other people, you cannot hear what Jehovah is saying.  When you are in the darkness, listen, and God may give you a very precious message for someone else when you get back into the light.

After every time of darkness there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation (if there is delight only, I question whether we have heard God at all).  Delight in hearing Jehovah speak, but also humiliation—‘What a long time I took to hear that!  How slow I have been in understanding that!  And yet Jehovah has been saying it all these days and weeks.’

Now He gives you the gifts of delight and humiliation which brings the warmth and softness of heart that will always listen to God.

 

 

February 15th—Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

For there is not a person of us who lives to himself, and there is not a person who dies to himself.”  Romans 14:7

 

Has it ever dawned on you that you are spiritually responsible for other souls before God?  For instance, if I allow any private departure from God in my life, everyone around me suffers. “when one member is suffering, all of them share the pain.” (1 Cor 12:26)

When you allow physical selfishness, mental slovenliness, moral stupidity, spiritual density, everyone belonging to your fellowship will suffer.  “But,” you say, “who is sufficient for these things if you erect a standard like that?”  “We do not think we are sufficient in ourselves in anything, as our power is from God.” (2 Cor 3:5) and from Him alone.

“You are My witnesses.” (Isaiah 43:10)  How many of us are willing to spend every ounce of nervous energy, of mental, moral and spiritual energy we have for Jeshua the Anointed?  That is the meaning of a witness in God’s sense of the word.  It takes time, be patient with yourself.

Jehovah has left us on the earth—what for?  To be saved and sanctified?  Yes, but also to grow through serving Him.  Am I willing to sacrifice my life for Him, as He did for me?  To be ruined for this age, for this life, to be ruined from every standpoint except one: I can disciple men and women to our Lord Jeshua the Anointed.

My life as a worker is the way I say “thank you” to Jehovah for His astounding salvation.  Remember, it is quite possible for any one of us to be cast out as dross—“. . . lest I, who have preached to others, I should become rejected myself.” (1 Cor 9:27)

 

 

February 16th—The Inspiration of Spiritual Initiative

Therefore it is said: “Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the house of the dead, and the Messiah will give you light.”  Ephesians 5:14

 

Not all initiative is inspired.  A man may say to you—“Buck up, take your apprehension by the throat, throw it overboard, and walk out into the thing!”  That is ordinary human initiative.  But when the Spirit of God comes in and says, in effect, “Buck up,” we find that the initiative is inspired.

We all have any number of visions and ideals when we are young, but sooner or later we find that we do not have the power to make them real.  We cannot do the things we long to do, and we are apt to accept the visions and ideals as dead, and Jehovah has to come and say to us—“Arise from among the dead.”

When the inspiration of God does come, it comes with such miraculous power that we are able to arise from the dead and do the impossible thing.  The remarkable thing about God’s spiritual initiative is that the life comes after we do the “bucking up.”  Jeshua does not give us overcoming life; He gives us life as we overcome.

When the inspiration of God comes, and He says—“Arise from among the dead,” we have to get up; Jehovah does not lift us up.  Our Lord said to the man with the withered hand—“Straighten your hand,” and as soon as the man did so, his hand was healed, but he had to act on Jeshua’s initiative (Luke 6:10).  If we will do our part of the overcoming, we shall find we are inspired by God because He gives life immediately.

 

 

February 17th—The Initiative Against Depression

Arise and eat.”  1 Kings 19:5

 

The representative did not give Elijah a vision, or explain the Scriptures to him, or do anything remarkable; he told Elijah to do the most ordinary thing: to get up and eat.  If we were never depressed we should not be alive; it is the nature of a crystal never to be depressed.  A human being is capable of depression, otherwise there would be no capacity for exaltation.

There are things that are almost certain to depress, things that are of the nature of death; and in taking an estimate of yourself, always take into account the capacity for depression.

When the Spirit of God comes, He may not give us visions.  He may tell us to do the most ordinary things conceivable.  Depression is apt to turn us away from the ordinary commonplace things of God’s creation, but whenever Jehovah comes, the inspiration is to do the most natural, simple thing—the things we would never have imagined God was doing, and as we do them we find He is there.

The inspiration which comes to us in this way is an initiative against depression; we have to do the next thing and do it in the inspiration of God.  If we do a thing in order to overcome depression, we often deepen the depression; but if the Spirit of God makes us feel intuitively that we must do the thing, and we do it, the depression is gone.  As soon as we arise and obey, we enter into a higher plane of life.

 

 

February 18th—The Initiative Against Despair

Rise, let us be going.  Behold, he who has betrayed Me has arrived.”  Matthew 26:46

 

The disciples went to sleep when they should have kept awake, and when they realized what they had done it produced despair.  The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say—“It is all over now, there is no use trying any more.”

If we imagine that this kind of despair is exceptional, we are mistaken.  It is a very common human experience.  Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing, then we are apt to sink into despair; and Jeshua the Anointed comes and says—‘Let it go, that opportunity is lost for ever, you cannot alter it, but arise now and go on to the next thing.’  Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Messiah, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.

There are experiences like this in each of our lives.  We are in despair, the despair that comes from actualities, and we cannot lift ourselves out of it.  The disciples in this instance had done a downright unfaithful thing; they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jeshua as He had asked them to do.  But He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said—‘Arise and do the next thing.’  If we are inspired by Jehovah, what is the next thing?  To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.

Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action.

 

 

February 19th—The Light That Fails

But we, all of us with unveiled faces, see as in a mirror the glory of Lord Jah, and we are being changed into that image from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord Jah..”  2 Corinthians 3:18

 

A servant of God must stand alone so often that he forgets he is alone.  In the first phases of Christian life disheartenments come.  People who used to be lights flicker out, and those who used to stand with us turn away.  We have to get so used to it that we never notice we are standing alone.  “All of them abandoned me. . .  But my Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” (2 Tim 4:16-17).

We must build our faith, not on the fading lights, but on the Light that never fails.  When “big” men go we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go.  The one thing that remains is looking into the face of God for ourselves.

Allow nothing to keep you from facing God seriously about yourself and about your doctrine, and every time you preach see that you seek God about things first, then the glory will remain all through.  A Christian worker is one who perpetually looks into the face of God and then goes forth to talk to people.

The characteristic of the ministry of Messiah is that of unconscious glory that abides.  “Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.” (Exodus 34:29)

God never calls us to parade our doubts or to express the hidden ecstasies of our life with Him.  The secret of the worker’s life is that he keeps in tune with God all the time.

 

 

February 20th—The Initiative Against Dreaming

Arise, let us depart from here.”  John 14:31

 

Dreaming about a thing in order to do it properly is right; but dreaming about it when we should be doing it is wrong.  After Our Lord had said those wonderful things to His disciples, we might have expected that He would tell them to go away and meditate over them all; but Our Lord does not accept daydreaming when action is needed.  When we are learning to contact God to find out what He wants, dreaming is right; but when we are inclined to spend our time in dreaming over what we have been told to do, it is a bad thing and God’s blessing is not on it.  God’s initiative is always in the nature of a stroke against this kind of dreaming, the stroke that bids us neither sit nor stand but go.

If we are quietly waiting before Jehovah and He has said—‘Come apart by yourselves,’ then that is meditation before God in order to get at the line He wants; but always beware of giving over to mere dreaming when God has spoken.  Allow Him to be the source of all your dreams and joys and delights, and go out and obey what He has said.  If you are in love, you do not sit down and dream about the one you love all the time: you go and do something for him (or her); and that is what Jeshua our Anointed expects us to do.

Dreaming after God has spoken is an indication that we do not trust Him.  Arise and depart with Him.

 

 

February 21st—Have You Ever Done a Beautiful Deed for Him?

But Jeshua said, “Leave her alone.  Why do you trouble her?  She has done a beautiful deed for Me.”  Mark 14:6

 

If human love does not carry a person beyond themself, it is not love.  If love is always discreet, always wise, always sensible and calculated, never carried beyond itself, it is not love at all.  It may be affection, it may be warmth of feeling, but it has not the true nature of love in it.

Have you ever been carried away to do something beautiful for Jehovah not because it was your duty, nor because it was useful, nor because there was anything in it at all beyond the fact that you love Him?  Have you ever realized that you can bring to God things which are of value to Him, or are you daydreaming about the magnitude of his Redemption whilst there are any number of things you should be doing?  Not divine, colossal things which could be recorded as marvellous, but ordinary, simply beautiful human things which will give evidence to God that you are surrendered to Him?  Have you ever produced the joy in the heart of our Lord Jeshua that Mary of Bethany produced?

There are times when it seems as if Jehovah watches to see if we will give Him these precious tokens of how genuinely we do love Him.  Surrender to God is of more value than personal holiness.  Personal holiness focuses our eye on our own whiteness; we are greatly concerned about the way we walk and talk and look, fearful lest we offend Him.  Perfect love casts out all that when we are surrendered to God.  We have to get rid of this notion—“Am I of any use?” and make up our minds that we are not much use, and we may be near the truth.

It is not a question of being of use, but of being valued by God Himself.  When we are surrendered to Jehovah, He works through us all the time.

 

 

February 22nd—The Discipline of Spiritual Tenacity

Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10

 

Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire.  Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be only the weakness of being too afraid to let go.

Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered.  The greatest fear a Christian can have is not that he will be damned, but that Jeshua the Anointed will be beaten, that the things He stood for—love and justice and forgiveness and kindness among men—will not win out in the end; the things He stands for will look like will-o’-the-wisps.  Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately in the certainty that God is not going to be beaten.

If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified.  There is nothing noble that the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled.  One of the great strains in life is the strain of waiting for Jehovah to tell us it is time to move.  “Because you have kept the word of my patience.” (Rev 3:10)

Remain spiritually tenacious.

 

 

February 23rd—The Determination to Serve

the Son of Mankind did not come to be served, but to serve. . . ”  Matthew 20:28

 

Paul’s idea of service is the same as Our Lord’s: “Yet I am among you as He who serves. . . ” (Luke 22:27)  “we who are your servants for Jeshua’s sake.” (2 Cor 4:5)  We have the idea that a person called to the ministry is called to be a different kind of being from other men.

According to Jeshua the Anointed, he is called to be the slave of other men; their spiritual leader, but not their superior.  “I know what it is to be humbled,” says Paul (Phil 4:12).

This is Paul’s idea of service—“I will spend myself to the last drop for you; you may give me praise or give me blame, I will not stop serving you.”  So long as there is a human being who does not truly know Jeshua the Anointed, I am his debtor to serve him until he does.

The mainspring of Paul’s service is not love for men, but love for Jeshua our Anointed.  If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love to God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men.

Paul’s realization of how Jeshua the Anointed had dealt with him is the secret of his determination to serve others.  “I who was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and abusive” (1 Tim 1:13)—no matter how men may treat me, they will never abuse me with the spite and hatred with which I once abused Jeshua the Anointed.  When we realize that Jeshua the Anointed has served us to the end of our cruelty, our selfishness, and our sin, nothing that we meet with from others can exhaust our determination to serve men for His sake.

 

 

February 24th—The Delight of Sacrifice

I will also give myself for the sake of your souls;”  2 Corinthians 12:15

 

When the Spirit of God has established the love of God in our hearts, we begin to deliberately identify ourselves with Jeshua’s interests in other people, and Jeshua the Anointed is interested in every kind of person there is.  We have no right in Christian work to be guided by our own affinities; this is one of the biggest tests of our relationship to Jeshua the Anointed.

The delight of sacrifice is that I choose to lay down my life for my Friend.  Not fling it away, but deliberately lay my life out for Him and His interests in other people.  Paul spent himself for one purpose only—that he might win people to Jeshua the Anointed.

Paul always attracted them to Jeshua, never to himself:  “I am everything to everyone, that I may give life to everyone.” (1 Cor 9:22)

When a person decides he must develop a holy life alone with God, he is of no further use to his fellow men.  He puts himself on a pedestal, away from the common run of men.

Paul became a self-sacrificing personality; wherever he went, he gave Jeshua another slice of his life.  Many of us are after our own ends, and we resist surrendering our lives to Jehovah God.  If we are submitting ourselves to Jeshua, we have no ends of our own to serve.  Paul said he knew how to be a slave without resenting it, because the driving force of his life was his devotion to Jeshua.

We are apt to be devoted, not to Jeshua our Anointed, but to the things which make us feel free spiritually. That was not Paul’s motive.  “For I have prayed that I myself might be destroyed by the Messiah for the sake of my brethren. . . ” (Rom 9:3)wild and extravagant, isn’t it?  But when a man is in love it is not an exaggeration to talk in that way.  Paul loves our Jeshua the Anointed and wants others to know His love too.

 

 

February 25th—The Destitution of Service

“I will also give myself for the sake of your souls; even though the more I love you, the less you love me.”  2 Corinthians 12:15

 

Natural love expects some return, but Paul essentially says—‘I do not care whether you love me or not, I am willing to empty myself completely, not merely for your sake, but that I may get you to God.’  “For you know the grace of our Anointed Lord Jeshua, who for your sake became poor when He was rich, that you by His poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor 8:9)

Paul’s idea of service is exactly along that line‘I do not care with what extravagance I spend myself, and I will do it gladly.’  It was a joyful thing to Paul.

The ‘ecclesiastical church’ idea of a servant of God is different from Jeshua the Messiah’s idea.  His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of other men.  Jeshua out-socialises the socialists.  He says that in His Kingdom he that is greatest shall be the servant of all.  The real test of the saint is not just preaching the good news, but washing the disciples’ feet; that is, doing the things that do not count in the estimate of men but count for everything in the estimate of Jehovah.

Paul delighted to empty himself for God’s interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost.  We come in with our economical notions—“Suppose God wants me to go there—what about the salary?  What about the climate?  How shall I be looked after?  A man must consider these things.”  All that is an indication that we are serving Jehovah with reservations.  The apostle Paul had no reserves.  Paul reveals Jeshua’s idea of a New Covenant saint in his life, viz.: not one who only proclaims the Good News, but one who leads others to feed on the broken body and poured-out blood of Jeshua our Anointed Lord.

 

 

February 26th—Inferior Reservations About Jeshua

My Lord, there is no bucket for You, and the well is deep.  Where are Your living waters coming from?  John 4:11

 

Have you ever thought “I am impressed with the wonder of what God says, but He cannot expect me to actually live it out in the realities of my life!”  When it comes to facing God’s Son Jeshua on His own merits, our attitude is one of pious superiority—‘Your ideals are high and they impress us, but in touch with actual things, it cannot be done.’

Each of us thinks about Jeshua in this way in some particular.  These misgivings about Jeshua start from the amused questions put to us when we talk of our interactions with God—“Where are you going to get your money from?  How are you going to be looked after?  It is all very well to say “Trust in the Lord,” but a man must live, and Jeshua has nothing to draw with: He has no way to give you these things.”  Or the reservations start from within ourselves when we tell Jeshua that our case is just too hard for Him.

Beware of the pious fraud in you which says—‘I have no reservations about Jeshua, only about myself.’  Yes, we all have reservations about ourselves; we know what we cannot do; but we can also have reservations about Jeshua because we are not certain that He can do what we cannot.

My reservations arise from the fact that I ransack myself to find out how He will he able to do it.  My questions spring from the depths of my own inferiority.  If I detect these reservations in myself, let me bring them to the light and confess them—“Lord, I have had reservations about You, I have not believed that Your wits are greater than my own; I have not believed that Your power is vastly beyond my finite understanding of it.”

 

 

February 27th—Impoverishing the Ministry of Jeshua

Where are Your living waters coming from?”  John 4:11

 

“The well is deep”—and a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew!  Think of the depths of human nature, of human life, think of the depths of the “wells” in you.  Have you been impoverishing the ministry of Jeshua so that He cannot do anything through you?

Suppose there is a well of fathomless trouble inside your heart, and Jeshua comes and says—“Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1); and you shrug your shoulders and say, “But, my Lord, the well is deep; You cannot draw up quietness and comfort out of it.”  No, He will bring them down from above.  Jeshua does not bring anything up from the wells of human nature.

We limit the Holy One of Israel by remembering what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past, and by saying, “Of course I cannot expect God to do this thing.”  The thing that restricts God’s power in our lives is the very thing which should be uplifting it—our belief.  We impoverish His ministry the moment we forget He is Almighty; and the impoverishment is in us, not in Him.  We will come to Jeshua as our Comforter or as our Sympathizer, but we do not come to Him as our Almighty.

The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is because we have no Almighty Messiah.  We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no surrender to Jeshua the Anointed, no rejoicing in His Power.  When we get into difficult circumstances, we impoverish His ministry by saying—“Of course He cannot do anything,” and we struggle down into the black depths of the well and try to get the water for ourselves.  Beware of the deception of slinking back and saying—“It can’t be done;” you know it can be done if you look to Jeshua.

The well of your incompleteness is deep, but make the effort and look up to Him.  Jeshua can make you whole.

 

 

February 28th—Do You Believe?

We believe that You came forth from God.”  Jeshua said to them, “Do you believe?”  John 16:30-31

 

Now we believe.  Jeshua says—“Do you?  You will be scattered, and you will leave Me alone.” (vs32)  Many Christian workers have left Jeshua the Anointed alone and gone into work from a sense of duty, or from a sense of need arising out of his own particular circumstances.  The reason for this is the absence of the Spirit of Jeshua within us.  We have lost our intimate contact with Jehovah by leaning to our own religious understanding.  There is no joy in it, and no divine power attached to it.  When we realize how we have hindered our understanding of Jeshua the Anointed, and produced for ourself perplexities and sorrows and difficulties, it is with shame and contrition that we have to come back.

We need to rely on the Spirit of Jeshua much deeper within us than we do, to get into the habit of steadily referring everything back to Him.  Instead of doing this, we make our common-sense decisions and then ask God to bless them.  He will not, it is not in His domain, it is severed from His guidance.  If we do a thing from a sense of duty, we are putting up a standard in competition with Jeshua the Anointed.  We become a “superior person,” and say—“Now in this matter I must do this and that.”  We have put our sense of duty on the throne instead of our Risen Lord Jeshua the Messiah.

We are not told to walk in the way by a sense of duty, but to walk in the light as Jehovah is in the light.  When we do anything merely from a sense of duty, we can back it up with arguments.  When we do anything in obedience to the Lord, there is often no earthly argument possible.  God’s way is much higher than the human way (Isa 55:9).

 

 

February 29th—What Do You Want Our Lord to Do?

““What do you want Me to do for you?”  And he said, “My Lord, that I may see.””  Luke 18:41

.

What is the thing that not only disturbs you but makes you a disturbance?  It is always something you cannot deal with yourself.  “They rebuked him and they said that he should be quiet; but he cried out even more.” (Luke 18:39)  Persist in the disturbance until you get face to face with our Lord Himself; do not deify common sense.  When Jeshua asks us what we want Him to do for us in regard to the incredible thing with which we are faced, remember that He is not limited to working in common-sense ways; He can act  in supernatural ways.

Beware of how we limit the Lord by remembering what we have not allowed Him to do for us in the past: “I have always failed there, and I always will”; consequently we do not ask for what we want.  “It is ridiculous to ask God to do this.”  If it is an impossibility, it is the very thing we have to ask for.  If it is not an impossible thing, it is not a real disturbance.  Jehovah can do the absolutely impossible.

Jeshua said one word: “See!”  This man then received his sight.  The most impossible thing for you is that you should be so harmonised with our Lord that there is nothing of your old life left.  And yet He will do it if you ask Him.  But you have to come to the place where you believe Him to be Almighty.  Faith is not just in what Jeshua says but in Who He is; if we only look at what He says we shall never fully believe.

When we see Jeshua, He does the impossible thing as naturally as breathing.  Our agony comes through the wilful stupidity of our own heart.  We won’t believe, we won’t cut the shore line, we prefer to worry on.  Cut the shore line, cast off and put yourself into His arms.

 

 

March 1st—The Undeviating Question

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”  John 21:17

 

This time, Simon Peter answers quietly, unlike his bravado before the impaling. (cf. Matthew 26:33-35).  Natural love professes and declares.  Initially, Peter loved Jeshua in the way in which any natural man loves a good man.  That is temperamental love; it may go deep into the individual, but it does not touch the centre of the person.

True, spiritual love doesn’t need the bravado.  Jeshua said—“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Joh 14:15)  i.e., we show our love not merely by our words, but by everything we do.

And what specific commands did Jeshua give to Simon during this conversation?  They were these: “Shepherd My lambs for Me. . . Shepherd My sheep for Me. . . Shepherd My ewes for Me.”  So how was Simon Peter asked to demonstrate his love for Jeshua?  By loving and caring for all of Jeshua’s disciples, with extra care to be given to the children and the women.  Should we do any less, if we also love Jeshua?  But Simon had to do even more, for as an apostle, he was also to lead and teach them.

None the less, Jeshua asking Simon if he loved Him hurt Simon deeply.  There can be little doubt that Simon clearly understood what Jeshua was asking him to do to prove himself, and the rest of scripture shows how Simon dedicated the rest of his life to shepherding Jeshua’s sheep.  The pain from Jeshua’s question forced Simon to examine his motives and priorities and reorder them to match with Jeshua’s.

There is no possibility of being sentimental when our Lord questions us; there is no facade you can hide behind.  The hurt stings every other concern out of consideration.  But the hurt of the Lord’s word is never cruel; it leads to the awakening of new revelation.

 

 

March 2nd—Have You Felt the Hurt of the Lord?

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”  John 21:17

 

Have you felt the hurt of the Lord to the centre of your being, the place where the real essence of your life is lodged?  The devil never hurts there, neither sin nor human affection hurts there, nothing goes through to that place except our God’s Words.  “Peter was saddened because He said to him three times . . . .”  Simon Peter was awakening to the fact that in the centre of his soul and spirit he was devoted to Jeshua, and he began to see what the patient questioning meant.  There was not the slightest strand of doubt left in Peter’s mind; he could never doubt again.  There was no room for passionate utterance, no room for exhilaration or sentiment.

It was a revelation to him to realize how much he did love Jeshua, and with amazement he said—“My Lord, You know all things.”  Peter began to understand how deeply he loved Jeshua; but he did not say—“Look at this or that” to confirm it.  Peter now knew that there was no one in heaven above or upon the earth beneath that he could love more than Jeshua the Anointed and His Father; but he did not know it until the probing, hurting questions of the Lord came.

Our Lord’s questions often reveal me to myself.  The patient directness and skill of Jeshua the Anointed with Peter!  Our Lord never asks questions until the right time.  Rarely, but when required, He will get us into a corner where He will hurt us with His undeviating questions, and we will realize that we do love Him far more deeply than any profession can ever show.

 

 

March 3rd—The Unrelieved Quest

Shepherd My lambs for Me.”  John 21:15

 

This is love in the making.  The love of God is intimate, it is God’s nature.  When we receive the Holy Spirit, He unites us with Jehovah and Jeshua’s spirits so Their love is manifested in us (John 17:20-26).  When our soul is united to Jeshua and His Father by the indwelling Holy Spirit, that is not the end, but a new beginning.  As we grow, we become one with our Father as Jeshua is.  What kind of oneness does Jeshua the Anointed have with His Father?  Such a oneness that the Father sent Him down here to be spent for us, and Jeshua says—“Just as My Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21)

Peter realizes with the revelation from the Lord’s hurting questions that he does love Him; then comes the point—“Pour it out.”  Don’t testify about how much you love Me, don’t exalt about the marvellous revelation you have had, but“Shepherd My sheep.”  And Jeshua has some extraordinarily funny sheep, some bedraggled, dirty sheep, some awkward, butting sheep, some sheep that have gone astray!  It is impossible to weary God’s love, and it is impossible to weary that love in me if it springs from God’s Spirit.

The love of God pays no attention to the distinctions made by natural considerations.  If I love my Lord I have no business to be guided by my natural temperament; I have to shepherd his sheep.  There is no relief and no release from this commission.  Beware of counterfeiting the love of God by working along the line of natural human sympathy, because that will end in blaspheming the love of God.

 

 

March 4th—Could This Be True of Me?

But my soul is not considered valuable to me, except that I may finish my race and the ministry which I received from our Lord Jeshua, to testify to the good news of the grace of God.”  Acts 20:24

 

It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires.  Common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment.  You will likely be more prosperous and more leisure-hearted, if you never hear the call of God.  But after you receive a commission from Jeshua the Anointed, the memory of what Jehovah wants will always come like a goad; you will no longer be able to work for Him on the common-sense basis.

What do I really count dear?  If I have not been gripped by Jeshua the Anointed, I will count service dear, time given to God dear, my life dear unto myself.  Paul says he counted his life dear only in order that he might fulfil the ministry he had received; he refused to use his energy for any other thing.  Acts 20:24 states Paul’s almost sublime annoyance at being asked to consider himself; he was absolutely indifferent to any consideration other than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received.

Practical work may be a competitor against surrender to Jehovah, because practical work is based on this argument—“Remember how ‘useful’ you are here”, or—“Think how valuable you would be in that particular type of work.”  That attitude does not put Jeshua the Anointed as our Guide as to where we should go, but uses our judgment as to where we are of most use.  Never consider whether you are, or are not, of use; but always consider that you are not your own but His.

 

 

March 5th—Is He Really Lord?

“. . .  in their many trials and afflictions there was abundance in their joy and their deep poverty abounded with the wealth of their generosity.”  Acts 20:24

 

Joy means the perfect fulfilment of that for which I was created and regenerated, rising above the troubles of this world.  Our Lord’s joy lay in doing what the Father sent Him to do, and Jeshua says—“Just as My Father has sent Me, I also send you..” (John 20:21)

Have I received a ministry from the Lord?  If so, I have to be loyal to it, to count my life precious only for the fulfilling of that ministry.  Think of the satisfaction it will be to hear Jeshua say—“Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much.  Enter the joy of your lord.” (Mat 25:21)  Yes, great will be the joy of knowing that you have done what He sent you to do.  We all have to find our niche in life, and spiritually we find it when we receive our ministry from the Lord.  In order to do this we must have spent time with Jeshua; we must know Him as even more than our personal Saviour.  “For I will show him how much he is going to suffer for My name.” (Acts 9:16)

“Do you love Me?”  Then—“Feed My sheep.”  There is no doubt about the service required; only absolute loyalty to Our Lord’s commission; loyalty to what you discern when you are in closest contact with God.  If you have received your ministry from the Lord Jeshua, you will know that the need is never the call: the need is the opportunity.  The call requires loyalty to the ministry you received when you were in real touch with Him.

There is a divine campaign of service marked out for you, and it means that you may have to ignore the demands for service along other lines.

 

 

March 6th—Amid a Crowd of Paltry Things

But in everything we show ourselves as servants of God: by much patience, by sufferings, by distresses, by imprisonments,”  2 Corinthians 6:4

 

We need divine grace to take the next step when there is no vision from God, no enthusiasm and no spectator—the next step in devotion, the next step in your study, in your reading, in your kitchen or the next step in your duty.  It takes more of the grace of God, more conscious drawing upon Jehovah to take that step, than it does to preach the Good News while inspired.

Every Christian has to partake of the essence of the Incarnation.  Jeshua brings the thing down into flesh and blood actualities and works it out through his fingertips.  We falter when there is no vision, no uplift, only the common round, the trivial task.  The thing that counts in the long run for God is the steady persevering work in the unseen, and the only way to keep our life uncrushed is to live always looking to God.

Ask Jehovah to keep the eyes of your spirit open to the Risen Messiah, and it will be impossible for drudgery to dampen you.  Continually get away from pettiness and paltriness of mind and thought and out into the reassurances of the thirteenth chapter of St. John’s Good News and the promises of the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corninthians.

 

 

March 7th—Undaunted Radiance

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.”  Romans 8:37

 

Paul is speaking of the things that might seem likely to separate or wedge in between the saint and the God they love; but the remarkable thing is that nothing can wedge in between the love of God and the saint.  These things can and do come in between our devotional exercises and God and appear to separate our individual life from God; but none of them is able to wedge in between the love of God and the spirit of the saint.

The bedrock of our Christian faith is the undeserved, fathomless marvel of the love of Jehovah exhibited on the Stake of Golgotha, a love we never can and never shall deserve.  Paul says this is the reason we are more than conquerors in all these things, super-victors, with a joy we would not have otherwise in the face of the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the exhilaration of riding on it.  Apply that to our own circumstances: these very things—tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the exhilaration; they are not things we fight alone.  We are more than conquerors with Him in all these things, not in spite of them, but in the midst of them.  The saint never knows the full joy of the Lord in spite of afflictions, but because of it—“I am joyful in all my afflictions,” says Paul (2 Cor 7:4).

Courageous radiance is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can alter.  The experiences of life, terrible or monotonous, are impotent to touch the love of God, which we have through the Messiah, Jeshua our Lord.

 

 

March 8th—The Relinquished Life

I have been impaled with the Messiah”  Galatians 2:20

 

No one is ever fully united with Jeshua the Anointed until he is willing to relinquish not only his sins, but his whole way of looking at things.  To be born from above by the Spirit of God means that we must let go before we lay hold, and in the first stages it is the relinquishing of all pretence.  What Our Lord initially wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavour, but our all too real sinful nature; that is what He wants to take from us.  And what does He give us in exchange for our sins?  Real solid righteousness, leading to everlasting life.  But we must relinquish all pretence of being anything, all claim of being worthy of God’s consideration.

Then the Spirit of God will show us what else there is to relinquish.  There will have to be the relinquishing of my claim to my right to decide for myself in every phase.  Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jeshua the Anointed?

There is always a sharp painful disillusionment to go through before we do relinquish.  When a man really sees himself as the Lord sees him, it is not just the abominable sins of the flesh that shock him, but also the awful nature of the pride of his own heart against Jeshua the Anointed.  When he sees himself in the light of the Lord, the shame and the horror and the desperate conviction of our sinful nature come home.  How can we, despicable, blind worms, possibly think our ideas can be better than those of our all-knowing, all-seeing God?

If you are up against the question of relinquishing, go through the crisis, relinquish everything, and Jehovah will make you fit for all that he requires of you.

 

 

March 9th—The Time of Relapse

Do you also want to go away?”  John 6:67

 

A penetrating question.  Our Lord’s words come home most deeply when He talks in the most simple way.  We know who Jeshua is, but despite that he says—“Do you also want to go away?”  We have to maintain a devoted attitude toward Him all the time.

“Because of this saying, many of His disciples turned their backs and did not walk with Him”  They turned back from walking with Jeshua, perhaps not into sin, but they relapsed.  Many today are spending and being spent in work for Jeshua the Anointed, but they do not walk with Him.  There are things that Jeshua has said that they can’t bring themselves to agree with.  The one thing Jehovah keeps us to steadily is that we are to become one with His Son Jeshua.  After sanctification the discipline of our spiritual life is along this line.

If God gives you a clear and emphatic instruction of what he wants, do not try to keep yourself in that relationship by any particular method except by living a life of absolute obedience to Jeshua the Anointed.  Never try to live your life with God on any other line than God’s line, and that line is complete devotion to Him.  The certainty that I do not know—that is the secret of going with Jeshua.  At first Peter only saw in Jeshua someone to minister salvation to him and to the world.  Our Lord wants us to be fellow-workers with Him (vs 70).  Jeshua fills the great lack in Peter.  We know He can also do that for us.

 

 

March 10th—Have a Message and Be One

Preach the word and stand with diligence, in time and without time.  Reprove, rebuke and teach, all with sustained spirit.”  2 Timothy 4:2

 

We are not saved to be only witnesses, but to be sons and daughters of God.  We are turned into His spiritual messengers; and the message must be part of ourselves.  The Son of God was His own message, his words were spirit and life; and as His disciples our lives must be the sacrament of our message.  The natural heart will do any amount of serving, but it takes the heart broken by the conviction of sin, and immersed in the Holy Spirit, and filled with the purpose of Jehovah before our life becomes the sacrament of its message.

There is a difference between giving a testimony and preaching.  A preacher is one who has been called by God and is determined to use his every power to proclaim God’s truth.  God takes us out of our own ideas for our lives and we are reshaped as the disciples were after Pentecost.  Pentecost took the disciples beyond themselves; it made them the example of what they preached—“But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power; and you shall be My witnesses” (Acts 1:8)

Let Jehovah have perfect liberty when you speak.  The liberation must be real in you before you can speak God’s message to liberate other souls.  Gather your material, and then let the Holy Spirit set it alight when you speak.

 

 

March 11th—Vision

“I did not stand in dispute against the heavenly vision”  Acts 26:19

 

If we lose the vision, we alone are responsible, and the way we lose the vision is by spiritual leakage.  If we do not run our revelation from God into practical issues, it is all over with the vision God has given.  The only way to be obedient to the heavenly vision is to give our everything for Jehovah, and this can only be done by continually and resolutely recalling the vision.  The test is the sixty seconds of every minute, and the sixty minutes of every hour, not only our times of prayer and devotional meetings.

“Though it lingers, wait for it.” (Hab 2:3)  We cannot force a vision, we must live in the inspiration of it until it accomplishes itself.  We can get so practical that we forget the vision.  At the beginning we saw it, but we did not wait for it; we rushed off into practical work, and when the vision was fulfilled, we did not see it.  Waiting for the vision that lingers is a test of our loyalty to God.  It is at the peril of our soul’s welfare that we get so caught up in practical work that we miss the fulfilment of the vision.

Watch God’s cyclones.  The way Jehovah sows His saints is by His whirlwind.  Are you going to prove to be a sterile seed?  It will depend on whether or not you are actually living in the light of what you have seen.  Let God fling you out, and do not go until He does.  If you select your own spot, you will prove to be a sterile seed.  If God sows you, you will bring forth fruit.

It is essential to conform the walk of our feet to the light of His vision.

 

 

March 12th—Surrender

Then Peter began to say, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You. . . .””  Mark 10:28

 

Our Lord Jeshua replies that our surrender must be focused on Him, but it will not be without fruit for the disciples themselves.  God is generous and will reward us bountifully.  But beware of a surrender which has the commercial spirit in it—“I am going to give myself to God because I want to be made holy”, or “I want to rule over nations one day.”  No!  We must want to be delivered from our sins and to serve God.  Becoming holy results from serving God, it is not the initial transformation of Christ.

Pure surrender requires the full recognition of the depravity of our sins.  We can only go to God when we understand the price that Jeshua has paid for us.  Our Lord will only clean and fill us with His Holy Spirit when we are truly ready to repent of doing things our way.  It is only then that we will be able to say—‘This is what Jehovah has done for me.’

But if we only give up something to Jehovah because we want more back, there is nothing of the Holy Spirit in our surrender; it is miserable commercial self-interest.  That we gain heaven, that we can reign as kings and priests in the Millennium—these are wondrous and necessary things, but can never enter as considerations in our total surrender, which leads to a deeply personal relationship with Jeshua the Anointed.

When we come up against the barriers of natural relationships, where is Jeshua?  Many of us desert Him—“Yes, Lord, I did hear Your call; but my mother is in the way, or my wife, or my self-interest, and I can go no further.”  “Then,” Jeshua says, “you cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

The test of surrender is always over the wall of natural devotion.  Go over it, and God’s love and mercy will embrace not just you but also all those you had to hurt in surrendering.  Beware of stopping short of full surrender to God.

 

 

March 13th—The Love of God

For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

 

Salvation is not only deliverance from sin, nor only the experience of personal holiness.  The salvation of God is deliverance from your isolated self into an integrated union with Him for eternity.  My initial knowledge of salvation will be along the line of deliverance from sin and of personal holiness; but salvation means that the Spirit of God has begun dwelling within me, and brings me into touch with Jehovah’s personality, and I am thrilled with knowing someone infinitely greater than myself.  I am caught up into the Love of God.

To say that we are called to preach holiness or sanctification is to get into a side-eddy.  We are called to proclaim Jeshua the Anointed.  The fact that He saves from sin and makes us holy is part of the wonderful Love of God.

Love does not produce consciousness of itself, because our whole life is taken up with Jehovah God, to whom we surrender.  Beware of talking about love if you know nothing about it, and you will never know anything about it until you have realized that John 3:16 means that Jehovah gave up His own dearly-loved true Son to be tortured and murdered so we could be given everlasting life.  In our love we give ourselves over to God just as Jeshua gave Himself for us, without anything held back.  The cost of love never enters into our outlook because our life is embedded in His.

 

 

March 14th—Obedience

You are slaves of whoever you obey, whether of sin onto death, or of obedience unto righteousness.”  Romans 6:16

 

The first thing to do in examining whatever power dominates me is to take hold of the fact that I am responsible for being thus dominated.  If I am a slave to myself, I am to blame because at some point I yielded to my desires.  Likewise, if I obey Jehovah I do so because I have yielded myself to Him when He called me.

Yield in childhood to selfishness, and you will find it the most restraining tyranny on earth.  There is no power in the human soul itself to break the bondage of a disposition formed by yielding to sin.  Yield for one second to anything in the nature of lust (remember what lust is: “I must have it at once!” whether it be the lust of the flesh or the lust of the mind)—yield once and though you may hate yourself for having yielded, you become a bondslave to that thing.

There is no release in human power at all, but only in God’s Redemption.  You must yield yourself in utter humiliation to the only One who can break the dominating power: the Lord Jeshua—“He has anointed me . . .  to preach deliverance to all captives.” (Luke 4:18)

You find this out in the most ridiculously small ways—“Oh, I can give that habit up whenever I like.”  You cannot, you will find that the habit absolutely dominates you because you yielded to it willingly.  It is easy to sing “He will break every fetter” and at the same time be living a life of abject slavery to sin and Satan.

Yielding to Jeshua will break every form of slavery in any human life.

 

 

March 15th—The Discipline of Dismay

Now while they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, Jeshua went ahead of them; and they were astonished.   Though they were afraid, they kept following Him.  Then He took His twelve and began to tell them the things that certainly would happen to Him.”  Mark 10:32

 

At the beginning we were sure we knew all about Jeshua, our Messiah.  It was a delight to sell all and to fling ourselves out in the exuberance of love; but now we are not quite so sure.  Jeshua is out in front and He looks strange: “Jeshua went ahead of them and they were astonished.”

There is an aspect of Jeshua that chills the heart of a disciple to the core and makes their whole spiritual life gasp for breath.  This strange being with His face “set like a flint” and His striding determination strikes terror into me.  He is no longer Counsellor or Comrade, He is taken up with a point of view I know nothing about, and I am astonished at Him.  At first I was confident that I understood Him, but now I am not sure.  I begin to realize there is a distance between Jeshua the Anointed and me; I am no longer familiar with Him.  He is ahead of me and He never turns round; I have no idea what He is going to do, and the goal has become strangely far off.

Jeshua the Anointed had to endure every sin and every sorrow man has experienced, and that is what makes Him seem strange.  When we see Him in this aspect we do not know Him, we do not recognize one feature of His life, and we do not know how to begin to follow Him.  He is out in front, a Leader who has become very strange, and we have no comradeship with Him.

The discipline of dismay is essential in the life of discipleship.  The danger is getting back to a little fire of our own and kindle enthusiasm at it (cf. Isaiah 1:10-11).  We must keep following until Jeshua takes us aside and explains things to us.

When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that closer following of Jeshua which is an unspeakable joy.

 

 

March 16th—The Master Judges

For we are all going to stand before the throne of the Anointed, that each one will be paid by Him for the things done in his body, whether good or evil.”  2 Corinthians 5:10

 

Paul says that we must all, preacher and people alike, “appear before the judgment seat of Messiah.”  If you learn to live in the white light of Messiah here and now, that final judgment will cause you to delight in your work for God.  Keep yourself steadily faced towards the judgment seat of Messiah; walk now in the light of the holiest you know.

A wrong temper of mind about another soul will end in the spirit of the devil, no matter how saintly you think you are.  One carnal judgment, and it can send you to Gehenna.  Drag it to the light at once and say—“My Jehovah, I have been guilty here.  Forgive and help me.”  If you don’t, hardness will come all through you.

One penalty of sin is confirmation in sin.  It is not only God who punishes for sin; sin confirms itself in the sinner and gives back full pay.  The deceitfulness of sin is that gradually you get used to it and forget that it is sin.  Sometimes struggling and praying will not enable you to stop some sins—we need the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to alter our inherent tendency to sin.

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of His Son Jeshua cleanses us from all of our sins.” (1 John 1:7)  We must always remember that nothing except the Blood of Jehovah’s Son can wash away our sins.

We choose to walk in the light to show Jeshua how grateful we are for what He has done for us, and rejoice that we will live with Him for eternity.

 

 

March 17th—Maintaining Our Diligence

We are diligent, whether we are away from home or dwelling at home, that we may be pleasing to Him.”  2 Corinthians 5:9

 

“We are diligent . . . ”  It is arduous work to keep the Master’s ambition in front.  It means holding one’s self to the high ideal year in and year out, both when going out to win souls and when we are at home with our families, but being ambitious only to be “pleasing to him.”

It is not lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but lack of striving to keep the ideal right.  Once a week at least take stock before Jehovah and see whether you are keeping your life up to the standard He wishes.  Paul is like a musician who does not need the approval of the audience if he can catch a look of approval from his Master.

Any diligence which is in the tiniest degree away from this central one of being “well pleasing to God” may end in our being castaways.  Learn to discern where the ambition leads, and you will see why it is so necessary to live facing our Lord Jeshua the Anointed.  Paul says—“But it is my body I discipline and I bring into subjection, lest I, who have preached to others, should become rejected myself.” (1 Cor. 9:27)

I have to learn to relate everything to the master diligence, and to maintain it without any cessation.  My worth to God in public is what I am in private.  Is my main ambition to please Him and be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how noble it appears to be?

 

 

March 18th—Shall I Rouse Myself Up to This?

Therefore, as we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all the uncleanness of the flesh and the spirit, and let us cultivate holiness in the fear of God.”  2 Corinthians 7:1

 

“Therefore, as we have these promises.”  I lay claim to God’s promises, and rightly, but that is only the human side; the Divine side is that in claiming the promises I acknowledge God’s claim on me.  For instance, am I demonstrating that my body is the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, or have I a habit of body that plainly will not bear the light of God on it?  As by sanctification the spirit of the Son of God is forming in me, then I have to transform my natural life into a spiritual life by obedience to Him.  Jehovah educates us down to the scruple.  When He begins to correct, do not confer with flesh and blood; be cleansed at once.  Keep allowing Jeshua’s blood to cleanse you in your daily walk.

I have to cleanse myself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit until both are in accord with the nature of God.  Is my spirit in perfect agreement with the life of the Son of God in me, or am I insubordinate in my mind?  Am I forming the mind of Messiah, who never spoke from His right to Himself, but maintained an inner watchfulness where He continually submitted His Spirit to His Father?

I have the responsibility of keeping my spirit in agreement with His Spirit, and by degrees Jeshua lifts me up to where He lived—in perfect consecration to His Father’s will, paying no attention to any other thing.  Am I perfecting this type of holiness in the fear of God?  Is God getting His way with me, and are other people beginning to see God in my life more and more?

Be serious with Jehovah and leave the rest gaily alone.  Put God first literally.

 

 

March 19th—The Way of Abraham in Faith

And he went out, when he did not know where he was going.”  Hebrews 11:8

 

In the Old Covenants, personal relationship with God showed itself in separation, and this is typified in the life of Abraham by his separation from his country and from his kith and kin.  Today the separation is more of a mental and moral separation from the way that those who are dearest to us look at things, that is, if they do not have a personal relationship with God.  Jeshua the Anointed emphasized this (see Luke 14:26).

Faith may not know where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.  Christianity is a Way of Faith, not merely of intellect and reason, but is a life of knowing who gives us our life.  The root of our faith is our relationships with Jehovah and His Son.

One of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to ‘success’.  However, a critical stage in the life of faith is attainment of character. (Rom 5:1-5)  There are many steps in transforming our character; when we pray we feel the blessing of God enveloping us and for some time we are changed, but then we may get back to the ordinary days and ways and the glory vanishes.  The way of faith is not always a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting.  It is not a question of sanctification; but of something further on than sanctification, of faith that has been tried and proven and has stood the test, filling us with hope.

Abraham is not a type of sanctification, but a type of the way of faith, a matured faith built on a real God.  “Abraham believed God.” (James 2:23)

 

 

March 20th—Friendship with God

Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing?”  Genesis 18:17

 

Its Delights: This chapter brings out the delight of real friendship with God as compared with occasional feelings of His presence in prayer.  To be so much in contact with Jehovah that you do not need to ask Him to show you His will, is to be nearing the final stage of your discipline in the life of faith.

When you are rightly related to God, it is a life of freedom and liberty and delight.  You are immersed in God’s will, and your day to day decisions are His will for youuntil you look away from Him.  You decide things in perfect delightful friendship with Jehovah, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will always correct you; when He corrects, stop at once.

 

Its Difficulties: Why did Abraham stop praying when he did?  He was not intimate enough yet to go boldly on until God granted his desire, there was something yet to be desired in his relationship to God.  Whenever we stop short in prayer and say—“Well, I don’t know; perhaps it is not God’s will,” there is still another stage to go.  We are not so intimately acquainted with God our Father as Jeshua was, and as He wants us to be—“That they may be one even as we are one.” (John 17:22)  Think of the last thing you earnestly prayed about—were you devoted to your desire or to God?  Determined to get some gift of the Spirit or to get closer to God?

“Your Heavenly Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.” (Mat 6:8)  The point of asking is that you may get to know Jehovah better.  “Delight yourself also in Jehovah; and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Keep praying to get a perfect understanding of God Himself.

 

 

March 21st—Interest or Harmony?

I have been impaled with the Messiah and since then it has not been I who is living, but the Messiah is living in me; and this life which I now live, I live in the flesh by faith that the Son of God lives, who loved us and gave Himself for us.”  Galatians 2:20

 

The imperative need spiritually is to sign the death warrant of our sinful nature, to turn all emotional impressions and intellectual beliefs into a verdict against the disposition to sin, viz., my claim to  to decide what is right for myself.

Paul says—“I have been impaled with Messiah”; he does not say—“I have decided to imitate Jeshua the Anointed,”  or, “I will endeavour to follow Him”—but “I have died with Him.”  When I come to this decision and act upon it, then all that Messiah wrought for me on the Stake is wrought in me.

The free committal of myself to Jehovah gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to impart to me the holiness of Jeshua the Anointed.  “. . .  it has not been I who is living, but the Messiah is living in me. . . .”  Our personality remains, but the mainspring, the ruling disposition, is radically altered.  The same human body remains, but the old Satanic idea of choosing what is right for myself is destroyed.

“. . . and this life which I now live, I live in the flesh by faith . . . ,”  is not the life which I once wished to live, but instead the life I now live in my mortal flesh, the life which men can see, “I live in the flesh by faith that the Son of God lives, who loved us and gave Himself for us.”  This faith is not Paul’s faith in Jeshua the Anointed, but the faith that the Son of God has imparted to him—“the faith of the Son of God.”

It is no longer faith in faith, but faith which has leapt over all conscious bounds: it is the actual faith of the Son of God.

 

 

March 22nd—The Bright Hearts

Our hearts were not dull within us while He talked with us on the road, and expounded the Scriptures to us!”  Luke 24:32

 

We need to learn this secret of the bright hearts.  Suddenly Jeshua appears to us, the fires are kindled, we have wonderful visions, our hearts are dull no longer!  Then we have to learn to keep the secret of the bright heart that will persevere through anything.  It is the dull, bald, dreary, commonplace day, with commonplace duties and people, that kills the bright heart unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jeshua.

Much of our distress as Christians comes not because of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature.  For instance, the only test as to whether we ought to allow an emotion to have its way is to understand what the outcome of the emotion will be.  Mentally push it to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something God would condemn, shut it down now.  But if it is an emotion kindled by the Spirit of God and you do not let that emotion have its right effect in your life, it will react on a lower level.  That is the way sentimentalists are made.  The higher the emotion is, the deeper the degradation will be if it is not worked out on its proper level.

If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many things inevitable as possible, let the consequences be what they will.  We cannot stay on the Mount of Transfiguration, but we must obey the light we received there; we must make it real.  When Jehovah gives a vision, interact on that line, no matter what it costs.

 

“We cannot kindle when we will

The fire which in the heart resides,

The Spirit blows and is still,

In mystery our soul abides;

But tasks in hours of insight willed

Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled.”

 

 

March 23rd—Am I Walking in the Flesh?

For wherever there are envy, contentions, and divisions among you, are you not fleshly and walking in the flesh?”  1 Corinthians 3:3

 

No natural man really understands carnality.  The flesh is lusting against the Spirit that came in at regeneration, and the Spirit is working against the flesh.  “Walk in the Spirit,” says Paul, “and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16); and fleshly desires will shrivel.

Are you contentious, easily troubled about trifles?  “Oh, but no one who is a Christian ever is!”  Paul says they can be, and he connects these things with walking in the flesh.  Is there a truth in the Bible that instantly awakens petulance in you?  That is a proof that you are yet fleshly.  As sanctification is being worked out, there will be no trace of that desire left.

If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He does not ask you to put it right; He asks you to accept the light, and He will put it right.  A child of the light confesses instantly and stands bare before Jehovah; a child of the darkness says—“Oh, I can cover that up.”  When the dawn breaks and the conviction of wrong comes, be a child of the light and confess, and God will deal with what is wrong; if you vindicate yourself, you prove yourself to be a child of the darkness.

What is the proof that carnality has gone?  Never deceive yourself; the desires of the flesh will not be completely gone as long as we live in this body.  God will see that you have any number of opportunities to prove to yourself the marvel of His grace.  The practical tests are the only proof.  “Why,” you say, “if this had happened before, there would have been a spirit of resentment!”  You will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what Jehovah is doing for you on the inside.

 

 

March 24th—Decreasing Into His Purpose

For it is necessary that He must increase, and I must decrease.”  John 3:30

 

If you become a necessity to a soul, you are out of line with God’s order.  As a worker, your great responsibility is to be a friend of the Bridegroom.  When you see a soul in sight of the claims of Jeshua the Anointed, you know that your influence has been in the right direction.  Instead of putting out a hand to prevent their throes, pray that they grow ten times stronger until there is no power on earth which can hold that soul away from Jeshua the Anointed.

Over and over again, we become amateur providers, we come in and try to manipulate God; and say—“This and that must not be.”  Instead of proving to be friends of the Bridegroom, we put our sympathy in the way, and that soul will one day say—“That one was a thief, he stole my affections from Jeshua, and I lost my vision of Him.”

Beware of rejoicing with a soul in the wrong thing, but see that you do rejoice in the right thing, as John the Immerser said:  “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and listens to him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.  Therefore behold!  My joy is full.  For it is necessary that He must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3:29-30)  This is spoken with joy and not with sadness—at last they are to see the Bridegroom, and hear the joy in His voice!  And John says this is his joy.  It is the absolute effacement of the worker, he merges into the background.

Watch for all you are worth until you hear the Bridegroom’s voice in the life of another.  Accept what upsets it may bring, always rejoice when His voice is heard.  You may often see a life wrecked before they are ready for Jeshua the Anointed to save them (Luke 7:36-50, Mark 5:1-19).

 

 

March 25th—The Most Delicate Mission on Earth

The friend of the Bridegroom.”  John 3:29

 

Goodness and purity ought never to attract attention to themselves, they ought simply to be magnets to draw people to Jeshua the Anointed.  If my holiness is not drawing people towards Him, it is not holiness of the right sort, but an influence that will awaken inordinate affection and lead souls away into side-eddies.

A beautiful saint may be a hindrance if he does not present Jeshua the Anointed, but only what Messiah has done for him.  He will leave the impression—“What a fine character that man is!”  That is not being a true friend of the Bridegroom; I am increasing all the time, He is not.

In order to maintain our friendship and loyalty to the Bridegroom, we have to be more careful of our moral and vital relationship to Him than of any other thing.  Sometimes there is nothing to obey, the only thing to do is to maintain a vibrant connection with Jeshua the Anointed, and to see that nothing interferes with that.  When a crisis arises we have to find out what God’s will is, but the greater part of our life is not conscious obedience but the maintenance of this relationship—being the friend of the Bridegroom.

Christian ‘work’ may be a means of evading our concentration on Jeshua the Anointed.  Instead of being friends of the Bridegroom, we can become amateur providers, and then work against Him while we use His weapons.

 

 

March 26th—Vision by Personal Purity

Blessed are those who are pure in their hearts, for they will see God.”  Matthew 5:8

 

Purity is not innocence, it is much more.  Innocence can be just lack of experience.  Purity is the outcome of a sustained spiritual relationship with God.  We have to grow in purity.  The life with God may be right and the inner purity remain unsullied, and yet every now and again the bloom on the outside may be sullied.  Jehovah does not shield us from this possibility, because in this way we realize the necessity of maintaining our relationship with Him by personal purity.

If the spiritual bloom of our life with God is getting impaired in the tiniest degree, we must drop everything else and get it put right.  Remember that vision depends on character—the pure in heart see Jehovah.  God makes us pure by His sovereign grace, but we have something to look after, this bodily life by which we come in contact with other people and with other points of view.  It is these that are apt to sully.

Not only must the inner sanctuary be kept right with God, but the outer courts as well are to be brought into perfect accord with the purity God gives us by His grace.  The spiritual understanding is blurred immediately when the outer court is sullied.  If we are going to retain personal contact with our Lord Jeshua the Anointed, it will mean there are some things we must refuse to do or to think, even some otherwise legitimate things we must refuse to touch.

A practical way of keeping your personal purity unsullied in relation to other people is to say to yourself—‘That man, that woman, perfect in Messiah Jeshua!  That friend, that relative, perfect in Messiah Jeshua!’

 

 

March 27th—Vision by Personal Character

Come up here, and I will show you what is going to take place after these things.”  Revelation 4:1

 

An elevated mood can only come out of an elevated habit of personal character.  If in the externals of your life you live up to the highest you know, Jeshua will continually say—“Friend, go up higher.”  The golden rule when in temptation is—Go higher.

When you get higher up, you face other temptations and characteristics.  Satan uses the strategy of elevation in temptation, and God does the same, but the intent and effect is different.  When the devil puts you into an elevated place, he twists your idea of holiness beyond what flesh and blood could ever bear.  It is a spiritual acrobatic performance, you are just poised on the wire and dare not move.  But when Jehovah elevates you by His grace into the heavenly places, instead of finding a pinnacle to cling to, you find a beautiful tableland where it is easy to move.

Compare this week in your spiritual history with the same week last year and see how God has called you up higher.  We have all been brought to see from a higher standpoint.  When God gives you one point of truth, never fail to instantly live up to it.  Always work it out, keep in the light of it.  Growth in grace is measured not by the fact that you have not gone back, but that you have another insight into where you are spiritually; you have heard God say “Come up higher.”  Perhaps not to you personally, but to the insight of your character.  “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” (Gen 18:17)  God has to hide from us what He does until we grow in personal character to the place where He can reveal it.

 

 

March 28th—Isn’t There Some Misunderstanding?

Then after this He said to His disciples, “Come, let us go to Judea again.”  His disciples said to Him, “Master, the Judeans are seeking to stone You, and You are going there again?””  John 11:7-8

 

I may not understand why Jeshua the Anointed says something, but it is absurd to say that therefore He was mistaken in what He said.  It is never right to think that my obedience to a word of God will bring dishonour to Jeshua.  The only thing that will bring dishonour is not obeying Him.

To put my view of His honour in place of what He is plainly instructing me to do is never right, even though it may arise from a real desire to prevent Him being put to open shame.  I know when the proposition comes from Jehovah because of its quiet persistence.  When I begin to weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate come in, I am bringing in an element that is not from God, and I can come to the false conclusion that the instruction was not a right one.

Many of us are loyal to our notions of Jeshua the Anointed, but how many of us are loyal to Him?  Loyalty to Jeshua means I have to step out where I do not see anything (cf. Matt 14:29); loyalty to my notions means that I clear the ground first by my intelligence.  Faith is not intelligent understanding, faith is deliberate commitment to Jehovah, even when I see no way forward.

Are you debating whether to take a step in faith in Jeshua or to wait until you can see how to do the thing yourself?  Obey Him with glad fearless joy.  When He says something and you begin to debate, it is because you have a false conception of His honour.  Are you loyal to what Jeshua says, or are you trying to compromise with concepts which never came from Him?  “Whatever He said to you, do it.” (John 2:5)

 

 

March 29th—Our Lord’s Surprise Visits

Therefore you also be ready, because at a moment you do not expect the Son of Mankind will come.”  Luke 12:40

 

The great need for a Christian is to be ready to face Jeshua the Anointed at any and every turn.  This is not easy, no matter what our experience is.  The battle is not just against sin or difficulties or circumstances, but against being so absorbed in work that we are not ready to face Jeshua the Anointed at every turn.  That is the great need, not the facing of our belief, or our traditions, or the question of whether we are of any use, but to face Him.

Jeshua rarely comes where we expect Him; He appears where we least expect Him, and always in the most illogical connections.  The only way a worker can keep true to God is by being ready for the Lord’s surprise visits.  It is not service that matters most, but the intense spiritual reality of expecting Jeshua the Anointed at every turn.  This will give our life the attitude of child-wonder which He wants us to have.  If we are going to be ready for Jeshua the Anointed, we have to stop being religious (that is, using religion as a higher kind of culture) and be spiritually real.

If you are “looking unto Jeshua,” (Heb 12:2) and avoiding the call of the religious age you live in, and setting your heart on what He wants, on thinking on His line—you will be called unpractical and dreamy; but when He appears in the burden and the heat of the day, you may be the only one who is ready.  Trust no man, not even the finest saint who ever walked this earth.  Ignore him if he hinders your sight of Jeshua the Anointed.

 

 

March 30th—Holiness Versus Hardness Towards God

He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor.”  Isaiah 59:16

 

The reason many of us stop praying and become hard towards God is because we have only a sentimental interest in prayer.  It sounds right to say that we pray; we read books on prayer which tell us that prayer is beneficial, that our minds are quieted and our souls uplifted when we pray; but Isaiah implies that Jehovah is amazed at such thoughts of prayer.

Worship and intercession must go together, the one is impossible without the other.  Intercession means that we rouse ourselves up to get the mind of Messiah about the one for whom we pray.  Too often instead of worshipping God, we construct statements as to how prayer works.  Are we worshipping or are we in dispute with God—“I don’t see how You are going to do it.”  This is a sure sign that we are not worshipping.  When we lose sight of Jehovah we become hard and dogmatic.  We hurl our own petitions at God’s throne and dictate to Him what we wish Him to do.  We do not worship God, nor do we seek to conform to the mind of Messiah.  If we are hard towards God, we will become hard towards the people around us.

Are we worshipping God such that we lay hold on Him. so we are brought into His mind about the ones for whom we pray?  Are we living in a holy relationship to Jehovah, or are we hard and dogmatic?

“But there is no one interceding properly”—then be that one yourself, be the one who worships God and who lives in a holy relationship with Him.  Get into the real work of intercession, and remember it is a work that strains every power; but it is a work which has no snare.  Preaching the good news has a snare; intercessory prayer has none.

 

 

March 31st—The Sin of Death

If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not condemn him to death, let him ask, and his soul will be given to him, to those whose sin is not of death.  And there is the sin of death.  For this, I say do not pray for the man.”  1 John 5:16

 

If we are not alert to the way the Spirit of God works in us, we will become spiritual hypocrites.  We see where other folks are failing, and we turn our discernment into the jeer of criticism instead of into intercession on their behalf.

The revelation is made to us not through the acuteness of our minds, but by the direct penetration of the Spirit of God, and if we are not faithful to the source of the revelation, we will become criticizing centres and forget that God says—“. . .  let him ask, and his soul will be given to him, to those whose sin is not of death.”  Take care lest you play the hypocrite by spending all your time trying to get others right before you worship Jehovah yourself.

One of the subtlest burdens God puts on us as saints is this burden of discernment concerning other souls.  He reveals things in order that we may take the burden of these souls before Him and seek the mind of Messiah about them, and as we intercede on His line, God says He will give us life for “those whose sin is not of death.”  Though all unforgiven sin leads to death, (Rom 6:23) these are the sins of a person who can still repent, return to Christ and be given life, and that is what we must pray for.

But the sin of death?  This is sin for which there is NO forgiveness.  Jeshua warns us in Mat 12:31-32 that “blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven,” and in Heb 10:25-31 we are warned that “if a person chooses to sin after receiving the knowledge of the Truth, after that there is not a sacrifice that can be offered in place of the sins.”  Remember, we are to keep God’s commandments once we have committed our lives to Jeshua. (1 Cor 7:19, Rev 12:17 & 14:12)  If you have slipped and sinned, repent NOW and do not keep walking in sin!

 

 

April 1st—Heartiness Versus Heartlessness Towards Others

The Messiah has died, and He is risen, and He is at the right hand of God, and He prays for our sake. . . . Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He is praying for the sake of the saints according to the will of God.”  Romans 8:34, 27

 

Do we need any more argument than this to become intercessors—that Messiah “prays for our sake;” (Heb 7:25), that the Holy Spirit “is praying for the sake of the saints”?  Are we living in such a vital relationship with our fellow men that we do the work of intercession as the Spirit-taught children of God?

Begin with the circumstances we are in—our homes, our business, our country, the present crisis as it touches us and others—are these things crushing us?  Are they badgering us out of the presence of God and leaving us no time for worship?  Then let us call a halt, and get into such a living relationship with Jehovah that our relationship to others may be maintained on the line of intercession where God works His marvels.

Beware of getting out of step with God by your very longing to do His will.  We run ahead of Him in a thousand and one activities, consequently we get so burdened with persons and with difficulties that we do not worship God, we do not intercede effectively.  If the burden and the pressure come upon us and we are not in a worshipping attitude, it will produce not only hardness toward God but despair in our own souls.

Jehovah continually introduces us to people for who we have no affinity, and unless we are worshipping God, the most natural thing to do is to treat them heartlessly, to give them a text like the jab of a spear, or leave them with a snapped-out counsel of God and go.  An unloving Christian must be a terrible grief to Our Lord.

Are we in the direct line of the intercession of our Lord and of the Holy Spirit?

 

 

April 2nd—The Glory That Excels

My brother Saul, our Lord Jeshua, who appeared to you on the road as you came, He has sent me so your eyes will be opened and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 9:17

 

When Paul received his sight, he also received spiritually the indwelling of the Holy Spirit sent by Jeshua, and the whole of his subsequent life and preaching was nothing but the Messiah Jeshua—“Nor did I present myself among you as if I knew anything except Jeshua the Anointed and Him as He was impaled.” (1 Cor 2:2)  No attraction was ever allowed to hold the mind and soul of Paul except the face of Jeshua.

We have to learn to maintain an unimpaired state of character up to the last notch revealed by the Spirit of Jeshua the Anointed.

The abiding characteristic of a spiritual man is the applying of our Lord Jeshua’s teachings to himself, and giving those teachings to others for the purposes of Jehovah.

The one concentrated passion of our life is Jeshua the Anointed.  Whenever you meet this note in a man, you feel he is a man after God’s own heart.

Never allow anything to deflect you from insight into Jeshua our Lord.  It is the test of whether you are spiritual or not.  To be unspiritual means that other things have a growing fascination for you.

 

“Since mine eyes have looked on Jeshua,

I’ve lost sight of all beside,

So enchained my spirit’s vision,

Gazing on the Crucified.”

 

 

April 3rd—In Over Your Head or Nothing

Now when Simon heard that it was our Lord, he put on his garment, because his loins were naked, and plunged into the sea so he could come to Jeshua.”  John 21:7

 

Have you ever had a crisis in which you deliberately and emphatically and fearlessly surrendered everything?  It is a crisis of will.  You may come up against it many times externally, but the giving up of external things may only be an indication of being in spiritual bondage.  The really deep crisis of surrender is reached internally, not externally.

Have you deliberately committed your will to Jeshua, the Anointed Son of God?  It is an action of will, not of emotion; the emotion is simply the gilt-edge of the interaction.  If you allow emotion first place, you will never complete the interaction.  Do not ask God what the interaction is to be yet again, but make it in regard to the thing you are shown, in whatever place He sets it, and hold fast to Him.

If you have heard Jeshua the Messiah’s voice on the waves, let your worldly convictions go to the winds, let your consistency go to the winds, go to Him and watch your relationship blossom.

 

 

April 4th—Readiness

God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”  And he said, “Here I am’”  Exodus 3:4

 

When God speaks, many of us are like deaf men lost in a fog; we give no answer.  Moses’ reply revealed that he was listening.  Readiness means a right relationship to Jehovah and some knowledge of where we are at present.  We are often so busy telling God where we would like to go that we have no time to listen.

The man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who carries off the prize when the summons comes.  We wait with the idea of some great opportunity, something sensational, and when it comes we are quick to cry—“Here am I.”  Whenever Jeshua the Anointed is in the ascendant, we are there, but often we are not ready for an obscure duty.

Readiness for God means that we are ready to do the tiniest little thing or the great big thing, it makes no difference.  We have no choice in what we need to do: whatever God’s programme may be, we should be there, ready.  When any duty presents itself we hear God’s voice as Our Lord heard His Father’s voice, and we are ready for it with all the alertness of our love for Him.

Jeshua our Lord expects to do with us as His Father did with Him.  He can put us where He likeswhich is where we need to be, in pleasant duties or in difficult duties, because the union is like that of the Father and Himself.  “That they may be one, even as We are one.” (John 17:22)

Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God.  A ready person never needs to get ready.  Think of the time we waste trying to get ready when God has called!  The burning bush is a symbol of everything that surrounds the ready soul, it is ablaze with the presence of Jehovah.

 

 

April 5th—Is it Not in the Least Likely?

For Joab had defected to Adonijah, though he had not defected to Absalom.”  1 Kings 2:28

 

Joab stood the big test, he remained absolutely loyal and true to David and did not defect to the fascinating and ambitious Absalom, but towards the end of his life he defected to the cowardly Adonijah.  Always remain alert to the fact that where one man has gone back is exactly where anyone may go back (see 1 Cor 10:13).

You have gone through the big crisis, now be alert over the least things; take into calculation the “retired sphere of the leasts.”  We are apt to say—“It is not in the least likely that having been through the supreme crisis, I shall now turn to the things of the world.”  Do not predict where the temptation will come, as it is the least likely thing that is the peril.  In the aftermath of a great spiritual interaction the “retired sphere of the leasts” begins to tell; it is not dominant, but remember it is there, and if you are not warned, it will trip you up.

You have remained true to Jehovah under great and intense trials, now beware of the undercurrent.  Do not be morbidly introspective, looking forward with dread, but keep alert; keep your memory bright before God.  Unguarded strength is double weakness because that is where the “retired sphere of the leasts” saps.  The Bible characters often fell on their strong points, not on their weak ones.

“Kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:5)—that is the only safety.

 

 

April 6th—Can a Saint Slander God?

For all of the promises of God in Him, that is in the Anointed, are Yes.  Because of this, we give the Amen by Him, to the glory of God.”  2 Corinthians 1:20

 

Jeshua told the parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25 as a warning that it is possible for us to misjudge our capacity.  This parable has not to do with natural gifts, but with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We must not measure our spiritual capacity by education or by intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured by the promises of God.

If we think we get less than Jehovah should have given us, before long we will slander Him as the servant slandered his master: “You expect more than You give me power to do; You demand too much of me, I cannot stand true to You where I am placed.”  When it is a question of God’s Almighty Spirit, never say “I can’t.”  Never let the limitation of your natural ability come in.  If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be manifested in us.

The servant justified himself in everything he did and condemned his lord on every point—“Your demand is out of all proportion to what you give.”  Have we been slandering God by daring to worry when He has said: “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”? (Mat 6:33)

Worrying means exactly what this servant implied—“I know You intend to leave me in the lurch.”  The person who is lazy naturally is always making excuses—“I haven’t had a decent chance,” and the one who is lazy spiritually is making excuses with God.  Lazy people always strike out on a less-demanding independent line.

Never forget that our capacity in spiritual matters is measured by the promises of God.  Do we believe that God able to fulfil His promises?  Our answer depends on whether we have received the Holy Spirit.

 

 

April 7th—Now Don’t Hurt the Lord!

Have I been with you all this time, and you do not know Me, Philip?”  John 14:9

 

Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at us—astounded at how unsimple we are.  It is our own opinions which make us stupid.  When we are simple we are never stupid, we discern all the time.  Philip expected the revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in the One whom he knew.

The mystery of God is not only in what is going to be, it is now; but we do not look now, instead we wait for some future cataclysmic event.  We have no reluctance in obeying Jeshua, but it is probable that we are hurting Him by the questions we ask.  “Lord, show us the Father.” (Vs 8)  His answer comes straight back—“Here He is, always here or nowhere.”  We look for Jehovah to manifest Himself to His children: Jehovah manifests Himself in His children.  Other people see the manifestation, the child of God does not.  And yet we want to be conscious of God.

If we are asking God to give us experiences, or if conscious experience is blocking the road, we hurt the Lord.  The very questions we ask hurt Jeshua because they are not the questions of a child.  “Do not let your heart be troubled” (John 14:1)—then am I hurting Jeshua by allowing my heart to be troubled?  

If I believe the character of Jeshua, am I living up to my belief?  Am I allowing anything to perturb my heart, any morbid questions to come in?  I have to get to the implicit relationship that accepts everything as it comes from Him.  Jehovah does not guide us eventually, but always now.  Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom is immediate.

 

 

April 8th—What Do You Want?

And do you seek great things for yourself?  Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says Jehovah.”  Jeremiah 45:5

 

Are you seeking great things for yourself?  Not seeking to be a great one, but seeking great things from God for yourself.  Jehovah wants you in a closer relationship to Him than just receiving His gifts, He wants you to get to know Him.  A great thing is momentary, it comes and goes.  God does not give us anything momentary.  There is nothing easier than getting into a right relationship with God except when it is not God who you want but only what He gives you.

If you have only come the distance of asking God for things, you have never come to the first strand of surrender.  You have become a Christian from a standpoint of your own.  “I did ask God for the Holy Spirit, but He did not give me the rest and the peace I expected.”  Instantly Jehovah puts His finger on the reason—you are not seeking the Lord at all, you are seeking something for yourself.

Jeshua says—“Ask, and it shall be given to you.” (Luke 11:9)  Ask God for what you need, but you should not ask if you are not asking for a right thing.  When you draw near to God, you forget to ask for things.  “Your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him.” (Mat 6:8)  Then why ask?  So you may understand that He provides all things and learn to trust Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself?  “O Lord, immerse me with the Holy Spirit.”  If God does not do it, it is because you are not surrendered enough to Him, there is something you will not do.  Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it?

Jehovah ignores the present perfection for the ultimate perfection.  He is not committed to making you blessed and happy just now; He is working out His ultimate perfection for eternity—“that they may be one even as We are One.” (John 17:22)

 

 

April 9th—What Will You Get?

Jehovah says, “But I will give your soul to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”  Jeremiah 45:5

 

This is the unshakable secret of the Lord to those who trust Him—“I will give your soul to you.”  What more does a man want than his life?  It is the essential thing.  “Your soul for a prize” means that wherever you may go, even if it is into the grave, you will come out with your soul, nothing will harm it.  So many of us are caught up in the show of things, not in the way of property and possessions, but of blessings.  All these have to go; but there is something grander that never can go—the life that is “hidden with our Messiah in God.” (Col 3:3)

Are you prepared to let Jehovah take you into union with Himself, and pay no more attention to what you call the great things?  Are you prepared to surrender entirely and let go?  The test of surrender is in refusing to say—“Well, what about this?”  Beware of suppositions.  As soon as you allow—“What about this?”—it means you have not surrendered, you do not really trust God.  As soon as you do surrender, you will have no more reservations about what God is going to do.

Surrender means to refuse yourself the luxury of always asking questions.  If you surrender yourself entirely to God, He says at once, “I will give your soul to you as a prize.”  And such a prize: Everlasting Life with Jehovah and Jeshua in Paradise.

The reason people are tired of life is because God has not given them anything.  They have not gotten their soul as a prize.  The way to get out of that state is to surrender to God.  When you do get through to surrender to God, you will be the most surprised and delighted creature on earth; Jehovah has got you absolutely and has given you your life.  If you are not there, it is either because of disobedience or a refusal to simply trust Him.

 

 

April 10th—The Worship of the Work

For we labour with God and you are God’s harvest and God’s building.”  1 Corinthians 3:9

 

Beware of any ‘work for God’ which enables you to evade concentration on Jehovah.  A great many Christian workers worship their work.  The great concern of a worker should be concentration on God, and this will mean that all the other areas of life: mental, moral and spiritual, are filled with the freedom of a child; a worshipping child, not a wayward child.

A worker without this solemn dominant note of concentration on God is apt to find his work standing on his neck; there is no margin of body, soul or spirit free.  Consequently he becomes worn out and crushed.  There is no freedom, no delight in life; nerves, mind and heart are so crushingly burdened that God’s blessing cannot rest.

But the other side is just as true—When the concentration is on Jehovah, all of our life is free and under the dominance of God alone.  The central responsibility you have is to keep living in constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your co-operation with Him.  The freedom after sanctification is the freedom of a child.  The things that used to keep our life pinned down are gone.  But be careful to remember that you are freed for one thing only—to be absolutely devoted to your Master, Jeshua the Anointed.

We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what Jehovah is fitting us for.  God engineers everything; wherever He puts us our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work.  “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” (Ecc 9:10)

 

 

April 11th—Can You Come Down?

While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become the descendants of light.”  John 12:36

 

We all have moments when we feel better than our best, and we say—“I feel fit for anything; if only I could be like this always!”  We are not meant to remain like that in this life.  These are moments of insight which we have to live up to when we do not feel like it.  Many of us are no good for this workday world when there is no high hour.  We must bring our commonplace life up to the standard revealed in the high hour.

Never allow a feeling which was stirred in you in the high hour to dissipate.  Don’t put your mental feet on the footstool and say—“What a marvellous state of mind to be in!”  Act immediately, do what is required, even if only because you would rather not do it.  If in a prayer meeting Jehovah has shown you something to do, don’t just say—“I’ll do it”; do it!  Take yourself by the scruff of the neck and shake off your inherent laziness.  Laziness is always seen in cravings for the high hour; we talk about working up to a time on the mount.  We have to learn to live in the grey day according to what we saw on the mount.

Don’t cave in because you have been baffled once, get at it again.  Burn your bridges behind you, and stand committed to God by your own act.  Do not revise your decisions, but make sure that you make your decisions in the light of your high hour with Jehovah.

 

 

April 12th—The Exclusiveness of Messiah

Come to Me, all you who labour and carry burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

 

Isn’t it humiliating to be told that we must come to Jeshua!  Think of the things we do not want to come to Jeshua the Anointed about.  If you want to know how real a Christian you are, test yourself by these words—“Come unto Me.”  In every area in which you are not real, you will dispute rather than come, you will quibble rather than come, you will go through sorrow rather than come, you will do anything rather than come at last to that simple statement—“Here I am.”

As long as you have the tiniest bit of spiritual impertinence, it will always reveal itself in the fact that you are expecting Jehovah to tell you to do a big thing, and all He is telling you to do is to “come.” (Read 2 Kings 5)

“Come unto Me.”  When you hear those words you will know that something must happen in you before you can come.  The Holy Spirit will show you what you have to do, anything at all that will put the axe into the root of the thing which is preventing you from getting through.  You will not get further until you are willing to do that one thing.  The Holy Spirit will locate that concealed sin in you, but He will not budge it unless you are willing to let Him.

How often have you come to God with your requests and gone away with the feeling—‘Oh, well, I have blown it this time!’  And so you go away with nothing, while all the time God has stood with outstretched hands not only to take you, but for you to take Him.  Reach out to Him.  Think of the invincible, unconquerable, unwearying patience of Jeshua—“Come unto Me.”

 

 

April 13th—The Discipline of Dejection

But we were hoping that He was going to redeem Israel.  And behold, three days have passed since all these things happened.”  Luke 24:21

 

Every fact that the disciples stated was right; but the inferences they drew from those facts were wrong.  Anything that savours of dejection spiritually is always wrong.  If depression and oppression visit me, I am to blame; God is not, nor is anyone else.  Dejection springs from one of two sources—I have either satisfied a lust or I have not.  Lust means—‘I must have it at once.’  Spiritual lust makes me demand an answer from God, instead of seeking our God who gives the answer.

What have I been trusting Jehovah to do?  And today—the immediate present—is the third day, and it seems that He has not done it; therefore I imagine I am justified in being dejected and in blaming God.  Whenever the insistence is on the point that Jehovah answers prayer, we are off the track.  The meaning of prayer is that we are communicating with God.  Dejection is a sign of sickness, and the same thing is true spiritually as well as physically.  Spiritual dejection is wrong, and we are always to blame for it.

We look for visions from heaven, for earthquakes and thunders of God’s power (the fact that we are dejected proves that we do), and we never realise that all the time God is acting through the commonplace things and people around us.  If we will do the duty that lies nearest, we shall see Him.

One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that even in the commonplace things the Deity of Jeshua the Anointed is realized.

 

 

April 14th—The Big Compelling of God

Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem.”  Luke 18:31

 

Jerusalem stands in the life of Our Lord as the place where He reached the climax of His Father’s will.  “I seek not My own will, but the will of my Father who has sent Me.” (John 5:30)  That was the one dominating interest all through our Lord’s life, and the things He met with on the wayjoy or sorrow, success or hardshipnever deterred Him from His purpose.  “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51)

The great thing to remember is that we go up to Jerusalem to fulfil God’s purpose, not our own.  Naturally, our ambitions are our own; but in the Christian life we should have no aim of our own.  There is so much said today about our decisions for Messiah, our determination to be Christians, our decisions for this and that, but in the Bible it is the aspect of God’s compelling that is brought out.  “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” (John 15:16)

We may not fully understand God’s purpose, but we are taken up into our role in God’s purpose.  Sometimes we have no conception of what God is aiming at, and as we go on it seems to get more and more vague.  God’s aim looks like its missing the mark because we are too shortsighted to see what He is aiming at.

At the beginning of the Christian life we have our own ideas as to what God’s purpose is—‘I am meant to go here or there,’ ‘God has called me to do this special work’; and we go and do the thing, and still the big compelling of God remains.  The work we do is of less account, it is just so much scaffolding compared with the big compelling of God.  “He took unto Him the twelve,” (Luke 18:31)  He takes us to Himself all the time.  There is so much more than we have gotten to so far.

 

 

April 15th—Watch With Me

Then He came to His disciples and found that they were sleeping, and said to Peter, “So you were not able to watch with Me for one hour?”  Matthew 26:40

 

“Watch with Me”—with no private point of view of your own at all, but watch entirely with Me.  In the early stages we do not watch with Jeshua, we watch for Him.  We do not watch with Him through the revelation of the Bible or in the circumstances of our lives.

Our Lord is trying to teach us to identify with Him in a particular Gethsemane, and we will not go; we say—“No, Lord, I cannot see the meaning of this, it is bitter.”  How can we possibly watch with Someone who is inscrutable?  How are we going to understand Jeshua sufficiently to watch with Him in His Gethsemane, when we do not even know what His suffering is for?  We do not know how to watch with Him; we are only used to the idea of Jeshua watching with us.

The disciples loved Jeshua the Anointed to the limit of their natural capacity, but they did not understand what He was doing.  In the Garden of Gethsemane they slept for their own sorrow, and at the end of three years of the closest intimacy they “all forsook Him and fled.” (Mark 14:50)

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4)—the same “they,” but something astounding has happened in between—Our Lord’s Death, followed by His miraculous Resurrection and Ascension; and the disciples have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  Our Lord had said—“You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you,” (Acts 1:8) and this meant that they learned to watch with Him all the rest of their lives.

 

 

April 16th—The Supreme Climb

Now take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”  Genesis 22:2

 

Character determines how a man interprets God’s will (cf. Psalm 18:25-26).  Abraham interpreted God’s command to mean that he had to kill his son, and he went through the pain of a tremendous ordeal.  Jehovah could purify his faith in no other way.

If we obey what God says according to our sincere belief, God will break us from traditions that misrepresent Him.  There are many false beliefs to get rid of, e.g., that God removes a child because the mother loves him too much—that is a devil’s lie and a travesty of the true nature of Jehovah.  If the devil can hinder us from taking the supreme climb and getting rid of false traditions about God, he will do so.  But if we keep true to God, God will take us through an ordeal which will bring us out into a purer knowledge of Him.

The great point of Abraham’s faith in Jehovah was that he was prepared to do anything for Him.  He was there to obey God, no matter what it would cost him personally.  Abraham never stopped listening to God, or he would have held fast to the earlier message and have slain Isaac and said that the voice of the representative was the voice of the devil.  That is the attitude of a fanatic.  If you will remain true to God, God will continue to lead you through every barrier into the inner chamber of the knowledge of Him; but there is always this point of giving up false convictions and traditional beliefs.

Don’t ask Jehovah to test you (Mat 6:13).  Don’t declare as Peter did—“I will do anything, I will go to death with You.” (Mat 26:35)  Abraham did not make any such declaration.  He simply remained true to God, and God purified his faith.

 

 

April 17th—If You Had Known!

Perhaps, if you had known those things that were for your peace, if even in this your day, but now they are hidden from your eyes.”  Luke 19:42

 

Jeshua had entered into Jerusalem in triumph, the city was stirred to its foundations; but a strange god was there, the pride of Pharisaism.  It appeared religious and upright, but was nothing but a “whitened sepulchre.”

What is it that blinds me in this, “my day”?  Have I a strange god—not a disgusting monster, but a disposition that rules me?  More than once Jehovah has brought me face to face with my strange god and I thought I should have to yield, but I did not do it.  I got through the crisis by the skin of my teeth and I find myself in the possession of the strange god still: I am blind to the things which belong to my peace.  It is an appalling thing that we can be in the place where the Spirit of God should be working in us without hindrance, and yet we  increase our condemnation in God’s sight.

“If you had known”—God goes direct to the heart, with the tears of Jeshua behind.  These words imply culpable responsibility; God holds us responsible for what we choose to not see.  “Now they are hidden from your eyes”—because the disposition has never been yielded.  The unfathomable sadness of the “might have been!”  God seals the doors that we have closed.  He opens other doors, but He reminds us that there are doors which we have shut, doors which need never have been shut, imaginations which need never have been sullied.

Never be afraid when Jehovah brings back the past.  Let memory have its way.  It is a minister of God with its rebuke and chastisement and sorrow.  God can turn the “might have been” into a wonderful growth for the future.

 

 

April 18th—Those Borders of Distrust

Behold, the hour comes, and now it has come, when you will be scattered, each man to his place, and you will leave Me alone.”  John 16:32

 

Jeshua was not rebuking the disciples; their faith was real, but it was disturbed; it was not at work in actual things.  The disciples were scattered to their own interests, alive to interests that were never in Jeshua the Anointed.  After we have been perfectly related to God in sanctification, our faith has to be worked out in actualities.

We shall be scattered, not into work, but into inner desolations and made to know what separation from God’s blessings means.  Are we prepared for this?  It is not that we choose it, but that Jehovah engineers our circumstances so that we are brought there.  Until we have been through that experience, our faith is bolstered up by feelings and by blessings.  When we have been there, no matter where God places us or what other desolations there are, we can praise God that all is well.  That is faith being worked out in actualities.

“. . .  and shall leave Me alone.”  Have we left Jeshua alone by the scattering of his providence?  Because we do not see Jehovah in our circumstances?  Darkness comes by the sovereignty of God.  Are we prepared to let God do as He likes with us—prepared to be separated from conscious blessings?  Until Jeshua the Anointed is our Lord, we all have ends of our own to serve; our faith is real, but it is not permanent yet.  God is never in a hurry; if we wait, we shall see that God is pointing out that we have not been interested in Him but only in His blessings.  And then God joyfully overwhelms us with the sublime blessing of His presence.  “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  Spiritual grit is what we need.

 

 

April 19th—His Agony and Our Fellowship

Then Jeshua came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray.”  Matthew 26:36, 38

 

We can never fathom the agony in Gethsemane, but at least we need not misunderstand it.  It is the agony of God and Man in one, face to face with sin.  We know nothing about Gethsemane in our personal experience.  Gethsemane and Golgotha stand for something unique; they are the gateway into Life for us.

It was not the death on the stake that Jeshua feared in Gethsemane; He stated most emphatically that He came on purpose to die.  In Gethsemane He feared lest He might not get through as Son of Man.  He would get through as Son of God—Satan could not touch Him there; but Satan’s onslaught was that He would get through as an isolated Figure only; and that would mean that He could be no Saviour.  Read the record of the agony in the light of the temptation: “Then the devil left Him for a season.” (Mat 4:11)  In Gethsemane Satan came back and for three days he thought he had destroyed Messiah.  But then Jeshua rose from the dead, and he was overthrown.  Satan’s final onslaught against our Lord as Son of Man began in Gethsemane.

The agony in Gethsemane is the agony of the Son of God preparing to fulfil his destiny as the Saviour of the world.  The veil is drawn aside to reveal all it cost Him to open the way for us to become sons of God.  His agony is the basis of the simplicity of our salvation.  The Stake of the Messiah was a triumph for the Son of Man.  The Stake, followed by the empty tomb, was not only the sign that Our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to save the human race.

Every human being can get through into the presence of Jehovah now because of what the Son of Man went through for him.

 

 

April 20th—The Collision of God and Sin

And He took all of our sins and lifted them in His body to the tree, and when we are dead to sin, we shall live in His righteousness; for by His scars you are healed.”  1 Peter 2:24

 

The Stake of Jeshua is the revelation of God’s judgment on sin.  Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Stake of Jeshua the Anointed.  The Stake was a superb triumph in which the foundations of Gehenna were shaken.  There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jeshua the Anointed did on the Stake: He switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with Jehovah.  He made Redemption the basis of human life.  That is, He opened the way for every son of man to get into communion with God.

The Stake did not just happen to Jeshua: He came on purpose for it.  He is “the Lamb slain from the creating of the world.” (Rev 13:8)  The central purpose of the Incarnation is the Stake.  Beware of separating God manifest in the flesh from the Son becoming sin.  The Incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption.  God’s Son became human for the purpose of putting away sin; not for the purpose of giving us self-reliance.  The Stake is the centre of Time and of Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both.

The Stake is not the stake of a man but the Stake of God, and the Stake of God can never be realized in human experience.  The Stake is the exhibition of the nature of Jehovah, the gateway where any individual of the human race can enter into union with God.  When we get to the Stake, we do not go through it; we abide in the life to which the Stake is the gateway.

The centre of salvation is the Stake of Jeshua, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much.  The Stake is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened—but the crash is on the heart of Jehovah.

 

 

April 21st—Why Are We Not Told Plainly?

He commanded them that they should not tell anyone the thing they had seen until after the Son of Mankind rises from the dead.”  Mark 9:9

 

They were to say nothing until the Son of man had risen—until the life of the risen Messiah so filled them that they understood what Messiah had been telling them.  When the Holy Spirit takes you to the right state on the inside, the word which Jeshua has spoken is so plain that you are amazed you did not see it before.  You could not understand it before; you were not in the place where it could be borne.

Our Lord does not hide these things; but they are unbearable until we get into a fit condition of spiritual life.  “I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12)  There must be communion with His risen life before a particular word can be borne by us.  Do we know anything about the impartation of the risen life of Jeshua?  The evidence that we do is that His word is becoming understandable to us.

Jehovah will not reveal these things to us if we do not have His Spirit.  If we have made up our minds about a doctrine, the light of God will come no more to us on that line, as we will not receive it.  This obtuse stage will end as soon as His resurrection life has its way with us.

“Tell no man. . . ”—yet so many do tell what they saw on their mount of transfiguration.  They have had the vision and they testify to it, but their life does not reveal it; the Son of man is not yet risen in them.  I wonder—when is Messiah going to be formed in us?

 

 

April 22nd—Missionary Preparations

Therefore if I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet for you, how much more should you wash one another’s feet?”  John 13:14

 

Ministering as opportunity surrounds us does not mean selecting our surroundings, it means being very selectively God’s in any apparently haphazard surroundings which He engineers for us.  The characteristics we manifest in our immediate surroundings are indications of what we will be like in other surroundings.

Many of the things that Jeshua did were of the menial and commonplace order, and this is an indication that it takes all God’s power in me to do the most commonplace things in His way.  Can I use a towel as He did?  Towels and dishes and sandals, all the ordinary things of our lives, reveal more quickly than anything else what we are made of.  It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the lowest duty as it ought to be done.

“I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15) Watch the kind of people Jehovah brings around you, and you will be humiliated to find that this is His way of revealing to you the kind of person you have been to Him.  ‘Now,’ He says, ‘exhibit to that one exactly what I have shown to you.’ “Oh,” you say, “I will do all that when I get out into the foreign field.”  To talk in this way is like trying to produce the munitions of war in the trenches—you will be killed while you are doing it.

We have to go the “second mile” with God.  Some of us get played out in the first ten meters, because God compels us to go where we cannot see the way, and we say—“I will wait until I get nearer the big crisis.”  If we will not serve our brothers and sisters in these little ways, we shall do nothing in the crisis.

 

 

April 23rd—The Deactivation of Sin—Passover

for we know that our old person was impaled with Him, that the body of sin will be destroyed, so we shall not serve sin again.”  Romans 6:6

 

Co-Impaled:  Have I made this decision about sin—that it must be killed right out in me?  It takes a long time to come to this decision about sin, but it is the great moment in my life when I do decide that just as Jeshua the Anointed died for the sin of the world, so sin must die out in me, not be curbed or suppressed or counteracted, but impaled.  No one can bring anyone else to this decision.  We may be earnestly convinced, and religiously convinced, but what we need to do is to come to the decision which Paul exposes here.

Haul yourself up, take some time alone with God, make the decision and say—“Lord, make me one with Your death, wash away my sin and deactivate my sin nature.”  But always remember: For now, it is deactivated, but we must continually choose righteousness to keep it deactivated.

It was not a divine anticipation on the part of Paul, but a very radical and definite experience.  Am I prepared to let the Spirit of God cleanse me and deactivate my disposition to sin—to destroy the thing that lusts against the Spirit of God in me?  Then if so, will I agree with God’s verdict on our sinful nature—that it should die with the death of Jeshua?  I cannot reckon myself “dead indeed unto sin” (Romans 6:11) unless I have been through this radical decision of will before God.  Have I entered into the glorious privilege of being impaled with Messiah until all that is left is the life of Messiah in my flesh and blood?  Have I been through the Passover10 with my Messiah?  “I have been impaled with the Messiah and since then it has not been I who is living, but the Messiah is living in me.” (Gal 2:20)

 

 

April 24th—Repentance

For grief because of God produces regrets of the soul which will not be reversed and repentance onto salvation; but the grief of the world produces death.”  2 Corinthians 7:10

 

Conviction of sin is well portrayed in these words—

 

“My sins, my sins,

My Saviour,

How sad on You they fall.”

 

Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a man.  It is the threshold of understanding God.  Jeshua the Anointed said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin (John 16:8), and when the Holy Spirit rouses a man’s conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that bothers him, but his relationship with God—“against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight.” (Psalm 51:4)

The marvels of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven man who is the holy man.  He proves he is forgiven by becoming the opposite of what he was, by God’s grace.  Repentance always brings a man to this point: “I have sinned against God.”  The surest sign that Jehovah is at work is when a man says that and means it.  Anything less than this is remorse for having made blunders, the reflex action of disappointment in himself.

The entrance into the Kingdom is through the intense pains of repentance tearing apart a person’s facade of goodness.  Then the Holy Spirit, who produces these agonies, begins the formation of the Son of God in our life.  The new life will manifest itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness, never the other way around.

The bedrock of Christianity is repentance.  Strictly speaking, a man cannot repent when he chooses; repentance is a gift from God.  The old Puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.”  If you ever cease to know the virtue of repentance, you are walking into darkness.  Examine yourself and see if you have forgotten how to be sorry for sin and are losing your desire to obey God.

 

 

April 25th—The Forgiveness of God

For in Him we have redemption and by His blood the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”  Ephesians 1:7

 

Beware of the pleasant view of the Fatherhood of God—God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us.  That sentiment has no place whatever in the Bible.  The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Stake of Messiah; to put forgiveness on any other basis is blasphemy.

The only basis on which God can forgive sin and reinstate us in His favour is through the Stake of the Messiah.  There is no other way.  Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony of Golgotha.  Yes, take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification with the simplicity of faith, but never forget at what enormous cost to God it was all made ours.

Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace; it cost Jehovah the Stake of Jeshua the Anointed before He could forgive sin and remain a holy God.  Never accept a view of the Fatherhood of God that blots out the Atonement.  The revelation of God is that He cannot ignore sin; He would contradict His nature if He did.  The only way we can be forgiven is by our death penalty being paid in full by Jeshua the Anointed.  God’s forgiveness is entirely supernatural and depends totally on the Atonement.

Without the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, we would have no experience of sanctification, and no hope of everlasting life.  Sanctification is the marvellous result of the forgiveness of sins in a human life, but the thing that awakens the deepest well of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven their sin.  Paul never forgot this.  When you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will rejoice in His mercy, and be embraced by the unfathomable love of God.

 

 

April 26th—His Resurrection Destiny

Was it not necessary for the Messiah to endure these things and to enter into His glory?”  Luke 24:26

 

Our Lord’s Stake is the gateway into His life: His Resurrection means that He now has authority to convey His life to me.  When I am born again from above, I receive from the Risen Lord His very life.

Our Lord’s Resurrection destiny is to bring “many children to glory.” (Heb 2:10)  The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us the sons and daughters of God.  We are never in the relationship to God that the Only Begotten Son of God is in; but we are brought by the Son into the relationship of adopted children of God.

When Our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life, to a life He did not live before He was incarnate.11  He rose as both the Son of God and the Son of Man; and His resurrection means for us that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life.  One day we shall have a body like His glorious body, but we can know now the efficacy of His resurrection and walk in newness of life.  “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.” (Phil 3:10)

As You have given Him authority over all flesh, because You have given absolutely everything to Him.  He will give everlasting life to them.” (John 17:2)  “Holy Spirit” is the Bible name for God’s Eternal Life working in human beings here and now.  The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit, who lives within us and applies the Atonement to us.

Thank God it is gloriously and majestically true that the Holy Spirit can work into us the very nature of Jeshua if we will obey Him.

 

 

April 27th—New Spiritual OrderWave Sheaf Offering

For if we have been planted with Him in the likeness of His death, in this way we shall also be in His resurrection,”  Romans 6:5

 

Co-Resurrection:  The proof that I have been impaled with Jeshua is that I have turned away from sin.  Now I rejoice in obeying God’s Instructions and delight in His Holy Days.  The incoming of the Spirit of Jeshua transforms my personal life with Jehovah.  The resurrection of Jeshua has given Him authority to impart the life of God to me, and my new life must be constructed on the basis of His life.  I can have the resurrection life of Jeshua living in me now, and it will show itself in holiness.

The idea all through the apostle Paul’s writings is that after the decision to be immersed into Jeshua’s death has been made, the resurrection life of Jeshua invades every bit of my human nature.  It takes omnipotence to live the life of the Son of God in mortal flesh.  The Holy Spirit cannot be allocated as a Guest in a house, He occupies everything.12

When I agree that my “old man” (i.e., my sinful nature) should be destroyed by the death of Jeshua, then the Holy Spirit enters me.  He takes charge of everything.  My part is to walk in the light and to obey all that he reveals.  When I have made this decision about sin, it is easy to reckon that I am actually dead unto sin, because I find the life of Jeshua is inside me all the time.

Just as there is only one stamp of humanity, so there is only one stamp of the holiness of Jeshua, and it is His holiness that is gifted to me.  Jehovah puts the holiness of His Son into me, and I belong to God’s Kingdom spiritually.

 

 

April 28th—Death Has No Dominion

But if we died with the Anointed, we believe that we shall also live with the Anointed, knowing that the Anointed, having been raised from the house of the dead, dies no more.  Death has no further dominion over Him.  For when He died, He died to sin once for all; but now that He lives, He lives to God.  So you also, count yourselves as dead to sin, and you are alive to God in our Lord and Messiah, Jeshua.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your dead body, to obey it in its lusts.”  Romans 6:8-12

 

Everlasting Life:  Everlasting life was the gift which our Lord, Jeshua the Anointed secured for us on the Stake, and it is the same life, not a copy of it, which is manifested in our mortal flesh when we are being born of God.  Everlasting life is Jehovah God great Gift to us.  The life and the power which was manifested in Jeshua will be manifested in us by the sheer sovereign grace of God once we have made our decision to become free from sin.

“You shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13)—not power as a gift from the Holy Spirit; the power is the Holy Spirit, not something which He imparts.  The life that was in Jeshua is made ours by means of His Resurrection.

On the day after He rose, Jeshua went to the Father as the Firstfruit sheaf of God’s harvest from humanity (John 20:17, 1 Cor 15:20-23, Lev 23:10-12).

If it is difficult to get right with Jehovah, it is because we have not decided definitely about removing sin from our lives.  As soon as we do decide, the full life of God comes in.  Jeshua came to give us endless supplies of life: “that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:19)  Everlasting Life begins with the life which Jeshua showed us when He was down here.  The only source of Life for us is through our Lord Jeshua, the Anointed.  The weakest saint can experience the power of the Deity of the Son of God if he is willing to embrace the righteousness of the Messiah.

Any strand of our own wilfulness will blur the life of Jeshua.  We have to keep letting go, and slowly and surely the great and full life of God will transform every part of us, and men will recognize that we have been with Jeshua.

 

 

April 29th—Have I Seen Him?

After that, He appeared to two of them in another form as they walked”  Mark 16:12

 

Being saved and seeing Jeshua are not the same thing.  Many partakers of God’s grace have never seen Jeshua.  Once you have seen Jeshua, you can never be the same: other things do not appeal as they used to do.

Always distinguish between what you see Jeshua to be, and what He has done for you.  If you only know what He has done for you, you have much more to learn; but if you have had a vision of Jeshua as He is, experiences can come and go; you will endure “as seeing Him Who is invisible.” (Heb 11:27)

The man blind from his birth did not know who Jeshua was until He appeared and revealed Himself to him.  Jeshua appears to those for whom He has done something; but we cannot dictate when He will come.  Suddenlyat any turnHe may come.  “Now I see Him!” (John 9:25)

Jeshua must appear to your friend as well as to you, for no one else can see Jeshua with your eyes.  You cannot bring your friend unless God brings him.  Have you seen Jeshua?  Then you will want others to see Him too.  “And they went and told it unto the rest, but they did not believe them.” (Luke 24:11)  You must tell all, though they may not believe.

 

“O could I tell, you surely would believe it!

O could I only say what I have seen!

How should I tell or how can you receive it,

How, til He brings you where I have been?”

 

 

April 30th—Receiving One’s Self in the Fires of Sorrow

Behold, now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say?  ‘My Father, deliver Me from this hour’?  Instead, for this, I came for this hour.  Father, glorify Your Name.”  John 12:27-28

 

My attitude as a saint towards sorrow and difficulty is not to ask that they may be prevented, but to ask that I may become the new person Jehovah is creating in me through every fire of sorrow.  Jehovah received our Lord in the fire of sorrow, He was not saved from the hour, but became perfect through enduring the hour (Heb 5:5-10).13

We wish that there was no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to refine ourselves in its fires.  If we try and evade sorrow, refuse to make our account with it, we are foolish.  Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life; there is no use saying sorrow ought not to be.  Sin and sorrow and suffering exist, and we must accept that Jehovah has not made a mistake in allowing them.  Our comfort is that one day Our Father will bring all sorrows to an end (Rev 21:4).

Sorrow burns away a great amount of shallowness, but it does not always make a man better.  Suffering either refines me or consumes me.  You cannot refine yourself in success, you lose your head; you cannot refine yourself in monotony, you complain.  The way to be refined is by God in the fires of sorrow.

Why it should be so is another matter, but that it is so is true in the Scriptures and in human experience.  You always know the man who has been through the fires of sorrow and received Jeshua the Anointed.  You are certain you can go to him in trouble and find that he has ample time for you.

If a man has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, he has no time for you.  If you allow God to refine you in the fires of sorrow, He will make you a shepherd for other people.

 

 

May 1st—Faith, Not Sight

For we walk by faith, and not by sight.”  2 Corinthians 5:7

 

For a time we are conscious of God’s attentions, then, when God begins to use us in His enterprises, we can take on a pathetic look and talk of the trials and the difficulties, and all that time God is trying to make us do our duty as humble people.  None of us would be humble spiritually if we could help it.  Can we do our duty when Jehovah has shut up heaven?  Some of us always want to be seen as illuminated saints with golden haloes and the flush of inspiration, and to have the saints of God dealing with us all the time.

A gilt-edged saint is no good: he is abnormal, unfit for daily life, and altogether unlike Jeshua.  We are here as men and women, not as half-fledged representatives, to do the work of the world, and to do it with an infinitely greater power to withstand the turmoil because we are being born from above.

If we try to reintroduce the rare moments of inspiration, it is a sign that it is not God we want.  We are making a fetish of the moments when God did come and speak to us, and insisting that He must do it again; whereas what God wants us to do is to “walk by faith.”  How many of us have laid ourselves by, as it were, and said—“I cannot do any more until God appears to me.”  He is not ours to command, and without any further inspiration, without any sudden touch from God, we will have to get on with it.

Then comes the surprise—“Why, He was here all the time, and I never knew it!”  Do not live only for the rare moments, though they are special gifts.  Jehovah will give us touches of inspiration when He sees we are not in danger of being led away by them.  We must never make our moments of inspiration our standard; our standard is doing our duty.

 

 

May 2nd—The Passion of Patience

Though it lingers, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not be hindered.”  Habakkuk 2:3

 

Patience is not indifference; patience conveys the idea of an immensely strong rock withstanding all onslaughts.  The vision of God is the source of patience, because it imparts moral inspiration.  Moses endured, not only because he had an ideal of right and duty, but because he had a vision of God.  He “endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Heb 11:27)

A man with the vision of God is not devoted to a cause or to any particular issue; he is devoted to Jehovah Himself.  You always know when the vision is from God because of the inspiration that comes with it; things come with largeness and tonic to our life because everything is energized by God.  If God gives you a time spiritually, as He gave His Son literally, of temptation in the wilderness, with no word from Him at all; endure, and the power to endure is there because you have God’s Spirit within you.

“Though it lingers, wait for it.”  God promises us that the vision of the future that He gives us in His Word will surely come.  “What shall I return to Jehovah?”  asked the Psalmist.  “I will lift up the cup of salvation.” (Psalm 116:12-13)  We are apt to look for satisfaction in ourselves—“Now I have got the thing; now I am entirely sanctified; now I can endure.”  Instantly we are on the road to ruin.  Our goals must be built on God’s Promises.  “Not that I have already received it, or that I am already perfect; but I run on, that perhaps I may obtain that which Messiah Jeshua has obtained for me.” (Phil 3:12)

If we have only what we have experienced, we have little of value; if we have the inspiration of our God’s vision, we have more than we can experience.  Beware of the danger of nodding off to sleep spiritually.

 

 

May 3rd—Effective Intercession

Pray always and desire always in all prayers that you will be in Him in the Spirit, watching constantly while you pray and make supplication for the sake of all the saints.”  Ephesians 6:18

 

As we go on in intercession we may find that our obedience to God is going to cost other people more than we thought.  The danger then is to begin to intercede in sympathy with those who God was gradually lifting to a totally different sphere in answer to our prayers.  Whenever we step back from harmony with God’s interest in others and only into sympathy with them, the vital connection with God has gone.  We have put our sympathy, our worldly consideration for them in the way, and this is actually a rebuke to God.

It is impossible to intercede effectively unless we are perfectly sure of God, and the greatest dissipaters of our relationship to God are our personal sympathy and personal prejudice.  Identification is the key to intercession, and when we stop identifying with God, we stop interceding correctly.  It is not only sin that interferes with our relationship to God, but misplaced sympathy too—sympathy with ourselves or with others which makes us say—“I will not allow that thing to happen.”  Instantly we have broken our vital connection with Jehovah.  Intercession leaves you neither time nor inclination to pray for your own “sad sweet self.”  The thought of yourself is kept out because it is not necessary there; you are completely and entirely identified with God’s interests in other lives.

Always remember: Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to fault finding.

 

 

May 4th—The Divine Rule of Life

Therefore you should be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  Matthew 5:48

 

Our Lord Jeshua’s exhortation in these verses is to be generous in our behaviour to all people.  In the spiritual life, beware of walking according to your natural affinities.  Everyone has natural affinities; some people we like and others we do not like.  We must never let those likes and dislikes rule in our Christian life.  “If we walk in the light as He is in the light,” (1 John 1:7) Jehovah will give us communion with people for whom we have no natural affinity.

The example Our Saviour gives us is not that of a good man, nor even of a good Christian, but of God Himself.  “Therefore you shall be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  Show to that man what God has shown to you; and God will give us ample opportunities in actual life to prove whether we are perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.  To be a disciple means that we deliberately identify ourselves with God’s interests in other people.  “That you love one another; as I have loved you. . . ” (John 13:34)

The expression of Christian character is not only doing good, but becoming like God.  If the Spirit of Jehovah is transforming you within, you will start exhibiting Divine characteristics in your life, not merely good human characteristics.

God’s spirit in us expresses itself as God’s life, not as human life trying to be godly.  The secret of a Christian is that the supernatural is made part of him by the grace of God, and the expression of this works out in the practical details of life, not just in times of communion with God.  When we come in contact with things that create a buzz, we find to our amazement that we have the power to keep wonderfully poised in the midst of it all.

 

 

May 5th—Judgment on the Abyss of Love

For it is time for the judgement to begin from the House of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who are not convinced by the Good News of God?”  1 Peter 4:17

 

A Christian must never forget that salvation is God’s creation, not man’s.  Jehovah God’s plan for salvation precedes and underlies our entire universe (1 Pet 1:17-21).  Experience is only a gateway by which salvation comes into our conscious life.  Never get caught up on the experience; preach the great Plan of God which is behind everything.  When we preach we are not only proclaiming how man can be saved from Death and be made moral and pure; we are conveying good news about God.

In the teachings of Jeshua the Anointed the element of judgment is always brought out; it is the sign of God’s love.  Never sympathize with a soul who finds it difficult to get to God.  Jehovah is not to blame.  It is not our task to find out the reason why it is difficult for them, but to present the truth of God clearly; then the Spirit of God will reveal what is wrong to them.  The great sterling test in preaching is that it brings everyone into judgment.  The Spirit of God exposes each person to them-self.  If Jeshua ever gave us a command He could not enable us to fulfil, He would be a liar; and if we make our inability a barrier to obedience, it means we are telling God that He is not perfect: there is something He has not taken into account.

Every element of self-reliance must be slain by the power of God.  Complete submission and dependence on Jehovah’s Holy Spirit will always provide the occasion for God to manifest His power.

 

 

May 6th—Liberty on the Depth of the Good News

Therefore stand in the liberty by which the Anointed has made us free, and do not be bound again in a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1

 

A spiritually minded man will never come to you with the demand—“Believe this and that;” but with the demand that you square your life with the standards of Jeshua.  We are not asked to believe the Bible alone, but to believe the One Who the Bible reveals (cf. John 5:39-40).  We are called to present freedom from sin, not liberty of view.  If we have been set free through the salvation of the Messiah, others will be brought into that same freedom—the joy of release from the burden of our sins given by Jeshua the Anointed.

Always keep your life measured by the standards of Jeshua.  Bow your neck to His yoke alone, and to no other yoke whatever; and be careful to see that you never bind a yoke on others that is not required by Jeshua the Anointed.  It takes Jehovah a long time to get us out of the way of thinking that unless others see things as we do, they must be wrong.

There is only one freedom, the freedom of Jeshua at work in our conscience, enabling us to do what is right.  Don’t get impatient, remember how God dealt with you—with patience and with gentleness; but never water down the truth of God.  Let it have its way and never apologize for it.  Jeshua said, “Go and make disciples,” not “make converts to your opinions.”

 

 

May 7th—Building for Eternity

For who among you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and think about the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”  Luke 14:28

 

Though our Lord refers to a cost we have to count, there is also a cost which He has counted.  His cost was those thirty years in Nazareth, those three and a half years of minstry, scandal and hatred, the deep unfathomable agony in Gethsemane, and the deadly onslaught at Golgotha—the pivot upon which the whole of Time and Eternity turns.  Jeshua the Anointed has counted the cost and paid the price in full.  Men are not going to laugh at Him at last and say—“This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”  The conditions of discipleship laid down by Our Lord in vs 26, 27 and 33 mean that the men and women He is going to use in His mighty building enterprises are those in whom He has done everything.

“He who comes to Me and does not hate his father and his mother and his brothers and his sisters and his wife and his children, and even his own soul, is not able to be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)  Our Lord means that the only men and women He will use in His enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of their closest ties on earth.  The conditions are stern, but they are glorious.

All that we build is going to be inspected by God.  Is Jehovah going to detect in his searching fire that we have built on the foundation of Jeshua some enterprise of our own?  These are days of tremendous enterprises, days when we are trying to work for God, and therein is the snare.  If we lose focus on God, are we really working for God?

Jeshua takes us over for His enterprises, His building schemes entirely, and no human has the right or wisdom to declare where he shall be put.

 

 

May 8th—God’s Say-so

Lord Jah has said. . . .  so  we can confidently say. . . ”  Hebrews 13:5-6

 

My say-so is to be built on God’s say-so.  God says—“I will not leave you.” (John 14:18)  Then I can with good courage say—“Jehovah is on my side, I will not fear.  What can man do to me?” (Psm 118:6, Heb 13:6)—I will not be haunted by apprehension.  This does not mean that I will not be tempted to fear, but I will remember God’s say-so and reject fear.

I will be full of courage, like a child “bucking himself up” to reach the standard his father wants.  The faith of many falters when the apprehensions come.  They forget the meaning of God’s say-so, forget to take a deep breath spiritually.  The only way to get the dread taken out of us is to believe God’s say-so.

What are you dreading?  You are not a coward about it, you are going to face it, but there is a feeling of dread.  When there appears to be nothing and no one to help you, say—“But Jehovah is on my side, this second, in my present situation.”

Are you learning to say things after listening to God, or are you saying things and trying to make God’s Word fit in?  Get hold of the Father’s say-so, and then say with good courage—“I will not fear.”  It does not matter what evil or wrong may be in the way, He has said—“I will never leave you.”

Frailty is another thing that gets in between God’s say-so and ours.  When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become like giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God is forgotten.  Remember God’s say-so—“I will in no way fail you.”

Have we learned to sing after hearing God’s key note?  Are we always possessed with the courage to say—“Jehovah is on my side,”  or are we succumbing?

 

 

May 9th—The Patience of Faith

Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the trial which is coming upon the whole world, to test all the inhabitants of the earth.”  Revelation 3:10

 

Patience is more than endurance.  A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer.  God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches the bow, and every now and again the saint says—“I cannot stand any more.”  God does not heed, He goes on stretching until his purpose is in sight, then He lets fly.  Trust yourself in God’s hands.  And what need of patience have you just now?

Maintain your relationship to Jeshua the Anointed by the patience of faith.  “Though He slay me, I will still trust Him.” (Job 13:15)  Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust vigorous confidence built on the fact that your God is holy love.  Perhaps you cannot see Him just now, you may not understand what he is doing, but you know Him.  Shipwreck occurs where there is not that mental poise which comes from being established on the eternal truth that Jehovah God is holy love.

Faith is the heroic effort of your life; you fling yourself into it with fearless confidence in God.  Our Father God has ventured all in choosing Jeshua, His Anointed, to save us.  Now He wants us to venture our all in surrendered confidence in Him.  There are spots where that faith has not been worked in us as yet, places untouched by the life of God.  There were none of those spots in His Son Jeshua’s life, and there are to be none in ours.  “This is eternal life, that they might know You.” (John 17:3)

The real glory of everlasting life is a life that can face anything it comes against without wavering.  If we take this view, life becomes one great romance, a glorious opportunity for seeing marvellous things all the time.  God is disciplining us to get us into this central place of power.

 

 

May 10th—Take the Initiative

God gave great and precious promises to you, that through these you will be partakers of the divine nature when you flee from the corrupt desires that are in the world.  But there is also this; when you diligently do all, add onto your faith virtue, and onto virtue knowledge,”  2 Peter 1:4-5

 

“Add” means there is something we have to do.  We must remember that we cannot do what Jehovah does, and that Jehovah will not do what we should do.  We cannot save ourselves nor sanctify ourselves, God does that; but God will not give us good habits, He will not give us character, He will not force us to walk aright.  We have to do all that ourselves.  We have to work out the salvation which God has worked in.

“Add” means to get into the habit of doing the right things, and in the initial stages it is difficult.  To take the initiative is to make a beginning, to direct yourself in the way you have to go.  Beware of the tendency to ask the way when you know it perfectly well.  Stop hesitating, take the initiative, and make the first step.  Be resolute when Jehovah God speaks, act in faith immediately on what He says, and do not turn back from your decisions.  If you hesitate when God tells you to do a thing, you endanger your standing in grace.

Take the initiative, take it yourself, take the step with your will now, make it impossible to go back.  Burn your bridges behind you—“I will write that letter”; “I will pay that debt.”  Make the thing inevitable.  We have to get into the habit of hearkening to God about everything, to form the habit of finding out what God says and acting on it.  If when a crisis comes, we instinctively turn to God, we know that the habit is being formed.

We have to take the initiative where we are: we cannot take it where we are not.

 

 

May 11th—You Won’t Reach it on Tiptoe

Add. . .  onto knowledge perseverance, and onto perseverance patience, and onto patience reverence for God, and onto reverence for God concern for the brethren, and onto concern for the brethren, add love.”  2 Peter 1:6-7

 

Love is indefinite to most of us.  We do not know what we mean when we talk about love.  Love is the sovereign preference of one person for another, and spiritually Jeshua demands that our preference be for Him (cf Luke 14:26).

When the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Jeshua the Anointed and His Father are easily first; then we must practise the working out of these things mentioned by Peter.  The first thing God does is to knock pretence and the pious pose right out of me.

The Holy Spirit reveals that Jehovah loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so.  Now, He says to me, show the same love to others—“Love. . .  as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)  “I will bring any number of people about you who you do not respect, and you must exhibit My love to them just as I have exhibited it to you.”  You won’t reach it on tiptoe.  Some of us have tried to, but we were soon tired.

“Love suffers long and is kind. . . ” (1 Cor 13:4)  Let me look within and see His dealings with me.  The knowledge that God has loved me to the uttermost, beyond the end of all my sin and meanness and selfishness and wrong, will send me forth into the world to love in the same way.  God’s love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God’s love to me.

Growth in grace stops the moment I get annoyed.  I get annoyed because I am a peculiar person to live with.  Just think how disagreeable I have been to God!  Am I prepared to be so identified with the Lord Jeshua that His life and His sweetness are being poured out through me all the time?

Neither natural love nor Divine love will remain unless it is cultivated.  Love arises spontaneously, but it has to be maintained by discipline.

 

 

May 12th—Make a Habit of Having No Habits

For when you are found with these things and abound, they will not be empty nor unfruitful, for they establish you in the teachings of our Anointed Lord Jeshua.”  2 Peter 1:8

 

When we begin to form a habit we are conscious of it.  There are times when we are conscious of becoming virtuous and patient and godly, but it is only a stage.  If we stop there we shall get the strut of the spiritual snob.  The right thing to do with habits is to lose them in the life of the Lord, until every habit is so practised that there is no conscious habit at all.

Our spiritual life continually resolves into introspection because there are some qualities we have not added as yet.  Ultimately the relationship is to be a completely simple one.  Your god may be your little Christian habit, the habit of prayer or Bible reading at stated times.  Prayer and Bible study are essential, but watch how your Father will upset those times if you begin to worship your habit instead of loving what the habit symbolizes—I can’t do that just now, I am praying; it is my hour with God.  No, it is your hour with your habit.  There is a quality that is lacking in you.  Recognize the defect and then look for the opportunity of exercising yourself along the line of the quality to be added.

Love means that there is no habit visible.  You have come to the place where the habit is lost, and by practice you do the thing unconsciously.  If you are consciously holy, there are certain things you imagine you cannot do, certain relationships in which you are far from simple; that means there is something to be added.  The only worthwhile supernatural life is the life the Lord Jeshua lived, and He was at home with Jehovah anywhere.

Is there anywhere where you are not at home with God?  Let Jehovah press through in that particular circumstance until you gain Him, and life becomes like the simple life of a child.

 

 

May 13th—The Habit of a Good Conscience

Because of this, I also labour, that my conscience may always be pure before God and before the children of men.”  Acts 24:16

 

Jehovah’s commands are given to the life of His Son in us, consequently to our new nature which has been formed by His Son.  His commands may be difficult, but when we obey they immediately become divinely easy.

Conscience is that faculty in me which identifies the highest goals that I know, and tells me what these highest goals I know demand that I do.  It is the eye of the soul which looks towards God.  If I am in the habit of steadily placing myself before God, my conscience will always introduce God’s perfect Instructions and indicate what I should do.  The point is, will I obey?

I have to make an effort to keep my conscience so sensitive that I walk without offence.  I should be living in such perfect harmony with God’s Son, that in every circumstance the spirit of my mind is renewed, and I understand at once “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom 12:2)

God always educates us up to the scruple.  Is my ear so keen to hear the tiniest whisper of the Spirit that I know what I should do?  “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.” (Eph 4:30)  He does not come with a voice like thunder; His voice is so gentle that it is easy to ignore it.  

The one thing that keeps the conscience sensitive to Him is the continual habit of being open to God on the inside.  When there is any debate, quit.  “Why shouldn’t I do this?”  You are on the wrong track.  Never search for reasons to ignore God.  There is no debate possible when your conscience speaks.

At your peril, you allow even one thing to obscure your inner communion with God.  Drop it, whatever it is, and see that you keep your inner vision clear.

 

 

May 14th—The Habit of Enjoying the Disagreeable

All the time we bear the dying of Jeshua in our bodies, that the life of Jeshua may also be revealed in our bodies.”  2 Corinthians 4:10

 

We have to form habits to express what God’s grace has done in us.  It is not only a question of being saved from the Lake of Fire, but of being saved in order to manifest the life of the Son of God in our mortal flesh.  It is the disagreeable things which make us exhibit whether or not we are manifesting His life.

Do I manifest the essential sweetness of the Son of God, or the essential irritation of “myself” apart from Him?  The only thing that will enable me to enjoy the disagreeable is the keen enthusiasm of letting the life of the Son of God manifest itself in me.  No matter how disagreeable a thing may be, say—“My Lord, I am delighted to obey You in this matter,”  and instantly the Son of God will press to the front, and there will be manifested in my life that which glorifies Jeshua.  There must be no debate.  The moment you obey the light, the Son of God presses through you in that particular; but if you debate you grieve the Spirit of God (Eph 4:30).

You must keep yourself fit to let the life of the Son of God be manifested, and you cannot keep yourself fit if you give way to self-pity.  Our circumstances are the means of manifesting how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure the Son of God is.  The thing that ought to make our heart beat is a new way of manifesting the Son of God.  It is one thing to choose the disagreeable, and another thing to go into the disagreeable by God’s engineering.  If Jehovah puts you there, He is amply sufficient to help you.

Keep your soul fit to manifest the life of the Son of God.  Never live on memories; let the Word of God be always living and active in you.

 

 

May 15th—The Habit of Rising to the Occasion

and that the eyes of your hearts will be enlightened; that you will know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,”  Ephesians 1:18

 

Remember what you are saved for, and let the Son of God be manifested in your mortal flesh.  Bend the whole energy of your powers to realize your election as a child of God; rise to the occasion every time.  You cannot do anything to earn your salvation, but you must do something to manifest it.  You must work out what God has worked in.  Are you working it out with your tongue and your brain and your nerves?  If you are still in the same miserable quicksand and set on your own way, then it is a lie to say that God has saved and sanctified you.

Jehovah is the Master Engineer.  He allows the difficulties to come in order to help you learn to vault over them properly—“By my God have I leaped over a wall.” (Psalm 18:29)  God will never shield you from any of the requirements of a son or daughter of His.  Peter says—“Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you.” (1 Peter 4:12)  Rise to the occasion; do the thing.  It does not matter how it hurts as long as it gives God the chance to manifest Himself in your mortal flesh.

May God not find the whine in us any more, but may He find us full of spiritual pluck and athleticism, ready to face anything He brings.  We have to exercise ourselves in order that the Son of God may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  God is not building a museum.

The great aim of life is that the Son of God may be manifested, and all dictation to God vanishes.  Our Lord does not dictate to His Father, and we are not here to dictate to God.  We are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants.  When we realize this, He will use us to lead others to His broken body and poured-out blood so He can feed and nourish them.

 

 

May 16th—The Habit of Wealth

who gave great and precious promises to you, that through these you will be partakers of the divine nature when you flee from the corrupt desires that are in the world.”  2 Peter 1:4

 

We are made partakers of the Divine nature through these promises; then we have to nurture the Divine nature in us by habits, and the first habit to form is the habit of realizing the provision God has made.  “Oh, I can’t afford it,” we say—one of the worst lies is tucked up in that phrase.  It is ungovernably bad taste to talk about money in the natural domain, and so it is spiritually, and yet we talk as if our Heavenly Father had cut us off with a shilling!  We think it a sign of real modesty to say at the end of a day—“Oh, well, I have just got through, but it has been a severe tussle.”  But everything that Almighty God has is ours in the Lord Jeshua!  He will use even the last grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us if we will obey Him.

What does it matter if external circumstances are hard?  Why should they not be!  If we give way to self-pity and indulge in the luxury of misery, we banish God’s riches from our own lives and hinder others from entering into His provision.  No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it obliterates God and puts self-interest upon the throne.  It opens our mouths to spit out mutterings and we become cowardly spiritual sponges.  Where is the divine nature in this?

As God transforms us, He will impoverish everything in the nature of so-called wealth, until we learn that all our fresh springs are in Him (Psm 87:7).  If the majesty and grace and power of God are not being manifested in us, God holds us responsible.  “God is able to make all grace abound,” (2 Cor 9:8)

Then learn to lavish the grace of God on others.  Be stamped with God’s nature, and His blessing will flow through you all the time.

 

 

May 17th—His Ascension and Our Union

Now it happened, while He blessed them, that He was separated from them and ascended into heaven.”  Luke 24:51

 

We have no corresponding experience to the events in Our Lord’s life after the Transfiguration.  From then onwards, Our Lord’s life was altogether vicarious—Gethsemane, the Stake, the Resurrection—everything is unfamiliar to us.  His Stake is the door by which every member of the human race can enter into the life of God; by his Resurrection He has the right to give everlasting life to any person, and by his Ascension Our Lord enters heaven and keeps the door open for humanity.  On the Mount of Ascension the Transfiguration is completed.

If Jeshua had gone to heaven from the Mount of Transfiguration, He would have gone alone; He would have been nothing more to us than a glorious Figure.  But He turned his back on the glory, and came down from the Mount to commit Himself to fallen humanity.

The Ascension is the consummation of the Transfiguration.  Our Lord does now go back into His primal glory; but He does not go back simply as The Son of God.  He goes back to Jehovah as Son of Man as well as Son of God.  There is now freedom of access for anyone straight to the very throne of God by the Ascension of the Son of Man.  As Son of Man, Jeshua the Anointed had deliberately limited omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience in Himself.  Now they are His in absolute full power.  As Son of Man Jeshua the Anointed has been granted all power at the throne of God.  He is King of kings and Lord of lords from the day of His Ascension until the White Throne Judgement (1 Cor 15:20-28, Rev 17:14, 20:11).

 

 

May 18th—Careful Unreasonableness

Behold the birds in heaven; they do not sow nor reap and they do not gather into barns; yet your Father who is in heaven feeds them.  Are you not greater than they?  Who among you can add one cubit to his stature by worrying?  So why are you worrying about clothing?  Consider the lilies in the wild, how they grow without toil and without spinning; and yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these.”  Matthew 6:26-29

 

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, how beautiful they are!  Think of the land, the sea, the air, the sun and the moon—all of these are necessary for life, and what a ministration they exert.  So often we mar God’s designed influence through us by our self-directed effort to be consistent and useful.

Jeshua says that there is only one way to develop spiritually, and that is by concentrating on Jehovah.  “Do not worry about being of use to others; believe in Me”—pay attention to the Source, and out of you will flow rivers of living water.  We cannot get at the springs of divine life by common sense, and Jeshua is teaching that growth in spiritual life does not depend on our worldly concerns, but through being focused on our Father in heaven.

Our heavenly Father knows the circumstances we are in, and if we keep concentrating on Him we will be as wonderfully clothed spiritually as the lilies are physically.

The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk at us, but those who live their lives like the birds in heaven and the lilies in the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly.  Those are the lives that mould us.  If you want to be useful to God, get rightly related to Jeshua the Messiah and He will make you of use every minute you live.

 

 

May 19th—Out of the Wreck I Rise

What can separate me from the love of the Anointed?”  Romans 8:35

 

God does not keep a man immune from trouble.  He says—“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.” (Psm 91:15)  It does not matter what actual troubles get hold of a disciple’s life, not one of them can separate him from his relationship to Jehovah.  “Yet in all these things we are conquerors through Him who loves us” (vs 37)  Paul is not talking of imaginary things, but of things that are desperately real.  He says we are victors in the midst of them, not by our ingenuity, nor by our courage, nor by anything other than the fact that not one of them affects our relationship to God in Jeshua the Anointed.  We are where we are, exactly in the situation that Jehovah has placed us in.

I am sorry for the Christian who does not have something in their circumstances they wish was not there.  “Shall tribulation. . . ?” (Vs 35)  Tribulation is never a noble thing; but let tribulation be what it may—exhausting, galling, lethal: it is not able to separate us from the love of God.  Never let cares or tribulations separate you from the fact that Jehovah loves you.  “Shall anguish. . .  ?”—can God’s love hold when everything seems to say that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice?  “Shall famine. . . ?”—can we not only believe in the love of God but be more than conquerors, even while we are being starved?

Either Jeshua is a deceiver and Paul is deluded, or some extraordinary thing happens to a person who holds on to the love of God when the odds are all against God’s character.  Logic is silenced in the face of every one of these things.  Only one thing can account for it—the love of God in Messiah Jeshua.

“Out of the wreck I rise”every time.

 

 

May 20th—Distinctively Made

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and distinctively made; marvellous are Your works, and my soul knows that very well.”  Psm 139:14

 

When a person is being transformed, there are times when we realise that things we once believed are clearly not true.  We have to adapt to our new life, to form the mind of Messiah.  “And by your patience you will gain your souls” (Luke 21:19).  Our former non-Christian ideas must be removed and replaced if we are going to construct an integrated being in accordance with the new life God has put within us.  Can we reject God’s account of His Creation and still claim that we believe Him (Genesis 1, Mark 10:6, John 1:1-3, John 3:12)?  Jeshua says we cannot.

The beautiful thing here is that the more we learn about how distinctively we are made, the more impossible and absurd the materialistic claims become.  One fundamental thing is that there are three involved in our conception: our mother provides the egg, our father fertilises it with his sperm and our God makes the fertile egg into us by providing our spirit.  Without the spirit, it would quickly die (Zec 12:1, Ecc 12:7).

The atheists once arrogantly asserted that as embryos we follow through our evolutionary origins.  This is now known to be false and was based on deliberately deceptive drawings.  Their allied claim that we contain now useless vestigial organs from earlier organisms was based entirely on their ignorance, and all of these organs are fully functional and valuable.  Early work on DNA and genetics allowed them to assume that most of our DNA is useless junk, again supposedly left over from earlier and simpler organisms.  This claim has also been thoroughly discredited as it is now known that virtually all of our DNA is actively being used.  Much of it is used to control our growth from a single cell into a complex adult containing 3.7 x 1013 cells and to fine-tune our internal environment to keep us healthy.  We now know that every living cell is full of a stunning array of complex nanomachines which process matter on an atom by atom basis.  No evolutionist has yet come up with a plausible scenario to explain where the information for even one of these machines came from, let alone the thousands needed to keep a cell alive.14

Remember!  We believe in Jehovah God, who created us to become His children.  He teaches us how to live in an honourable way that brings joy to us, to those around us and to Him.  And He promises us that we will be transformed and live with Him for eternity in Paradise.  In contrast, atheists believe that this world came into existence by an accident, life has evolved through billions of meaningless accidents, they are so wise they can decide what is right and wrong, but yet their lives are ultimately meaningless and they totally perish when they die.

The more we learn about the purity of God’s Creation, His Law and His Promises, the more pitiful becomes the so-called freedom of the fallen world we currently live in.

 

 

May 21st—Divine Reasonings of Faith

So seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:33

 

As soon as we examine these words of Jeshua, we find they are the most revolutionary statement human ears ever heard.  “Seek first the kingdom of God.”  We argue in exactly the opposite way, even the more spiritually minded of us—“But I must live; I must make this much money; I must be clothed; I must be fed.”  This reveals that the great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God, but how we are to provide for ourselves.  Jeshua reverses the order: Get rightly related to God first, maintain that as the great care of your life, and never put the concern of your care on the other things.  “You should not worry about your soul. . . .” (Mat 6:25)

Our Lord points out the utter unreasonableness from His standpoint of being so anxious over the means of living.  Jeshua is not saying that the man who thinks about nothing is blessed—that man is a fool.  Jeshua teaches that a disciple has to make his relationship to Jehovah the dominating focus of his life, and to be carefully careless about everything else in comparison to that.  Jeshua says—“So seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mat 6:33)

Some people are totally careless about what they eat and drink, and their health suffers for it.  They are careless about what they wear, and they look as if they care about nothing.  They are careless about their earthly affairs, and forget that Jehovah holds them responsible.

Jeshua says that the great care of our life is to put our relationship to God first, and everything else second.  It is one of the severest disciplines of the Christian life to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into harmony with the teaching of Jeshua in these verses.

 

 

May 22nd—Now This Explains It

that they will all be one, just as You, My Father, are in Me, and I am in You; so that they also will be one in Us.”  John 17:21

 

If you are going through a solitary time, read John 17.  It will explain exactly why you are where you are—Jeshua has prayed that you may be one with the Father as He is.  Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or have you some other end for your life?

Since you became a disciple you cannot be as independent as you used to be.  The purpose of God is not always to answer our prayers, but through our prayers we learn to discern the mind of God, and this is revealed in John 17.  There is one prayer our God will answer, and that is the prayer of Jeshua—“that they will be one as We are one” (vs 22)

Are we as close to Jeshua the Anointed as that?  Jehovah is not constrained by our plans.  He does not say—‘Do you want to go through this bereavement; this upset?’  He allows these things for His own purpose.  The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, nobler men and women; or they are making us more argumentative and fault-finding, more insistent upon our own way.

The things that happen either make us saints or they make us fiends.  It depends entirely upon the relationship we have with God.  If we say—“Your will be done,” we get the consolation of John 17, the consolation of knowing that our Father is working according to His infinite wisdom.  When we understand that everything God does is for our ultimate good, we will not get mean and cynical (Deu 6:24).

Jeshua has prayed for nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Him as He is one with our Father.  Some of us are far from it, and yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him, because Jeshua has prayed that we will be.

 

 

May 23rd—Careful Unfaithfulness

I say to you, you should not worry about your soul, what you will eat and what you will drink; nor about what you will wear on your body.  Is not the soul more than food and the body more than clothing?”  Matthew 6:25

 

Jeshua sums up common-sense carefulness in a disciple as unfaithfulness.  If we have received the Spirit of God, He will press through and say—‘Now where does God come in this relationship, in this mapped-out holiday, in these new books?’  He always presses the point until we learn to make Him our first consideration.

Whenever we put other things first, there is confusion.  “you should not worry . . . ”  don’t take the pressure of forethought upon yourself.  It is not only wrong to worry, it is unfaithfulness, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is often these things that worry us.  Have you ever noticed what Jeshua said would choke the word He puts in?  It is the cares of this world (Mark 4:19).  It is the little worries.  I will not trust where I cannot see, that is where unfaithfulness begins.  The only cure for unfaithfulness is submission to Jehovah’s Spirit.

The great word of Jeshua to His disciples is obedience.  Obey Him, and let Him provide your necessities.

 

 

May 24th—The Delight of Despair

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead.  But He laid His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; for I am the First and the Last, and I am He who lived, and He who died, and behold, I am alive forever and ever.  Amen.  And the keys of Death and of Sheol are mine.”  Revelation 1:17

 

It may be that youlike the apostle Johnknow Jeshua the Anointed intimately.  But suddenly He appears with no familiar characteristic at all, and the only thing you can do is to fall at His feet as if dead.  There are times when Jeshua reveals Himself in His majesty, and it is the awesomeness of the vision which brings you to the delight of despair; if you are ever to be raised up, it must be by the hand of God’s Son.

“He laid His right hand upon me.”  In the midst of the awesomeness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jeshua the Anointed.  The right hand not of restraint nor of correction nor of chastisement, but the right hand of our Everlasting Father (Isa 9:6).

Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it brings ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that “underneath are the everlasting arms,” (Deut 33:27) full of sustaining comfort and strength.  When His touch comes, nothing at all can cast you into fear again.

In the midst of all His ascended glory the Lord Jeshua comes to speak to an old disciple, and to say—“Fear not.”  His tenderness is ineffably sweet.  Do I know Him like that?

Watch some of the things that strike despair.  There is despair in which there is no delight, no horizon, no hope of anything brighter; but the delight of despair comes when “I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh” (Rom 7:18)

I delight to know that there is that in me which must fall prostrate before Jehovah God when He manifests Himself, and if I am ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God’s Son.  Jehovah can take me further when I get to the limit of the possible.

 

 

May 25th—The Test of Self-interest

Is not the whole land before you?  Please separate from me.  If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”  Genesis 13:9

 

As soon as you begin to live the life of faith in God, fascinating and luxurious prospects will open up before you, and these things are yours by promise.  But if you are living the life of faith you will exercise your right to waive your choice, and let God choose for you.

God sometimes allows you to get into a place of testing where your own welfare would be the right and proper thing to consider if you were not living a life of faith; but if you are, you will joyfully waive your right and leave God to choose for you.  This is the discipline by means of which the natural is transformed into the spiritual by obedience to the voice of God.  Whenever our rights are made the guidance in our life, it will blunt our spiritual insight.

A great enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but the good which is not good enough.  That good is often the enemy of the best.  It would seem the wisest thing in the world for Abram to choose the good land for himself.  It was his right, and the people around would consider him a fool for not choosing it.  Many of us do not go on spiritually because we prefer to choose what is our right instead of relying on God to choose for us.

We have to learn to walk according to the standard which has its eye on God.  “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless” (Gen 17:1)

 

 

May 26th—Think as Jeshua Taught

Pray without ceasing.”  1 Thessalonians 5:17

 

We think rightly or wrongly about prayer according to the concept we have in our minds of prayer.  If we think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts, we think rightly.  The blood flows ceaselessly, and breathing continues ceaselessly; we are often not conscious of it, but it is always going on.  We are not always conscious of Jeshua keeping us in perfect union with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is.

Prayer is not an exercise, it is our life.  Beware of anything that stops intense prayer.  “Pray without ceasing,”  keep the childlike habit of intense prayer to God in your heart all the time.

Jeshua never mentioned unanswered prayer: He had the boundless certainty that prayer is always answered.  Have we by the Spirit the unshakeable certainty that Jeshua had about prayer, or do we think of the times when God does not seem to have answered our prayer?  “Everyone who asks will receive.” (Luke 11:10)  We say—“But. . . , but. . . ”  Jehovah God answers prayer in the best way, not sometimes, but every time, although the immediate manifestation of the answer in the form in which we want it may not always follow.  Do we expect God to answer prayer?

The danger with us is that we want to water down the things that Jeshua says and make them mean something in accordance with common sense; if it was only common sense, it was not worthwhile for Him to say it.  The things Jeshua says about prayer are supernatural revelations.

 

 

May 27th—Get a Move On

In the Matter of Drudgery:

when you diligently do all, add onto your faith virtue, and onto virtue knowledge, onto knowledge perseverance, and onto perseverance patience, and onto patience reverence for God, and onto reverence for God concern for the brethren, and onto concern for the brethren, add love.”  2 Peter 1:5-7

 

You have inherited the Divine nature, says Peter (vs 4), now nail your attention down and form righteous habits, give diligence, concentrate.  “Add” means all that character means.  No man is born either naturally or supernaturally with character, he has to make character.  Nor are we born with habits; and when we are reborn, we have to form new habits on the basis of the new life God has put into us.

We are not meant to be illuminated versions of humanity, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God.  Drudgery is the touchstone of character.  A great hindrance in spiritual life is that we look for big things to do.

He (Jeshua) took a towel. . .  and began to wash the disciples’ feet.” (John 13:4-5)  There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task.  Routine is Jehovah’s way of growing us between our times of inspiration.  Do not always expect God to give you His thrilling minutes, but learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God.

It is the “adding” that is difficult.  We say we do not expect God to carry us to heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we do!  The tiniest detail in which I obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it.  If I do my duty, not for duty’s sake, but because I love God and believe He is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience the whole superb grace of God is mine through the Atonement.

 

 

May 28th—The Spirit in the Brain

For who is the son of man who knows the things of a man except through the spirit of man which is in him?  Even so, no man knows the things of God except through the Spirit of God.”  1 Cor 2:11

 

Much is made of the importance of our brain, with atheists claiming that it is the source of our thoughts and feelings.  But that is not what the Bible reveals.  Instead, we are shown that it is the spirit that God places within our brain that does the thinking and feeling:

“Thus says Jehovah, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.”  Zec 12:1

Our brain is a wonderful thing, but its role is that of the interface between our spirit, soul and body.  It allows our spirit to control our soul and body, and passes sensory information from our body back to our soul and spirit.  But God has designed us to also have the capacity to have His Spirit live within us.  His Spirit can teach us and guide us:

“For the mind of the flesh is death, and the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.  Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards God; for it is not subject to the Instructions of God, for that is impossible.  And those who live in the flesh are not able to please God.  But though you were in the flesh, now you are in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God truly dwells in you.  But if anyone does not have the Spirit of the Anointed in him, this one does not belong to Him.” (Romans 8:6-9)

Each of us must decide if we will repent, accept the forgiveness that Jeshua bought for us, invite God’s Spirit to dwell within us and then walk in the way His Spirit guides us (John 14:16-17, Eph 4:29-5:7).  Until we do this, we have a space inside us that Satan’s demons are eager to occupy (Luke 8:2, Luke 11:24-26).

Through Bible study, prayer and obedience, be filled with the Spirit of God, leave no room for the Adversary!!

 

 

May 29th—Undisturbed Relationship

In that day you will ask in My Name, and I do not say to you that I shall ask from the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I have come from being with the Father.”  John 16:26, 27

 

In that day you will ask in My name,”  i.e., in Jeshua’s authority.  Not—“You shall use My name as a magic word,” but—“You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me in our Father’s sight.”  “That day” is not only a day hereafter, but is also meant for here and now.  “The Father Himself loves you”—the union is so complete and absolute.  Our Lord does not mean that life will be free from external perplexities, but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, so by the immersion of the Holy Spirit He can lift us into the heavenly places where He can reveal the counsels of God to us.

“Whatever you shall ask the Father in My name. . . .” (John 14:13) “That day” is a day of sublime relationship between God and the saint.  Just as Jeshua stood unsullied in the presence of His Father Jehovah, so by the mighty efficacy of the immersion of the Holy Spirit, we can be lifted into that relationship—“that they may be one, even as We are One.” (John 17:11)

“He will give it to you.” (John 11:22)  Jeshua says that God will recognize our prayers.  What a challenge!  By the Resurrection and Ascension power of Jeshua, by sending down the Holy Spirit, we can be lifted into such a relationship with the Father that we are at one with the perfect sovereign will of God, even as Jeshua was.  In that wonderful position, placed there by our Lord Jeshua, we can pray to God in His name, in His authority, which is gifted to us by the Holy Spirit.  Jeshua says—“all that you ask My Father in My Name He will give to you.” (John 15:16) —The sovereign character of Jeshua the Anointed is tested by His own statements.

 

 

May 30th—“Yes—But. . . !”

I will follow You, My Lord, but . . . ”  Luke 9:61

 

Supposing God tells you to do something which is an enormous test to your common sense; what are you going to do?  Hang back?  If you get into the habit of doing a thing in the physical domain, you will do it every time until you break the habit determinedly; and the same is true spiritually.

Again and again you will get up to what Jeshua the Anointed wants, and every time you will turn back when it comes to the point, until you surrender resolutely.  “Yes, but—supposing I do obey God in this matter, what about. . .  ?”  “Yes, I will obey God if He will let me use my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step into the dark.”

Jeshua the Anointed demands of the person who trusts Him a type of fearless adventurous spirit.  If a person is going to do anything worthwhile, there are times when he has to risk everything on his leap.  In the spiritual domain Jeshua the Anointed demands that you risk everything you hold by common sense and leap into what He says, and when you do, you find that what He says works better than our common sense.  By the measure of common sense Jeshua the Anointed’s statements may seem mad; but bring them to the measure of faith, and you find with awestruck spirit that they are the true words of God.

Trust entirely in Jehovah, and when He brings you to the venture, see that you take it.  We often act like pagans in a crisis: only one out of a crowd is daring enough to stake his faith on the character of God.

 

 

May 31st—God our Father

yet for us ours is one God, the Father, for everything is from Him, and we are in Him; and one Lord Jah—Jeshua the Messiah—for all is through Him, and we are also in His hand.”  I Corinthians 8:6

 

Paul makes this point again, to make sure that we have understood him: “For you are in one body and in one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; for there is one Lord Jah, and one faith, and one immersion; and one God, the Father of all and above all, and with all, and in us all.  (Eph 4:4 to 6)

Our Father, Jehovah God, also tells us that His existence is indeed eternal, going both back before time and forward into the future:

“Jehovah, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting and to everlasting, You are God.  (Psalm 90:1-2)

Our Father reminds us that without His Creativity and Love, we would have no life and no future: “For thus says Jehovah, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it to be barren, who formed it to be inhabited: “I am Jehovah, and there is no other.”” (Isa 45:18)

“Remember the former things of eternity, for I am God, and there is no other God, there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from the past, things which were not yet done, saying, ‘My purpose shall stand, and I will do all My desire,’ calling a bird of prey from the sunrise, from a far land the man to do My purpose. Yes, I have spoken it. Yes, I will bring it to pass. I have formed it. Yes, I will do it.” (Isa 46:9 to 11)

 

 

June 1st—God’s Glorious Son

I will declare the decree: Jehovah has said to Me, ‘You are My Son.  Today I have begotten You.”  Psalm 2:7

 

And so it is that Jeshua clearly identifies himself as God’s Son in the Old Covenant.  The Apostle John also confirms this: “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not be destroyed, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

Jeshua is unique: He alone has been begotten by Jehovah.  We have merely been created.  This makes Jeshua virtually identical to the Father, while we are just His creatures.  Would you like some proof?

“He is the Image of the unseen God and the Firstborn of all creation.  By Him everything was created which is in heaven and on the earth, everything seen and everything unseen, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  Everything has been created by His hand and for Him.  And He is the One before all, and all things exist through Him.  And He is the head of the body, which is the congregation, for He is the Head and the Firstborn from the house of the dead, so He is the First in everything.  For it pleased the Father that all the fullness should dwell in Him,”  Col 1:15 to 19

An accurate translation of Jeshua’s words in John 16:28 says it yet again: “I came from being with the Father and have come into the world.  Again, I leave the world and I am going to be with the Father Myself.”

The above quotes confirm that everything has been created for Jeshua, as a gift from His Father.  Jehovah even gave Jeshua the joy of helping bring the universe into being:

 

“Jehovah created me as the firstfruit of His journey, before His works of old.  I was to be poured out from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth.  There were no depths when I was brought forth, there were no fountains abounding with water.  I was brought forth before the mountains were settled, before the hills;  while He had not made the earth or the fields, or begun making the dust of the world.

I was there when He prepared the heavens, when He placed a curve on the face of the deep, when He established the clouds from above, when He strengthened the eyes of the depths, when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not pass over His word, when He cut out the foundations of the earth.  Then I was beside Him as a master’s apprentice; and I was His delight every Day, always rejoicing before Him,  rejoicing in His inhabited world, and My delight was with the sons of men.

Now therefore, listen to Me, My children, for blessed are those who keep My Ways.  Listen to chastening and be wise, and do not let go of it.”  Proverbs 8:22-33

 

Does this make Jeshua less than His Father, as he only exists because of His Father, while His Father is Self-Existent?  What does Jeshua say?  “You have heard and I have told you that I am going away and I will come to you.  If you love Me, you will rejoice that I am going to My Father, for My Father is greater than I.”  John 14:28

And what does the Apostle Paul write?  “But I want you to know that every man’s Head is the Anointed, the head of woman is man, and the Head of the Anointed is God.”  1 Cor 11:315

Do not ever undervalue God’s Son.  Remember that Jeshua is called the Mighty God:  “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His Name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgement and justice from that time forward, even forever.  The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts will perform this.  (Isaiah 9:6 & 7)

 

 

June 2nd—The Trinity

Now He, the God of Peace, shall make you completely holy; all of your spirit and your soul and your body whole.  He shall keep you faultless for the coming of our Anointed Lord Jeshua.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23

 

God says He and His Son made us in their image (Gen 1:26).  Thus our composition should give us some idea of what they are like.  We have a triune nature; each of us is one person composed of a body, soul and spirit (1 Thes 5:23).  Likewise the Bible tells us that Jehovah God also has a triune nature: He has a body, soul and spirit (Dan 7:9, Lev 26:11, Gen 6:3).  Note that in both cases this is not three persons in one being, but instead one person composed of three parts.  So we see that our very own being does give us some understanding of the nature of our Creator God.

It is well known that the trinitarian theory of the nature of God is not taught in scripture, but is adopted from pagan religions. Alexander Hislop shows this in his excellent book on the origin of pagan beliefs inserted into orthodox Christianity entitled The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and his Wife.  On pages 16 to 19 he illustrates and documents the ancient trinities of the Chaldeans, Babylonians and Indians.16

If you have been told that 1 John 5:7-8 confirms the catholic trinity, see what an accurate translation of that passage from the Aramaic Peshitta shows:

“Who is he who conquers the world for himself, but he who believes that Jeshua is the Son of God?  This is He who came by water and blood; Jeshua the Messiah; not only by water, but by water and blood.  And the Spirit bears witness because the Spirit is Truth.  And the three of them bear witness: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three of them are as one.  If we receive the witness of men, how much greater is the witness of God?  For this is the witness of God which He testifies about His Son.”(1 John 5:5-9)

In about 1500 AD, someone inserted this into their Greek manuscript here to justify teaching the Babylonian Trinity: “For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.”  We must always be on guard for deceivers.

 

 

June 3rd—The Secret Counsel of Jehovah

The secret counsel of Jehovah is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant..”  Psalm 25:14

 

What is the sign of a friend?  That he tells you secret sorrows?  No,—it is that he tells you secret joys.  Many will confide to you their secret sorrows, but the deepest mark of intimacy is to confide secret joys.  Have we ever let Jehovah tell us any of his joys, or are we telling God our secret sorrows so continually that we leave no room for Him to talk to us?

At the beginning of our Christian life we are full of requests to God.  Then we find that God wants to get us into a Father-son relationship with Him and to get us in touch with His purposes.  Are we so wedded to Jeshua the Anointed’s idea of prayer—“Your will be done”—that we hear the secrets of God?

The things that make God dear to us are not just His great blessings but also the tiny things, because they show His amazing intimacy with us; He knows every detail of our individual lives.  “. . .  He shall teach him in the way He chooses.” (Psalm 25:12)

At first we want to be conscious of being guided by God, then as we go on we live so much in the spirit of God that sometimes we already know what His will is, because the thought of choosing any other way will never occur to us.  If we are saved and sanctified, God guides us in our choices, and if we are going to choose what He does not want, He will correct us, and we must heed.  Whenever there is doubt, stop at once.  Never reason it out and say—“I wonder why I shouldn’t?”  God instructs us in what we choose.  That is, He guides us continually, and we immerse ourselves in His secret counsel by continually asking—“Now, Lord, what is Your will?” (Rom 12:2) and then quietly listening.

 

 

June 4th—The Never-failing God

For Lord Jah has said, “I will not forsake you nor will I let go of your hand.”  Hebrews 13:5

 

What line does my thought take?  Does it turn to what God says or to what I fear?  Am I learning to not say what I think, but to say something after I have heard what he says?  “For Lord Jah has said, “I will not forsake you nor will I let go of your hand.”  So we can confidently say: “Jehovah helps me; I will not fear what man does to me.” (vs 5-6)  “I will never leave you”—there is nothing Satan or other men can do that separates us from God (Rom 8:38-39, 2 Chr 15:2).

Have I really let God say to me that he will never fail me?  If I have listened to this promise of God’s, then let me listen again.  “Neither will I in any way forsake you.”

Sometimes it is not difficulty that makes me think God will forsake me, but drudgery.  There is no Hill of Difficulty to climb, no vision given, nothing wonderful or beautiful, just the commonplace day in and day out—can I hear God’s promise in these things?  We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing, that He is preparing and fitting us for some extraordinary thing by and by, but as we go on in grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, in the present minute.

If we have God’s promise behind us, the most amazing strength comes, and we learn to sing in the ordinary days and ways.

 

 

June 5th—A Cloud Received Him

And after He spoke these things, while they watched Him, He was taken up and a cloud received Him and He was hidden from their eyes.”  Revelation 3:10

 

It was on this day, a Thursday, forty days after Jeshua had risen from the dead on the Wave Offering, that He left us and returned to Heaven (Acts 1:3).  He is there now, seated on the right hand of Father (Heb 10:12).  But He has not forgotten nor deserted us, as the Revelations that He gave to John at Patmos show (Rev chapters 1 to 3).

But He has done far more that that for us.  He also promised to come back: “And while they were staring into heaven as He departed, two men were found standing near them in white apparel, and they said to them, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there staring into heaven?  This Jeshua, who was taken up from you into heaven, He will come just as you saw Him ascend into heaven.”” (Acts 1:10)

And until He comes back?  He gave us this promise: “And whatever you ask in My Name, I will do for you, that the Father may be glorified by His Son.  And if you ask of me in My Name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)  How precious it is to know that Jeshua can still touch the earth and give us whatever help we need.

But even greater than this, He promised to send another Redeemer to us: “If you love Me, keep My commandments, and I will ask My Father, and He will give you another Redeemer and Protector, who will be with you forever.  He is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it has not seen Him nor does it know Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and He will be in you.  (John 14:15-17)

Finally, Jeshua told them to wait in Jerusalem for the next ten days, which would bring them to the Glorious Day of Pentecost, when the Spirit of Truth would arrive.

 

 

June 6th—Work to Save Yourselves

Therefore, Beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not only when I am near to you, but all the more now when I am far away; in fear and in trembling, serve your Saviour, for it is God who carefully works in you both to will and also to do what you desire to do.”  Philippians 2:12-13

 

Your will agrees with Jehovah, but in your flesh there is a law of sin which renders you powerless to do what you know you ought to do (Rom 7:23-8:2).  When Jeshua is present in your conscience, the first thing He does is to rouse your will, and your will then agrees with God.

You say—“But I do not know whether my will is in agreement with God.”  Look to Jeshua and you will find that your will and your conscience are in agreement with Him every time.  The thing in you which makes you say “I can’t” is something less profound than your will; it is fear, or perversity, or obstinacy, and they are never in agreement with God.  The profound thing in man is his will, not sin.  Will is the essential element in God’s creation of man: sin is a perverse disposition which entered into man.

In a regenerated man the source of his will is the Almighty.  “for it is God who carefully works in you both to will and also to do what you desire to do.” (Phil 2:13)  You have to work out with concentration, prayer and care what God works in.  We are to work the good works that God has prepared for us (Eph 2:10).  Do it while you are based resolutely in unshaken faith on the complete and perfect Redemption of the Lord.

As you do this, you do not bring an opposed will against God’s will; God’s will must become your will, and your choices must come along the line of God’s will, and life in the Spirit must become as natural as breathing.  Jehovah is the source of your will, therefore you are able to work in His will.

Obstinacy is an unintelligent ‘wedge’ that refuses to be enlightened; the only thing is for it to be blown up with dynamite, and the dynamite required is obedience to the Holy Spirit.

Do I believe that Almighty God is the source of my will?  God not only expects me to do His will, but He is in me to help me do it.

 

 

June 7th—Don’t Slack Off

And whatever you ask in My Name, I will do for you, that the Father may be glorified by His Son.”  John 14:13

 

Am I fulfilling this internal ministry?  There is no snare nor any danger of infatuation or pride in intercession.  It is a hidden ministry that brings forth fruit where the Father is glorified.

Am I allowing my spiritual life to be frittered away, or am I bringing it all to one centre through the Atonement of my Lord?  Is Jeshua the Anointed more and more dominating every interest in my life?  If the one central point; the greatest influence in my life is my Father, Lord Jehovah, then every phase of my life will bear fruit for Him.

I must take time to realize what is the central point of power.  Do I give one minute out of sixty to concentrate on Him?  “If you remain in Me” (John 15:7)—continue to act and think and work from that centre—“you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done for you.”

Am I remaining in Him?  Am I taking time to remain centered on Him?  What is the greatest factor of power in my life?  Is it work, service, sacrifice for others, or trying to work for God?  The thing that ought to exert the greatest power in my life is my relationship with my Lord.  It is not always the thing we spend the most time on that moulds us most; the greatest element is the thing that exerts the most power.  We must determine to be focused and concentrate on our God.  “Whatever you ask in My Name, I will do for you.”

The disciple who remains in Jeshua is staying in the will of God, and his free choices are in line with God’s foreordained decrees.  Mysterious?  Yes.  Logically contradictory and absurd?  Perhaps, but a glorious truth to a saint.

 

 

June 8th—What Next?

Determine to know more:  “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.”  John 13:17

 

If you do not cut the moorings to your old life, God will have to break them with a storm and send you out.  Launch all on God, go out on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and you will get your eyes opened.

If you believe in Jeshua, you are not to spend all your time in the smooth waters inside the harbour bar, full of delight, but always moored.  You have to go out through the harbour bar into the great deeps of God and begin to know for yourself, begin to have spiritual discernment.

When you know you should do a thing, and do it, immediately you know more.  Review where you have become slack spiritually, and you will find it goes back to a point where there was something you knew you should do, but you did not do it because there seemed no immediate need to, and now you have no perception, no discernment.

At a time of crisis you have been spiritually distracted instead of spiritually focused.  It is a dangerous thing to refuse to continue learning.  The counterfeit of obedience is a state of mind in which you work up occasions to sacrifice yourself; ardour is mistaken for discernment.  It is easier to sacrifice yourself than to fulfil your spiritual destiny, as shown in Col 2:18 to 3:17.

It is a great deal better to fulfil the purpose of God in your life by discerning his will than to perform great acts of self-sacrifice (1 Cor 13:1-13).  “To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Sam 15:22)

Beware of harking back to what you once were when God wants you to renew you, make you into someone you have never been:  “it is not tiresome to us, even if our external being is being destroyed.  Conversely, we are being renewed from within day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

 

 

June 9th—The Next Best Thing to Do

“For everyone who asks will receive, and he who seeks will find, and he who knocks, it will be opened to him.”  Luke 11:10

 

There is nothing more difficult than to ask.  We will long and desire and crave and suffer, but not until we are at the extreme limit will we ask.  A sense of desperation makes us ask.  Have you ever asked out of the depths of moral poverty?  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask from God, who gives to all simply, and it will be given to him without reproach.” (James 1:5).

You know that you lack wisdom.  You cannot bring yourself up against reality when you like.  The best thing to do if you are not spiritually real is to ask God for the Holy Spirit according to the word of Jeshua the Anointed (see Luke 11:13).

The Holy Spirit is the One who makes you real in all that Jeshua did for you.  “For everyone who asks will receive.”  This does not mean you will get nothing if you do not ask (cf. Mat 5:45), but until you get to the point of asking you won’t receive salvation from God.  To receive salvation means you have come into the relationship of a child to God, and now you perceive with intelligent and moral appreciation and spiritual understanding that these things come from God.  “If any of you lacks wisdom. . . ”  If you realize you are lacking, it is because you have come in contact with Jehovah; do not put your ‘reasonable’ blindfold on again and turn back.

People say—“Preach to us the simple good news: don’t tell us we have to be holy, because that produces a sense of abject poverty, and it is not nice to feel abjectly poor.”  “Ask” means beg.  Some people are deeply aware of their poverty, and some of us see our spiritual poverty.  We will never receive spiritual blessings if we never ask for God’s help.  A pauper asks because of the abject condition of his poverty.  He is no longer too ashamed to beg.—Blessed are the paupers in spirit who beg for God’s wisdom (Mat 5:3).

 

 

June 10th—Seek to Find

“I also say to you; ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  Luke 11:9

 

“You ask and you do not receive, because you ask wickedly, so your lusts may be fed.” (Jacob (James) 4:3)  If you ask for things instead of for God, you ask wickedly, i.e., you ask from worldly desires.  The more you satisfy yourself, the less you will seek God.

“Seek, and you will find.”  Get to work, narrow your interests to this one: have you ever sought God with your whole heart?  Or have you only given a lukewarm cry to Him after a twinge of moral neuralgia?

Seek, concentrate, and you will find.  “Ho!  Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters” (Isa 55:1)  Are you thirsty, or smugly indifferent—so satisfied with yourself that you need nothing more from God?

Experience is a gateway, not an end.  Beware of building your faith on experience.  The metallic note will come in at once, a harshly critical note.  You can never give another person that which you have found, but you can make him homesick for what you have.  

“Knock, and it will be opened unto you.” (Luke 11:9)  “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in Lord Jehovah.” (Psalm 73:28)  Knock—the door is closed, and you suffer from palpitations as you knock.  “Cleanse your hands”—knock a bit louder, and you begin to find that you are dirty.  “Purify your heart and doubting soul” (James 4:8)—this is more personal still, you are desperately in earnest now—you will do anything.  “Be humble and lament”—have you ever humbled yourself before God at the state of your inner life?  There is no strand of self-pity left, but a heartbreaking affliction of amazement to discover the kind of person that you really are.

“Humble yourself”—it is a humiliating business to knock at God’s door—you have to knock with the impaled thief (James 4:9-10).  And yet, joy beyond joy!!  “To he who knocks, it will be opened” (Luke 11:10).

 

 

June 11th—Getting There

Where the sin and the sorrow cease,

and the song and the saint commence:

 

Come to Me, all you who labour and carry burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

 

Do I want to get close to Messiah?  I can now.  The questions that matter in life are remarkably few, and they are all answered by these words—“Come to Me.”  Not—Do this, or don’t do that; but—“Come to Me.”  If I will come to Jeshua, my actual life will be brought into accordance with my greatest desires; I will actually cease from sin, and finally the song of our Lord will begin in my heart.  Have you ever come to Jeshua?  Watch the stubbornness of your heart: you will do anything rather than the one simple, childlike thing—“Come to Me.”  If you want to experience release from sin, you must come to Jeshua.  Jeshua the Anointed makes Himself the touchstone.

Watch how He uses the word “Come.”  At the most unexpected moments there is the whisper of the Lord—“Come to Me,”  and you are drawn immediately.  Personal contact with Jeshua alters everything.  Be childish enough to come and commit yourself to what He says.  The attitude of coming is that your will resolutely lets go of everything and deliberately commits all to Him.  “. . . and I will give you rest,”  i.e., ‘I will remove the burden of sin which is crushing you.’  Not—‘I will put you to bed and hold your hand and sing you to sleep’; but—‘I will get you out of your death-bed, out of the depression and exhaustion, out of the state of being half-dead while you are alive; I will imbue you with the Spirit of Life, and you will be uplifted by the perfection of working with Me.’

We get pathetic and talk about “suffering the will of the Lord!”  Where is the majestic vitality and might of the Son of God in that?

 

 

June 12th—Getting There II

Where the self-interest sleeps and the real interest awakens:

 

They said to Him, “Our Master, where are You staying?”  He said to them, “Come and you will see.”  So they came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day.

John 1:38-39

 

“They remained with Him that day.”  That is about all some of us ever do, then we wake up to our normal world, self-interest arises and the abiding is over.  Yet there is no condition of life in which we cannot remain in Jeshua.

“You are Simon, you shall be called Cepha. (Peter)” (Vs 42)  God writes the new name on only those places in our lives where He has erased our pride, self-sufficiency and self-interest.  Some of us have the new name in spots only, like spiritual measles.  In sections we look okay.  When we have our best spiritual mood on, you would think we were very refined saints; but don’t look at us when we are not in that mood.

The faithful disciple is one who has the new name written all over him; self-interest, pride and self-sufficiency have been completely erased.  Pride is the deification of self, and this today in some of us is not of the order of the Pharisee, but of an unrepentant publican.  To say “Oh, I’m no saint,” is acceptable to human pride, but it is blasphemy against God.  It literally means that you defy God to make you a saint: “I am much too weak and hopeless, I am outside the reach of the Atonement.”  This is not humility, but blasphemy against the stake of Messiah.

Why are you not a saint?  It is either that you do not want to be a saint, or that you do not believe God can make you one.  It would be all right, you say, if God saved you and took you straight to heaven.  But that gives you no time to develop and serve Jeshua here.

“We will come to him, and make our home with him.”  Make no conditions, let Jeshua be everything, and He will take you home with Him not only for a day, but forever.

 

 

June 13th—Getting There III

Where our selfishness dies and the sanctified surrender lives:

 

Then Jeshua said to them, “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of the children of men.”  Mark 1:17

 

One of the greatest hindrances in coming to Jeshua is the excuse of temperament.  We make our temperament and our natural affinities barriers to coming to Jeshua.  The first thing we realize when we come to Jeshua is that He has little interest in our natural affinities.  We have the notion that we can consecrate our gifts to God.  But even our natural gifts are given to us by Jehovah.

You cannot consecrate what is not yours; there is only one thing you can consecrate to God, and that is your right to yourself (Romans 12:1).  If you will give Jehovah your right to yourself, He will make a holy experiment out of you.  God’s experiments always succeed.

The one mark of a saint is the moral faithfulness which springs from surrender to Jeshua the Anointed.  In the life of a saint there is this amazing wellspring of original life all the time; the Spirit of God is a well of water springing up, perennially fresh.

The saint realizes that it is God who engineers circumstances, consequently there is no whine, but a fearless surrender to Jeshua.  Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you.

If you surrender to Jeshua, and come when He says “Come,” He will continue to say “Come” through you; you will go out into life reproducing the echo of Christ’s “Come.”  That is the result in every soul who has surrendered and come to Jeshua.  Have you come to Jeshua?  Will you come now?

 

 

June 14th—Reset your Priorities

In the Matter of Determination:

 

Remain in Me, and I in you.”  John 15:4

 

The Spirit of Jeshua is put into me by the Atonement.  Then I have to construct with patience the way of thinking that is exactly in accordance with my Lord.  God will not make me think like Jeshua, I have to do it myself; I have to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah (2 Cor 10:5).

Remain in Me”—in intellectual matters, in money matters, in sexual matters, in every one of the matters that make human life what it is.  It is not a grandstand life.  Am I preventing Jehovah from doing things in my circumstances because I say it will hinder my communion with Him?  That is an impertinence.  It does not matter what my circumstances are; I can be as sure of remaining in Jeshua in them as in a prayer meeting.  I do not have to change and arrange my circumstances myself, acting as if God has not placed me where I am.

With Our Lord the inner abiding was unsullied; He was at home with God wherever His body was placed.  He never chose His own circumstances, but humbly accepted His Father’s choices for Him.  Think of the amazing peace of Our Lord’s life!  We try to keep God at excitement point, there is none of the serenity of the life hidden with Messiah in God about us.

Think of the things that take you out of remaining in Messiah—“Yes, Lord, just a minute, I have got this to do; Yes, I will abide when this is finished; when this week is over, it will be all right, I will remain in You then.”

Reset your priorities; begin to abide now in what you are doing now.  In the initial stages it is a continual effort until it becomes so much a law of life that you abide in Him all the time.  Determine to remain in Jeshua wherever you are placed.

 

 

June 15th—The Life That Lives Within

I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.”  Luke 24:49

 

The disciples had to wait until the day of Pentecost,17 not for their own preparation only; they had to wait until the time was right on God’s Calendar.  And as soon as Jeshua was glorified in the Feast of Harvest ceremony in Heaven, what happened?  “And He is the One exalted at the right hand of God, and He has received from the Father a promise about the Holy Spirit, and He has poured out this gift, which behold, you are seeing and you are hearing.” (Acts 2:33)  The parenthesis which is in John 7:39:  “(for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jeshua was not yet glorified.)” does not apply to us; the Holy Spirit has been given, the Lord is glorified; the waiting now depends not on God’s providence, but on our fitness.

The Holy Spirit’s influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He had not yet entered into them.  On the first Pentecost after Our Lord was glorified after Ascension, the Holy Spirit truly entered into their beings, and He has been here for us ever since.  We have to repent, be baptised and open our hearts to God before He will enter us.  The immersion of the Holy Spirit will only happen to a truly repentant believer.  When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive quickening life from our ascended Lord.

It is the power of the ascended Messiah coming into people’s lives through the Holy Spirit that changes them.  We can divorce what the Bible never divorces.  The immersion of the Holy Spirit is not, and can never be, an experience apart from Jeshua the Anointed: it is the evidence of the glorified Messiah.  The immersion of the Holy Spirit is just the beginning of our Eternity of living with God within us.  It is His pledge to us that we are saved (2 Cor 1:22, 5:5 and Eph 1:13-14).

“And these things are everlasting life, that they will know You, because You alone are the God of Truth, and He whom You have sent; Jeshua the Messiah.” (John 17:3)  Begin to know Them now, and finish knowing Them never.

 

 

June 16th—Diffusiveness of Life

Everyone who believes in Me, just as the Scriptures say, rivers of living water will flow from his belly.”  John 7:38

 

A river brings life to all it touches, and Jeshua says if we have received of His fullness, however small the visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth.  We have little to do with the outflow—“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:29)  God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he is.

A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers.  For a while it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round the obstacle.  Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, and presently emerge again broader and grander than ever.  You can see God using some lives, but into your life an obstacle has come and you do not seem to be of any use.  Keep paying attention to the Source, and Jehovah will either take you round the obstacle or remove it.  The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles.  Never fix your eyes on the obstacle or on the difficulty.  The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you remember to keep right at the Source.  Never allow anything to come between yourself and Jeshua the Anointed, no emotion or experience; nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.

Think of the healing and far-flung rivers nursing themselves in our souls! God has been opening up marvellous truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is an indication of the wider power of the river He will flow through us.  If you believe in Jeshua, you will find that God has nourished in you mighty torrents of blessing for others.

 

 

June 17th—Springs of Everlasting Life

but whoever drinks from the waters that I will give him will not thirst forever,  for those waters that I give him will be in him springs of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:14

 

The picture Our Lord gives is not that of a channel but a fountain.  Be “filled with the fruit of righteousness,” (Phil 1:11) and the sweetness of vital relationship to Jeshua will flow out of the saint as lavishly as it is imparted to him.  If you find your life is not flowing out as it should, you are to blame; something has obstructed the flow.  Keep right at the Source, and—you will be blessed personally?  No, out of you will flow rivers of living water, irrepressible life.

We are to be centres through which Jeshua can flow as rivers of living water in blessing to everyone.  Some of us are like the Dead Sea, always taking in but never giving out, because we are not rightly related to the Lord Jeshua.  As surely as we receive from Him, He will pour out through us, and in the measure He is not pouring out through us, there is a defect in our relationship to Him.  Is there anything in between you and Jeshua the Anointed?  Is there anything that hinders your belief in Him?  If not, Jeshua says, out of you will flow rivers of living water.  It is not a blessing passed on, not an experience stated, but a river continually flowing, imparting everlasting life to all who immerse themselves in it.  Keep at the Source, guard well your belief in Jeshua the Anointed and your relationship to Him, and there will be a steady flow for other lives, no dryness and no deadness.

Is it too extravagant to say that out of an individual believer, rivers are going to flow?  “I do not see the rivers,” you say.  Never look at yourself from the standpoint of—‘Who am I?’  In the history of Jehovah’s work you will nearly always find that it has started from the obscure, the unknown, the ignored, but the steadfastly true to Jeshua the Anointed.

 

 

June 18th—The Joy of Regeneration

He who chose me separated me from my mother’s womb and called me in His grace, so He could reveal His Son in me,”  Galatians 1:15, 16

 

If Jeshua the Anointed is to regenerate me, what is the problem He is up against?  I have an inheritance that I had no say in; I am not holy, nor likely to be; and if all Jeshua can do is to tell me I must be holy, His teaching would make me despair.  But if Jeshua the Messiah is a Regenerator, One Who can put into me His own heredity of holiness, then I begin to see what He is driving at when He says that I have to be holy.  Redemption means that Jeshua the Anointed can put into any man the Holy disposition that is in Him, and all the Bible standards He gives are based on that disposition: His Instruction is for the life He puts in.  The moral interaction on my part is agreement with Jehovah’s verdict on sin through the Stake of Jeshua.  The New Covenant teaching about regeneration is that when a person is struck by the sense of need, God will put His Holy Spirit into their spirit, and it will be energized by the Spirit of the Son of God, “until the Messiah is formed in you.” (Gal 4:19)

The miracle of Redemption is that God can put into me a new nature, whereby I can live a totally new life.  When I reach the frontier of need and know my limitations, Jeshua says—“Blessed are you.”  But I have to get there.  God does not put into me the disposition of the responsible moral being which is in Jeshua the Anointed until I understand how desperately I need it.

Just as the disposition of sin entered into the human race by one man, so the Holy Spirit entered the human race by another Man; and Redemption means that I can be delivered from the heredity of sin and through our Lord Jeshua I can receive the unsullied heredity of a child of God via the Holy Spirit.

 

 

June 19th—Service of Passionate Devotion

Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”  He said to Him, “Yes, my Lord; You know that I love You.”  Jeshua said to him, “Shepherd My sheep for Me.”  John 21:16

 

Jeshua did not say—‘Make converts to your way of thinking.’  He said—‘Shepherd My sheep, see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Me.’  We count as service what we do in the way of Christian work; Jeshua the Anointed calls service what we are to Him, not merely what we do for Him.

Discipleship is based on devotion to Lord Jeshua, not on adherence to obscure traditions or a denomination.  “He who comes to Me and does not hate his father and his mother and his brothers and his sisters and his wife and his children, and even his own soul, is not able to be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)  There is no compulsion, but simply choices—‘If you would be My disciple, you must be devoted to Me above all others.’  A man touched by the Spirit of Jehovah suddenly says—“Now I see who Jeshua is,” and that is the source of devotion.

Today we have substituted traditions for personal belief, and that is why so many are devoted to causes and so few are devoted to Jeshua the Anointed.  Jeshua the Anointed is a source of deep offence to the ‘educated’ mind of today that does not want Him in any other way than as a Comrade.

Our Lord’s first obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of people.  The saving of mankind was the natural outcome of His obedience to our Father.  If I am devoted to the cause of humanity only, I will soon be exhausted and come to the place where my love will falter.  But if I love Jeshua the Anointed personally and passionately, I can serve humanity even though men treat me as a doormat.

The secret of a disciple’s life is devotion to Jeshua the Anointed, and the characteristic of that life is its unobtrusiveness.  It is like a kernel of wheat, which falls into the ground and dies, but presently it will spring up and lead to new life for many (John 12:24).

 

 

June 20th—Have You Come to “When” Yet?

And Jehovah restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.”  Job 42:10

 

The plaintive, self-centred, morbid kind of prayer is a certain indication that I want to be right, and it is never taught in the New Covenant.  The fact that I am trying to make myself right with Jehovah is a sign that I am rebelling against the Atonement.  “Lord, I will purify my heart if You will answer my prayer; I will walk rightly if You will help me with this thing.”  I cannot make myself right with God; I cannot undo the sins I have committed nor can I remove my sinful nature.

I can only be right with Jehovah if I accept the Atonement of the Lord Jeshua as an absolute, undeserved gift.  Am I humble enough to accept it?  I have to resign every kind of claim and cease from every effort to cleanse myself, and leave myself entirely in His hands, and then His Spirit can cleanse and heal me.  Only then can I begin to pour myself into the priestly work of intercession.

There is much prayer that arises from real disbelief in the Atonement.  Jeshua is not beginning to save us.  He has saved us, the thing is done, and it is an insult to ask Him to do it.  If you are not getting the hundredfold more, not getting insight into Jehovah’s Word, then start praying for your friends, enter into the ministry of intercession.  “And Jehovah restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.”

The real business of your life as a saved soul is intercessory prayer.  Wherever God puts you and in whatever circumstances, pray immediately, pray that His Atonement may be realized in other lives as it has been in yours.  Pray for your friends now; pray for those with whom you come in contact now.

 

 

June 21st—Priests For The Kingdom

But you are a people chosen to be priests for the Kingdom, a holy nation, a redeemed assembly that can proclaim praises to Him who called you from darkness into His marvellous light;”  1 Peter 2:9

 

By what right do we become “priests for the Kingdom”?  By the right of the Atonement.  Are we prepared to leave ourselves resolutely alone and to launch out into the priestly work of prayer?

The continual grubbing on the inside to see whether we are what we ought to be generates a self-centred, morbid type of Christianity; not the robust, simple life of the child of God.  Until we get into a real relationship with God, it is a case of hanging on by the skin of our teeth, and we say—“What a wonderful victory I have got.”

There is nothing indicative of the miracle of Redemption in that.  Launch out in fearless belief that the Redemption is complete, and then bother no more about yourself.  Begin to do as Jeshua the Anointed said—pray for the friend who comes to you at midnight, pray for the saints, pray for all men.

Pray on the realization that you are only perfect in Messiah Jeshua, not on this plea—“O Lord, I have done my best, please hear me.”  How long is it going to be before we ask Jehovah to free us from the morbid habit of thinking about ourselves?  We must get sick unto death of ourselves, until there is no longer any surprise at anything God can tell us about ourselves.  We cannot fathom the depths of corruption in ourselves.

There is only one Way we are right, and that is when we walk with our Messiah Jeshua.  When we are there, then we have to pour it out for all we are worth in this ministry of intercession.

 

 

June 22nd—The Undeviating Test

For by the judgement that you judge, you will be judged; and by the measure that you measure, it will be measured to you.”  Matthew 7:2

 

This statement is an eternal law of God.  Whatever judgment you give, it is measured back to you again.  Jeshua says that this is the basis of life:—“by the measure that you measure, it will be measured to you”  If you have been diligent in finding the defects in others, remember that will be exactly the measure given to you.  God will serve you back in the coin you pay.  This law works from God’s throne downwards (cf. Psalm 18:20-26).

Romans 2 applies it in a still more definite way, and says that the one who criticizes another is usually guilty of the very same thing.  God looks not only at our acts, He also looks at our hearts (Mat 5:27-28).  We do not believe the statements of the Bible before we come to God.  For instance, do we believe this statement, that the things we criticize in others we are guilty of ourselves?  The reason we see hypocrisy and fraud and unreality in others is because they are all in our own hearts.  The great characteristic of a saint is humility—Yes, all those things and other evils would have been manifested in me but for the grace of God, therefore I have no right to condemn.

Jeshua says—“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.” (Luke 6:37)  If you do judge, it will be measured back to you exactly as you have judged.  Who of us would dare to stand before God and say—“My God, judge me as I have judged my fellow men?”  We have judged our fellow men as sinners; if God should judge us like that we would go to the Lake of Fire.  God judges us through the marvellous Atonement of Jeshua the Anointed.

 

 

June 23rd—Acquaintance with Grief

He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”  Isaiah 53:3

 

We are not acquainted with grief in the way in which Our Lord was acquainted with it; we endure it, we get through it, but we do not become intimate with it.

At the beginning of life we do not reconcile ourselves to the fact of sin.  We take a worldly view of life and say that a man, by controlling his instincts and by educating himself, can produce a life which will slowly evolve into the life of God.  But as we go on, we find the presence of something which we have not taken into consideration, viz., our sinful nature, and it upsets all our calculations.  Sin makes the basis of things wild and not rational.  We have to recognize that our sinful nature is a fundamental defect that we cannot eradicate on our own.

Sin is blood-soaked mutiny against God.  Either God or sin must die in my life.  God’s Word brings us right down to this one issue.  If sin rules in me, God’s life will not enter into me and I must be killed; if God rules in me, my sinful nature must be killed.  There are no other possible alternatives.  It was sin that impaled Jeshua the Anointed, and if Jeshua had not taken the penalty for our sin, sin would have killed you and I instead.

We have to reconcile ourselves to the fact of sin as the only explanation for the grief, sorrow and death in this world.  We must never forget that Jeshua the Anointed came to free us all from sin, so we can live a life of hope and joy.

 

 

June 24th—Acknowledging the Fact of Sin

But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”  Luke 22:53

 

Not acknowledging the fact of sin produces all the disasters in life.  You may talk about the nobility of human nature, but there is something in human nature which will laugh in the face of every ideal you have.  If you refuse to agree with the fact that there is vice and self-seeking, something downright spiteful and wrong in human beings you will be unprepared when it strikes you.  Instead of identifying it as sin, you will compromise with it and say it is of no use to battle against it.

Have you made provisions for this hour and the power of darkness, or do you take a view of yourself that ignores sin?  In your bodily relationships and friendships do you recognize the fact of sin?  If not, you will be caught round the next corner and you will compromise with it.  If you acknowledge the fact of sin, you will realize the danger at once—“Yes, I see what the result of that will be.”

The recognition of sin should not destroy the basis of friendship; it can establish a mutual regard for the fact that the basis of life is tragic.  Always beware of a view of life which does not recognize the fact that there is sin.

Jeshua the Anointed never trusted human nature, yet He was never cynical, never suspicious, because He trusted absolutely in what He could do to alter human nature.

The pure man or woman, not the innocent, is the safeguarded man or woman.  You are never safe with an innocent man or woman.  Men and women can not remain innocent; to be innocent is to have never been tested by sin.  God demands that we choose to be pure and virtuous.  Innocence is the characteristic of an infant; it is a dangerous thing for a man or woman not to acknowledge the fact of their sin.

 

 

June 25th—The Warning Against Harlotry

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the demons are subject to you, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  Luke 10:20

 

As Christian workers, worldliness is not our snare, sin is not our snare, but spiritual harlotry is, viz.: taking the pattern and print of the religious age we live in, making eyes at spiritual success.  Never court anything other than the approval of God:  “Therefore we should also go to Him outside the camp while we bear His shame.” (Heb 13:13)

Jeshua told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice.  We have the commercial view—so many souls saved and sanctified, thank God, now it is alright.  Our work begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation; we are not saving souls, but discipling them.  Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace; our work as His disciples is to disciple lives until they are wholly yielded to Jehovah.  One life wholly devoted to God may be of more value to Jehovah than one hundred lives simply awakened by His Spirit.  As workers for God we must reproduce our own kind spiritually, and that will be God’s witness to us as workers.  Jehovah brings us to a high standard of life by His grace, and we are responsible for teaching that standard to others.

Unless the worker lives a life hidden with Messiah in God, he is apt to become an irritating dictator instead of an indwelt disciple.  Many of us are dictators, we dictate to people and to meetings.  Jeshua does not dictate to us in that way.  When our Lord talked about discipleship, He prefaced it with an “IF,” not with an emphatic assertion—“You must.” (Mat 16:24)  We choose whether we want to be His disciple.

 

 

June 26th—Always Now

We beg of you, as your helpers, that the grace of God will not become worthless in you.”  2 Corinthians 6:1

 

The grace you had yesterday will not do for today.  Grace is the overflowing favour of God; you can always reckon it is there to draw upon.  “by much patience, by sufferings, by distresses, by imprisonments” (vs 4)—that is where the test for endurance comes.  Are you failing the grace of God there?

Are you saying—‘Oh, well, I won’t count this time.’?  It is not a question of only praying and asking Jehovah to help you; you also need to exercise the grace of God now.  We make prayer the preparation for work, but it is not that in the Bible.  Prayer is the practice of drawing on the grace of God.

Don’t say—‘I will endure this until I can get away and pray.’  Pray now; draw on the grace of God in the moment of need.  Prayer is the most practical thing, it is not reserved for a quiet time of devotion.  Prayer is the very thing in which we learn to draw on God’s grace “in scourgings, in chains, in tumults, in labours, in vigils, in fasts” (vs 5)  In all these things manifest a drawing upon the grace of God that will make you a marvel to yourself and to others.

Draw now, not later.  One word in the spiritual vocabulary is Now.  Let circumstances bring you where they will, keep drawing on the grace of God in every conceivable condition you may be in.

One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be humiliated without manifesting the slightest trace of anything but His grace, “as if we have nothing and yet we possess everything.” (Vs 10)  Never reserve anything.  Pour out the best you have, and always be poor.  Never be possessive of the treasure God gives.  This is poverty triumphant.

 

 

June 27th—The Overshadowing Personal Deliverance

Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says Jehovah.”  Jeremiah 1:8

 

God promised Jeremiah that He would deliver him personally—“I will give your soul to you as a prize in all places” (Jer 45:5).  That is one of the greatest promises Jehovah gives to His children.  Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives.  Our personal property and possessions are only temporary, we have to hold loosely to all those things; if we do not, there will be panic, heartbreak and distress when they are taken away.  Instead we must focus on the promise of personal deliverance.

The Sermon on the Mount indicates that when we are on Jeshua the Anointed’s errands, we are not sent to stand up for ourselves.  Jeshua says, in effect, ‘Do not be concerned about whether you are being justly dealt with or not.’  To seek justice for ourselves is a sign of deflection from devotion to Him.  Never expect justice in this world, but never cease to give it.

If we look for justice, we will begin to complain and to indulge in the discontent of self-pity—“Why should I be treated like this?”  If we are devoted to Jeshua the Anointed we have little concern with what we meet, whether it is just or unjust.  Jeshua says—‘He who desires to come after Me should deny their self, and take up their stake, and follow Me.  Everyone who desires to save their soul will lose it, but whoever loses their soul for My sake and because of my Good News will save it.’ (Mark 8:34-35)

The most devout among us often become atheistic in this connection; we do not believe God, we enthrone common sense and tack the name of God on to it.  We lean on our own feeble understanding and protection.  Instead, let us trust Almighty God—our Creator and Sustainer—with our body, soul and spirit.

 

 

June 28th—Apprehended by God

Not that I have already received it, or that I am already perfect; but I run on, that perhaps I may obtain that which Messiah Jeshua has obtained for me.”  Philippians 3:12

 

We do not desire to become a labourer; but when God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or to the left.  We are not working for God because we have chosen Him, but because God has chosen us.  Do not think—“Oh, well, I am not fitted for this.”  Let God work in you and perfect you.

What you are to preach is determined by God, not by your own natural inclinations.  Keep your soul steadfastly related to God, and remember that you are called not to bear testimony only, but to preach the good news.  Every Christian must testify, but when it comes to the call to preach, there must be the purifying grip of God’s hand on you.  Your life is in the grip of God for that one thing.  How many of us are held like that?

Never water down the word of God, preach it in its undiluted sternness.  There must be unflinching loyalty to the Word of God; but when you come to personal dealing with your fellow men, remember who you are—not a special being made up in heaven, but a sinner saved by grace.  “My brethren, I do not think to myself that I have obtained it; but one thing I know; I have forgotten those things which are behind me and I reach out before me, and I run toward the goal to take the victory of the high calling of God in the Anointed Jeshua.” (Phil 3:13-14).

 

 

June 29th—Direction of Discipline

And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is better for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.”  Matthew 5:30

 

Jeshua did not say that everyone must cut off their right hand, but—‘If your right hand causes you to stumble in your walk with Me, cut it off.’  There are many things that are legitimate, but if you are going to devote yourself to God you cannot do them.

Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but, says Jeshua, if it hinders you in following His precepts, cut it off.  This line of discipline is the sternest one that ever struck mankind.  When Jehovah alters a man by regeneration, the characteristic of their life to begin with is that it is maimed.  The many idols and traps in your life must be destroyed. There are a hundred and one things you dare not do, things that in the eyes of the world that knew you are like your right hand and your eye, and the unspiritual person says—“Whatever is wrong in that?  How absurd you are!”

There has never been a saint yet who did not have to live a maimed life to start with.  But it is better to enter into life maimed and lovely in God’s sight than to be lovely in man’s sight and lame in God’s.  In the beginning Jeshua the Anointed by His Spirit has to correct you from doing a great many things that may be alright for everyone else but not right for you.

See that you do not use your limitations to criticize someone else.  It is a maimed life to begin with, but in v.48 Jeshua gives the picture of a complete, fully-rounded life—“Therefore you should be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

 

 

June 30th—Do it Now

Agree with your legal adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your legal adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge delivers you to the officer, and you are thrown into prison.”  Matthew 5:25

 

Jeshua the Anointed is laying down this principle—Do what you know you must do, do it now, and do it quickly.  If you do not, the inevitable process will begin to work and you will have to pay to the last farthing in pain and agony and distress.  God’s laws are unalterable; there is no escape from them.

The teaching of Jeshua goes straight to the way we are made up.  To demand that my adversary gives me my rights is natural; but Jeshua says that it is a matter of imperative importance to me that I pay my adversary what they demand of me.  From our Lord’s standpoint the critical matter is not whether I am defrauded or not; what does matter is that I do not defraud.  Am I insisting on my rights, or am I paying what I must from Jeshua the Anointed’s standpoint?

Do the thing quickly, bring yourself to judgment now.  In moral and spiritual matters, you must do it at once; if you do not, the inexorable process will begin to work.  God is determined to have His child as pure and clean and white as fresh snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will chastise us.

Our insistence in proving that we are right is nearly always an indication that there has been some point of disobedience.  No wonder the Holy Spirit so strongly urges us to keep steadfastly in the light!  “Agree with your adversary quickly.”

Have you suddenly turned a corner in any relationship and found that you had anger in your heart?  Confess it quickly, quickly put it right before God, and be reconciled to that person—do it now.

 

 

July 1st—The Inevitable Penalty

Truly, I say to you, that you will not get out of there until you have paid the last coin.”  Matthew 5:26

 

There is no heaven with a little corner of Gehenna in it.  God is determined to make you entirely pure and holy and right; He will not allow you to escape for one moment from the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit.

He urged you to come to judgment right away when He convicted you, but you did not; the inevitable process began to work and now you are in prison, and you will only get out when you have paid the final coin.  “Is this a God of mercy, and of love?” you ask.

Seen from God’s side, it is a glorious ministry of love.  God is going to bring you out pure and spotless and undefiled; but He wants you to recognize the disposition you were showing—the disposition of your independence from God.

The moment you are willing for God to alter your disposition, His recreating forces will begin to work.  The moment you realize God’s purpose, which is to get you rightly related to Him and then to your fellow men, He will use the entire resources of the universe to help you take the right road if needed.

Decide it now—“Yes, Lord, I will write that letter tonight”; “I will be reconciled to that man now.”  These messages of Jeshua the Anointed are for the will and the conscience, as well as the head.  If you dispute the Sermon on the Mount with your head, you will blunt the appeal to your heart.  “I wonder why I don’t go on with God?”  Are you paying your debts from God’s standpoint?  Do now what you will have to do some day.  Every moral call has a “must” behind it.

 

 

July 2nd—The Conditions of Discipleship

He who comes to Me and does not hate his father and his mother and his brothers and his sisters and his wife and his children, and even his own soul, is not able to be My disciple.”  Luke 14:26-27 & 33

 

If the closest relationships of life clash with the claims of Jeshua the Anointed, He says we must choose obedience to Him.  Discipleship means personal, passionate devotion to a Person, Our Lord Jeshua the Messiah.  There is a difference between devotion to a Person and devotion to principles or to a cause.  Jeshua stipulates personal devotion to Himself and to His Father.  To be a disciple is to be a devoted love-slave of the Lord Jeshua.

Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not devoted to Jeshua the Christ.  No man on earth has this passionate love for our Lord Jeshua unless the Holy Spirit has imparted it to him.  We may admire Him, we may respect Him and reverence Him, but we cannot love Him.  The Holy Spirit truly loves the Lord Jeshua, and He nurtures the very love of God in our hearts.  Whenever the Holy Spirit sees a chance of glorifying Jeshua, He will take your heart, your nerves, your whole personality, and simply make you blaze and glow with devotion to Jeshua the Anointed.

The Christian life is stamped by obedience to God’s Word, consequently the disciple is open to the same charge that Jeshua the Anointed was accused of, viz., that of disregarding the ‘traditions of the elders’ (Mat 15:1-9).  But Jeshua the Anointed was always consistent and obedient to His Father and His Instructions, and the Christian must be consistent and obedient to the life of the Son of God in him and God’s Word, rather than consistent to denominational creeds.  Men pour themselves into their creeds, and God has to blast them out of their prejudices before they can become fully devoted to Jeshua the Anointed.

 

 

July 3rd—The Concentration of Personal Sin

Then I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of Hosts.”  Isaiah 6:5

 

When I get into the presence of God, I do not realize that I am a sinner in an indefinite sense; I realize the concentration of sin in a particular feature of my life.  A man will say easily—‘Oh, yes, I know I am a sinner.’; but when he gets into the presence of God he cannot get away with that statement.  The conviction is concentrated on—‘I have sinned in this, or that, or the other’.  This is always the sign that a man or woman is in the presence of God.  There is never any vague sense of sin, but the exposure of sin in some personal particular.

God begins by convicting us of the one thing fixed in our mind that is prompted by his Spirit.  If we will yield to His conviction on that point, He will lead us down to our sinful nature hiding underneath.  That is the way God will deal with us when we are consciously in His presence.

This experience of the exposure of sin is true in the greatest and the least of saints as well as in the greatest and the least of sinners.  When a man is on the first rung of the ladder of experience, he may say—“I do not know where I have gone wrong.” but the Spirit of God will point out some particular definite thing.

The effect of the vision of the holiness of Jehovah on Isaiah was to bring home to him that he was a man of unclean lips.  “And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” (Isa 6:7)  The cleansing fire has to be applied where the sin has been concentrated.

 

 

July 4th—One of God’s Great Don’ts

Do not fret; it only causes harm.”  Psalm 37:8

 

Fretting means getting out at the elbows mentally or spiritually.  It is one thing to say “Do not fret,” but a very different thing to have such a disposition that you find yourself able to not fret.  It sounds so easy to talk about “resting in the Lord”  and “waiting patiently for Him”  until the nest is upset—until we live, as so many are doing, in tumult and anguish.

Is it possible then to rest in the Lord?  If this “do not fret” does not work there, it will work nowhere.  This “do not” must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace, or it has no power.  And if it will not work in your particular case, can you expect it to work in anyone else’s case?

Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God Himself.  Fussing always ends in sin.  We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are.  It is much more an indication of how really wicked we are.  Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way.

Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not trying to fulfil His own ideas; He was dedicated to fulfilling His Father’s ideas.  Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God.  Have you been bolstering up your rebellious soul with the stupid idea that your circumstances are too much for God?

Put all “supposing” on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty.  Deliberately tell Jehovah that you will not fret about that thing, and hand it over to Him.  All our fret and worry is caused by underestimating our God.

 

 

July 5th—Don’t Calculate Without Jehovah

Commit your way to Jehovah, also trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”  Psalm 37:5

 

Don’t calculate without Jehovah.  God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the things we have calculated on without taking Him into account.  We get into circumstances of our own choosing, and suddenly we find we have been calculating without God.  He has not entered in as the prominent factor.

The one thing that keeps us from worrying is bringing Jehovah in as the greatest factor in all our calculations.  In our religion it is customary to put God first, but we are apt to think it is an impertinence to put Him first in the practical issues of our lives.  If we imagine we have to put on our Sabbath finery before we come near to God, we will rarely come near Him.  We must always come as we are.

Don’t calculate with the focus on evil.  Does God really want us to not blame others for evil?  “Love is patient and its spirit is kind; love does not envy; love does not get upset and is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, nor does it seek its own, nor is it provoked, nor does it consider evil.” (1 Cor 13:4-5)  Love is not ignorant of the evil, but it does not take it in as a calculating factor.  Separate from God, we do reckon with evil; we calculate with it in view and work out how to punish the evil-doers from that standpoint.  That is not our job.  God will deal with that, we are called to offer forgiveness.

Don’t calculate with the rainy day in view.  You will not lay up for a rainy day if you are trusting Jeshua the Anointed.  Jeshua said—“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, and believe in Me.” (John 14:1, 27)  God will not keep your heart from being troubled, that is your job.  It is a command—“Do not let . . . ”  Haul yourself up a hundred and one times a day in order to do it, until you get into the habit of putting God first and calculating with Him in view.

 

 

July 6th—Vision and Reality

The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water.”  Isaiah 35:7

 

We always have visions before a thing is made real.  When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us; then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on.  Instead of the vision becoming real, we have  come to the valley of humiliation.

 

“Life is not as idle ore,

But iron dug from central gloom,

And batter’d by the shocks of doom

To shape and use.

 

God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way.  Every vision will be made real if we will have patience.

Think of the enormous lifespan of God!  He is never in a hurry.  We are always in such a frantic hurry.  In the light of the glory of the vision we go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet.  Jehovah has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to mould us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality.  Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to mould ourselves into a shape of our own invention.

The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be.  Let Him put you on His wheel and shape you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision.But now, O Jehovah, You are our Father.  We are the clay, and You our potter; and we are all the work of Your hand.”(Isa 64:8).  Don’t lose heart in the process.

If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.

 

 

July 7th—All Noble Things Are Difficult

How narrow is the gate and strict is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Matthew 7:14

 

If we are going to live as disciples of Jeshua, we have to remember that all noble things are difficult.  The Christian life is gloriously strict, but the difficulty of it does not make us faint and cave in, it rouses us up to overcome.  Do we so appreciate the marvellous salvation of Jeshua the Anointed that we surrender our Everything for our God?

God saves people by His sovereign grace through the sacrifice and resurrection of His Son Jeshua.  He works in us to will and to do His good pleasure; but we have to work out that salvation in practical living (Phil 2:13).  Once we start on the basis of His Redemption to do what He commands, we find that we can do it.

If we fail, it is because we have not followed it through.  The crisis will reveal whether we have been practising or not.  If we obey the Spirit of God and practise in our lives what God has put in us by His Spirit, then when the crisis comes, we shall find that our new nature as well as the grace of God will stand by us.

Thank God that He does give us difficult things to do!  His salvation is a glad thing, but it is also a heroic, holy thing.  It tests us for all we are worth.  Jeshua is bringing many children unto glory, and God will not shield us from the requirements of His offspring.  God’s grace turns out men and women with a strong family likeness to Jeshua the Anointed, not milk sops.

It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jeshua in this world.  It is always necessary to make an effort to be noble.

 

 

July 8th—The Will to Loyalty

Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.”  Jehoshua (Joshua) 24:15

 

Will is the whole man active.  I cannot give up my will, I must exercise it.  I must will to obey, and I must will to receive God’s Spirit.

When Jehovah gives a vision of truth there is never a question of what He will do, but of what we will do.  The Lord has been putting before us all some big propositions, and the best thing to do is to remember what you did when you were touched by God before—the time when you were saved, or first saw Jeshua’s glory, or realized some truth.  It was easy then to yield allegiance to God.  Recall those moments now as the Spirit of God brings before you some new proposition.

“Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.”  It is a deliberate calculation, not something into which you drift easily; and everything else is in abeyance until you decide.  The proposition is between you and God; do not confer with flesh and blood about it.

With every new proposition other people get more and more “out of it.”  That is where the strain comes.  God allows the opinion of His saints to matter to you, and yet you are brought more and more out of the certainty that others understand the step you are taking.  You do not need to know where God is leading you, the greatest thing God will explain to you is Himself.

Profess to Him—‘I will be loyal.’  As soon as you choose to be loyal to Jeshua the Anointed, you are a witness against yourself.  Profess before Him—‘I will serve You.’  Will to be loyal—and give other people credit for being loyal to their calling too.

 

 

July 9th—The Great Probing

You cannot serve Jehovah, for He is a sacred God.  He is a jealous God; He will not lift away your transgressions nor your sins.”  Jeshua 24:19

 

Have you the slightest reliance on anything other than God?  Is there a remnant of reliance left on any natural virtue, any set of circumstances?  Are you relying on yourself in any particular in this new proposition which God has put before you?  That is what the probing means.  It is true to say—“I cannot live a holy life,” but you can decide to let Jeshua the Anointed make you holy.

“You cannot serve Jehovah” until you allow His Son to cleanse you, until you die to yourself and begin to live a new and holy life.  Are you sufficiently right with God to expect Him to manifest His wonderful life in you?

“No, but we will serve Jehovah.” (Vs 21)  It is not an impulse, but a deliberate commitment.  You say—“But God will not have called me to this, I am too unworthy, it can’t mean me.”  It does mean you, and the weaker and feebler you are, the better.  The one who has something else to trust in is the last one to come anywhere near saying—“I will serve the Lord.”

We say—“If I really could believe!”  The point is—‘Am I really willing to believe?’  No wonder Jeshua the Anointed lays such emphasis on the sin of unbelief.  “And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.” (Mat 13:58)  If we really believed that God meant what He said—what should we be like!

Dare I really let God be to me all that He says He will be?

 

 

July 10th—The Spiritual Recluse

And let us look after one another by encouraging love and good works, and we should not forsake our assemblies, as is the manner of some persons, but look after one another, and all the more as you see that Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:24-25

 

We are all capable of being spiritual recluses.  We do not want to mix with the rough and tumble of life as it is; our one object is a pleasant retirement.  The note struck in Hebrews 10 is that of encouraging one another and of keeping together—both of which require initiative; the initiative of Christ-reliance, not self-reliance.  To live a remote, retired and secluded life is the opposite of spirituality as Jeshua the Anointed taught it.

The test of our spirituality begins when we come up against injustice and meanness and ingratitude and turmoil, all of which have the tendency to make us spiritual recluses.  We want to use prayer and Bible reading for the purpose of retirement.  We utilize God for the sake of getting ourselves peace and joy.  That is, we do not want to become like Jeshua the Anointed, but only relish our enjoyment of Him.  This is the first step in the wrong direction.  All these things are effects and we try to make them causes.

Peter says: “But it seems right to me, as long as I am in this body, to keep your memories awake” (2 Peter 1:13)  It is a most disturbing thing to be struck in the ribs by some servant of God, by someone who is full of spiritual activity.  Active work and spiritual activity are not the same thing.  Active work may be the counterfeit of spiritual activity.

The danger of spiritual sluggishness is that we do not wish to be stirred up, all we want to hear about is spiritual retirement.  Jeshua the Anointed never encourages the idea of spiritual retirement—“Go tell My brethren.”

 

 

July 11th—The Spiritual Saint

that through it I may know Jeshua and the power of His resurrection, and I may share in His sufferings, and I may be conformed with His death, that perhaps I may be in the resurrection from the house of the dead.”  Philippians 3:10-11

 

The initiative of the saint is not towards self-reliance, but towards knowing Jeshua the Anointed.  The spiritual saint never believes circumstances to be haphazard, nor segments his life into the secular and sacred; he sees everything he is caught up in as the means of securing the knowledge of Jeshua the Anointed.

There is a fearless surrender about him.  The Holy Spirit is determined that we shall become like Jeshua the Anointed in every domain of life, and He will bring us back to the same point again and again until we learn.

Self-reliance leads to the enthronement of work; whereas the saint enthrones Jeshua the Anointed in his work.  Whether it be eating or drinking or washing disciples’ feet, whatever it is, we have to take the initiative of acknowledging Jeshua the Anointed in it.  Every phase of our life has its counterpart in the life of Jeshua.  Our Lord revealed His relationship to our Father even in the most menial work.  “Jeshua knowing. . .  that He had come from God, and was going to God. . .  took a towel. . .  and began to wash the disciples’ feet.” (John 13:3-5)

The aim of the spiritual saint is “that I may know Jeshua.” (Phil 3:10)  Do I know Him where I am today?  If not, I am failing Him.  I am not here to develop myself, but to know Jeshua.  In Christian work the initiative is too often the idea that ‘something has to be done and I must do it.’  That is not the attitude of the spiritual saint, his aim is to draw closer to Jeshua the Anointed in every set of circumstances he is in.  Approach Jeshua and let Him decide if you ‘must do it.’

 

 

July 12th—The Spiritual Society

until we shall all be one thing in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and one perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the maturity of the Anointed.”  Ephesians 4:13

 

Rehabilitation means putting the whole human race back into the relationship with God that He designed it to be in, and this is what Jeshua the Anointed enabled in Redemption.  A Church ceases to be a spiritual society when it is on the lookout for the development of its own organization.  The rehabilitation of the human race in Jeshua the Anointed’s plan requires the leadership of Jeshua the Anointed in corporate life as well as in individual lives.

Jeshua the Anointed sent apostles and teachers for this purpose—that the corporate Bride might be perfected.  We are not here just to develop a spiritual life of our own, or to enjoy spiritual retirement.  We are here to obey Jeshua the Anointed so the Body of Messiah may be built up.  Am I building up the Body of Messiah, or am I looking for my own personal development only?  The essential thing in this is my personal relationship to Jeshua the Anointed.

“That I may know Jeshua.”  To fulfil Jehovah’s design means entire surrender to Him.  Whenever I want things for myself, the relationship is distorted.  It will be a big humiliation if I have not been concerned about acknowledging and proclaiming Jeshua the Anointed, but only about acquiring what he has done for me.

 

“My goal is God Himself,

not joy nor peace,

Nor even blessing,

but Him, my God.”

 

Am I measuring my life by this standard or by something less?

 

 

July 13th—The Price of Vision

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw Jehovah sitting on a throne.”  Isaiah 6:1

 

Our soul’s history with Jehovah is frequently the history of the “passing of the hero.”  Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to put Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged.  Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God should be died: I gave up everything?  I became ill?  I got disheartened?  Or—I saw Jehovah?

My vision of God depends upon the state of my character.  Character determines revelation.  Before I can say “I saw Jehovah,”  there must be something corresponding with God in my character.  Until I am being born again and begin to see the Kingdom of God, I see along the line of my prejudices only.  I need the surgical operation of external events and an internal purification.  It must be God first, God second, and God third, until life is faced steadily with God and no one can distract us from Him.

 

“In all the world

there is none but you,

My God,

there is none but you.”

 

Keep paying the price.  Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision.

 

 

July 14th—The Account with Persecution

But I say to you that you should not stand against evil.  And whoever hits you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”  Matthew 5:39

 

These verses reveal the humiliation of being a Christian.  Naturally, if a man does not hit back, it is because he is a coward.  But spiritually if a man does not hit back, it is a manifestation of the Son of God in him.

When you are insulted, you must not only not resent it, but make it an occasion to exhibit the Son of God.  You are to imitate the disposition of Jeshua; and this can only be done by being close to Him. (1 Cor 11:1)  To the saint personal insult becomes an occasion to reveal the incredible sweetness of the Lord Jeshua.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is not—‘Do your duty’, but—‘Do what is not your duty.’  It is not your duty to go the second mile or to turn the other cheek, but Jeshua says if we are His disciples we shall always do these things.  There will be no spirit of—“Oh, well, I will not do any more, I have been so misrepresented and misunderstood.”  Every time I insist upon my rights, I hurt the Son of God; whereas I can prevent Jeshua from being hurt if I take the blow myself.  That is the meaning of filling up that which is left behind of the afflictions of Messiah. (Col 1:24)  The disciple realizes that it is his Lord’s honour that is at stake in his life, not his own honour.

Never expect right from the other man, but never cease to do right yourself.  We are always looking for justice.  The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is—‘Don’t look for justice, but never cease to give mercy.’

 

 

July 15th—The Point of Spiritual Honour

For I owe a debt to preach to every person: Greeks and barbarians, wise and ignorant.”  Romans 1:14

 

Paul was overwhelmed with the sense of his indebtedness to Jeshua the Anointed, and he spent himself to express it.  The great inspiration in Paul’s life was his view of Jeshua the Anointed as his spiritual creditor.  Do I feel that sense of indebtedness to Messiah in regard to every unsaved soul?  The spiritual honour of my life as a saint is to fulfil my debt to Messiah in relation to them.

Every bit of my life that is of value I owe to my Redemption through Jeshua the Anointed.  Am I doing anything to enable Him to bring His Redemption into manifestation in other lives?  I can only do it as the Spirit of God works in me through this sense of indebtedness.

I am not a superior person amongst men, but a bond-slave of Lord Jeshua.  “You are not your own.” (1 Cor 6:19)  Paul sold himself to Jeshua the Anointed.  He says, in effect—‘I owe a debt to everyone on the face of the earth because of the Good News of Jeshua; I am free to be an absolute slave only.’  That is the characteristic of life when this point of spiritual honour is realized.  Quit praying about yourself and offer to be spent for others as the bond-slave of Jeshua.

Feed His Sheep; give them precious Truth from God’s Word.

 

 

July 16th—The Concept of Divine Control

Therefore, if you who are imperfect know to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”  Matthew 7:11

 

Jeshua is laying down rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit.  By the simple argument of these verses He urges us to keep our minds filled with the concept of God’s control behind everything.  This means that the disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.

Fill your mind with the idea that God is there.  Once the mind is filled along that line, then when you are in difficulties it is as easy as breathing to remember—‘Why, my Father knows all about it!’  It is not an effort, it comes instantly when perplexities press.

Before, you used to go to this person and that, but now the concept of Divine control is forming so powerfully in you that you go straight to God about it.  Jeshua is laying down the rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit, and it works on this principle—‘God is my Father, He loves me, I shall never think or do anything that He will forget, why should I worry?’

There are times, says Jeshua, when God will not lift the darkness from you, but trust Him.  God may appear then like an unkind friend, but He is not.  He may appear like a cruel Father, but He is not.  He may appear like an unjust judge, but He is not.  Keep the idea that the mind of God is behind all things strong and keep it growing.  Nothing happens in any situation unless God’s will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him.

Prayer is not merely asking, but an attitude of mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly reasonable.  Remember that Jeshua says “Give, and it shall be given to you.” (Luke 6:38)

 

 

July 17th—The Miracle of Belief

And I, my brethren, when I came to you, I did not proclaim to you the Good News of the mystery of God with magnificent speech nor with scholarship.”  1 Corinthians 2:1

 

Paul was a scholar and an orator of the first rank.  He is not speaking of his inability; but is saying that he would veil the power of God if, when he preached the Good News, he impressed people with his “excellency of speech.”  Belief in Jeshua is a miracle produced only by the efficacy of Redemption, not by impressive speeches, not by wooing and winning, but by the sheer unaided power of God.  The creative power of the Redemption comes through the preaching of the Good News, but never because of the personality of the preacher.

The real fasting of the preacher is not from food, but rather from eloquence, from impressiveness and exquisite diction, from everything that might hinder the Good News of God being presented.  “Therefore we are ambassadors on behalf of the Anointed, as though He who is God invited you through us.  Therefore we implore you on the Anointed’s behalf; be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor 5:20)  He is there only to present the Good News of God.

If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get anywhere near Jeshua the Anointed.  Anything that flatters me in my preaching of the Good News will end in making me a traitor to Jeshua; I distract people from the creative power of His Redemption.  Jeshua said “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all peoples to Me.” (John 12:32)

 

 

July 18th—The Mystery of Believing

And he answered and said, “Who are You, my Lord?”  And our Lord said, “I AM!  I am Jeshua the Nazarene whom you are persecuting.”  Acts 9:5

 

By the miracle of Redemption, Saul of Tarsus was turned from a merciless, arrogant Pharisee into a humble, devoted slave of the Lord Jeshua.  There is nothing miraculous about the things we can explain.  We think we can control what we are able to explain, consequently it is natural to seek to explain.

But what can we do with the miraculous things that we cannot explain?  How do we respond when Jeshua intervenes directly in our life?  Will He have to knock you off your horse and blind you before you will listen to Him?  Even then, will you recognise Him, or will you have to ask Him to identify Himself?

When confronted with Jeshua, Saul finally repented and submitted to accepting help from one of the very people he had come to punish.  In three days he was transformed from a vicious enemy of Jeshua into one of His most committed servants.  If you have not already done so, repent of your sins now, accept that Jeshua died so your sins could be forgiven, and ask Him to cleanse you, write His Instructions into your heart and accept you as His child.

Saul had to go through the heartbreaking discovery that the god he had been serving was actually Satan and his religion was also Satan’s.  We too must be careful that we are not deceived.  If your preacher is not teaching you to obey God’s commandments, if the spirit in you is not making God’s Word come alive as you read it, if you are not overcoming the sin in your life, you have a false god.  Cry out to Jehovah and beg Him to cast out the imposter and let Jeshua fill you and transform your life.

If your denomination is not teaching you to love our Father Jehovah and our Lord Jeshua the Messiah, to read your Bible and obey its Instructions and inspiring you to overcome sin, you are in a fake church.  Follow Jeshua’s advice: “Come out from within her, My people, lest you share in her sins, that you do not receive of her plagues.” (Rev 18:4)  Come out now, do not delay and do not look back (Gen 19:26).18

 

 

July 19th—Mastery over the Believer

You call Me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am.”  John 13:13

 

Though our Master and Lord agrees that He has authority over us; He does not say—You must.19  He leaves us free to choose—so free that we can spit in His face, as men did; so free that we can torture Him, as men did; so free that we can put Him to death, as men did.  But when His life has been created within me by His Redemption I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me.  It is a righteous domination—“You are worthy. . . ” (Rev 5:9)

It is the unworthy in me that refuses to bow down to the worthy.  If I meet a man who is more holy than myself and I do not recognize his worthiness and obey what God gives to me through him, it is a revelation of the unworthy in me.  God can educate us by means of people who are a little closer to Him than we are until we understand the authority of the Lord Himself over us, and then the whole attitude of our life is one of obedience to Him.

Our Father Jehovah’s authority over us is based on these simple facts: He is our Creator (Isa 40:28) and Saviour (Isa 43:3), and without Him we would not exist nor have a future.  Our Lord Jeshua’s authority over us is based on His role alongside His Father in both creating us (John 1:1-5) and redeeming us (2 Peter 3:18).20
Jeshua tells us “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)  And yet He does not rule over us cruelly: “Take on My yoke and learn from Me, because I am peaceful and humble in My heart, and you will find peace for your souls.  For My yoke is pleasant and My burden is light.” (Mat 11:29-30)  He is truly our Lord, and we live in adoration of Him.21

 

 

July 20th—Dependent on God’s Presence

But those who wait on Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

 

There is no thrill in walking; it is the ordinary way of getting around.  Yet to “walk and not faint” is a notable achievement when conditions are severe.  Jehovah liked to walk in the garden with our first parents (Gen 3:8) and the Good News of John records that John the Immerser “saw Jeshua coming towards him, and said, “Behold!  He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!”” (John 1:29)

The Bible is always vivid and real.  God says “Walk before Me.” (Gen 17:1)  When we are in an unhealthy state physically or emotionally, we always want thrills.  In the physical domain this may lead to dangerous activities; in our emotional life it leads to inordinate affection and the destruction of morality; and in the spiritual domain if we insist on getting thrills, on always mounting up with wings, it can end in the destruction of true spirituality.

God’s presence is not dependent on any place, as Psalm 139 delightfully shows us.  Our problems come when we refuse to wait for His presence.  The attitude the Psalmist speaks of—“Therefore we will not fear. . . ” (Psalm 46:2)—will be ours when we are walking in God’s presence and realise there is nothing that He cannot do!  It is necessary to ask His guidance, and to learn to wait and to listen as He leads us on our Christian walk.  When things seem unclear, we must be quiet and seek for directions from His Holy Spirit.  And when we do need ‘wings like eagles’ Jehovah will provide them.

 

 

July 21st—The Gateway to the Kingdom

Blessed are they who are poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Matthew 5:3

 

Be careful when presenting Our Lord as a Teacher.  If Jeshua the Anointed is only a teacher, then all He does is torment us by teaching that we must conform to a standard we cannot attain.  What is the good of telling us to be what we aren’t—to be pure in heart, to do more than our duty, to be perfectly devoted to God and to always keep His Instructions?  Though there is nothing in God’s Instructions that are impossible for us to do, our sinful nature rebels against God and refuses to obey (Romans 8:7-8).  Jeshua has to set us free from our old man of sin before we can truly begin walking with God.

But when I am being born again through the Spirit of God, I know that Jeshua the Anointed did not only come to teach: He came to wash me in His blood and transform me into what He teaches I should be.  The Redemption means that Jeshua the Anointed can put His Spirit into any man, and His Spirit will enable us to love God and obey all of His Instructions.  As Paul puts it: “And you are not to imitate this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, and you shall discover what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom 12:2)

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces despair in the natural person—the very thing Jeshua means it to do.  As long as we have a self-righteous, conceited notion that we can carry out our Lord’s teaching under our own strength, God will allow us to go on until we break our ignorance over some obstacle.  Then we are willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,” that is a principle in the Kingdom of God.  The bedrock in Jeshua the Messiah’s kingdom is poverty, not possession.  We begin with a sense of absolute futility—‘I cannot do it.’  Then Jeshua says—‘Blessed are you.’  That is the entrance, and it does take us a long while to understand that we are poor!  The devastating knowledge of our poverty brings us to the gateway where Jeshua the Anointed works.

 

 

July 22nd—Sanctification I

For this is the will of God: your holiness and that you should separate yourselves from all sexual immorality”  1 Thessalonians 4:3

 

The Death Side:  In sanctification22 God has to deal with us on the death side as well as on the life side.  Many of us spend so much time in the place of death that we get sepulchral.  There is always a royal battle before sanctification, always something that tugs with resentment against the demands of Jeshua the Anointed.  As soon as the Spirit of God begins to show us what sanctification means, the struggle begins.  “He who comes to Me and does not hate . . . even his own soul is not able to be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

The Spirit of God in the process of sanctification will strip me until I am nothing but “myself,”—that is the place of death.  Am I willing to be “myself,” and nothing more—no friends, no father, no brother, no self-interest—simply ready for death?  That is the condition of sanctification.  No wonder Jeshua said: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.  I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” (Mat 10:34)  This is where the battle comes, and where so many of us faint.  We refuse to become one with the death of Jeshua on this point.  “But it is so stern,” we say; “He cannot wish me to do that.”  Our Lord is stern; and He does wish us to do that.

Am I willing to reduce myself simply to “me,” determined to strip myself of all my friends think of me, of all I think of myself, and to hand that simple naked self entirely over to God?  As soon as I am, He will sanctify me wholly, and my life will be free from earnestness in connection with everything but God.

When I pray—“Lord, show me what sanctification means for me,” He will show me.  It means being made one with Jeshua.  And that begins with us dying with Jeshua, symbolised by our immersion under the water (Rom 6:2-9).  Sanctification is not something Jeshua the Anointed puts into me: it is Him living in me. (1 Cor. 1:30 & 2:12)

 

 

July 23rd—Sanctification II

But you are also from Him in the Anointed Jeshua; He who became the wisdom and the righteousness and the redemption and the holiness of God for us”  1 Corinthians 1:30

 

The Life Side:  The mystery of sanctification is that the perfections of Jeshua the Anointed are imparted to me, when by faith I accept the reality that Jeshua the Anointed is made sanctification for me.  Sanctification does not mean anything less than the holiness of Jeshua being made mine manifestly. Our resurrection from the dead as a new person is symbolised by our rising from the waters after we have been immersed, and actualised by being indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1-6).   Now we can truly imitate Jeshua, by letting the perfections of Jeshua manifest themselves in all we think, feel and do.

 

Sanctification is “Messiah in you.”  It is His wonderful life that is imparted to me in sanctification, and imparted by faith as a sovereign gift of God’s grace.  Am I willing for God to make sanctification as real in me as it is in His word?

Sanctification means the impartation of the Holy Spirit, giving us the qualities of Jeshua the Anointed.  It is His patience, His love, His holiness, His faith, His purity, His godliness, that is manifested in and through every sanctified soul.  Sanctification is not only drawing from Jeshua the power to be holy; it is drawing from Jeshua the holiness that was manifested in Him, and He manifests it in me.

Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation.  Imitation is releasing that impartation into our lives.  In Jeshua the Anointed is the perfection of everything, and the mystery of sanctification is that all the perfections of Jeshua are at my disposal, and slowly and surely I begin to live a life of ineffable order and sanity and holiness: “Kept by the power and in the faith of God.” (1 Peter 1:5)

 

 

July 24th—Disposition and Deeds

Unless your righteousness becomes greater than that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Matthew 5:20

 

The characteristic of a disciple is not only that he does good things, but that he is good in motive because he has been made good by the supernatural grace of God.  The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right-being.  Jeshua the Anointed came to put into every person who would let Him a new spirit which would exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.  In the following verses, Jeshua, in essence, says—‘If you are My disciple you must be right not only in your living, but in your motives, in your dreams and in the recesses of your mind.  You must be so pure in your motives that God Almighty can see nothing to censure.’

Who can stand in the Eternal Light of Jehovah and have nothing for Him to censure?  Only the Son of God.  Jeshua the Anointed claims that by His Redemption He can put into any man His own disposition, and make him as unsullied and as simple as a child.  The purity which God demands is impossible unless I can be transformed within, and that is what Jeshua has undertaken to do by His Redemption.

No man can purify himself by only obeying laws.  Purification requires the Blood of Jeshua the Anointed. Jeshua takes us beyond the letter of rules and regulations, and changes our motivations.23  His teachings are truths that can only be interpreted by the spirit He puts within us.  Yes, the great marvel of Jeshua the Anointed’s salvation is that He comes to live inside us.  He does not just modify human nature; He transforms us.

 

 

July 25th—Am I Blessed Like This?

Blessed are. . . ”  Matthew 5:3-10

 

When we first read these statements of Jeshua they seem wonderfully simple, and they can sink unremarked into our minds.  To some people, the Beatitudes appear to be mild and beautiful precepts for all unworldly and useless people, but of very little practical value in the stern workaday world in which we live.

We soon find, however, that the Beatitudes contain the dynamite of the Holy Spirit.  They explode, as it were, when the circumstances of our lives cause them to do so.  Then, when the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance one of these Beatitudes we say—‘What a startling statement that is!’ and we have to decide whether we will accept the tremendous spiritual upheaval that will be produced in our circumstances if we obey His words.

That is the way the Spirit of God works.  The literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount is child’s play; the interpretation by the Spirit of God as He applies Our Lord’s statements to our circumstances is the stern work of a saint.

The teaching of Jeshua contradicts our natural way of looking at things and it comes with astonishing discomfort to begin with.  We slowly reform our walk and conversation on the line of the precepts of Jeshua the Anointed as the Holy Spirit applies them to our circumstances.  The Sermon on the Mount is not simply rules and regulations: it is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is getting His way within us.

 

 

July 26th—The Account With Purity

For from the heart proceeds evil thoughts, adultery, murder, fornication, theft, false witness, and blasphemy.  These are what defile a person . . . ”  Matthew 15:19-20

 

We begin by trusting our ignorance and calling it innocence, by trusting our ‘innocence’ and calling it purity; and when we hear these rugged statements of Our Lord’s, we shrink and say—‘But I never felt any of those awful things in my heart.’  We resent what Jeshua the Anointed reveals.

Either Jeshua the Anointed is the supreme Authority on the human heart, or He is not worth paying any attention to.  Am I prepared to trust His penetration, or do I prefer to trust in my  ignorance?  If I make conscious innocence the test, I will come at last to a place where I find with a shuddering awakening that what God’s Son Jeshua said is true, and I will be appalled at the concealed thoughts of evil and wrong in me.  As long as I remain in the refuge of innocence I am living in a fool’s paradise.  If I have never been a blackguard, the reason is a mixture of cowardice and the protection of civilized life.  When I am naked before God, I find that Jeshua the Anointed is right in his diagnosis.

The only thing that safeguards us is the Redemption of Jeshua the Anointed.  If I will hand myself over to Him, I need never experience the horror of the terrible possibilities that are in my heart becoming realities.

I cannot attain Purity naturally: but when the Holy Spirit comes in, He brings into the centre of my personal life the very Spirit that was manifested in the life of Jeshua the Anointed, viz., Holy Spirit, which is fresh and spotless purity.

 

 

July 27th—The Way to Know

He who wants to do His will can determine if My teaching is from God or if I speak from My own will.”  John 7:17

 

The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience.  If a person wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jeshua the Anointed teaches, he can only get it by obedience.  If things are dark to me, then I may be sure there is something I will not do.  Intellectual darkness comes through ignorance; spiritual darkness comes because of something I do not intend to obey.

No person ever receives a word from God without being put to the test over it.  We disobey and then wonder why we don’t go on spiritually.  ‘Therefore if you bring your offering to the altar, and there you remember that your brother holds a certain grudge against you, leave your offering there before the altar,’ said Jeshua, ‘and first go and reconcile with your brother.’ (Mat 5:23-24)

The teaching of Jeshua hits us where we live.  We cannot stand as imposters before Him for one second.  He educates us down to the scruple.  The Spirit of God unearths the spirit of self-vindication; He makes us sensitive to things we never thought of before.

When Jeshua brings a thing home by His word, don’t shirk it.  If you do, you will become a religious imposter.  Watch the things you shrug your shoulders over, and you will know why you do not go on spiritually.  First go—at the risk of being thought fanatical you must obey what God tells you.

 

 

July 28th—After Obedience—What?

He immediately urged His disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side. . . .”  Mark 6:45

 

We are apt to imagine that if Jeshua the Anointed commands us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to immediate success.  We must never regard our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His immediate purpose may be exactly the opposite.  We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, to our desired goal; He may have a far better, and much more distant, end in mind.

What is my dream of God’s purpose?  His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now.  If I can remain calm and unperplexed in the middle of the turmoil, that is one end of the purpose of God.  God’s work is not limited to a particular end; His goal can be the process—that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no end, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea.

It is every step of the process, not just the end, which is glorifying to God.  God’s training is occurring now, not later.  His purpose is for this minute, not limited to something in the future.  We have no control of the afterwards of obedience; we get it wrong when we concentrate on the afterwards.

What men call training and preparation, God sees as valuable ends.  God’s goal is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life right now.  If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is a vital end, then each moment as it comes is precious.

 

 

July 29th—What Do You See in Your Clouds?

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him.”  Revelation 1:7

 

In the Bible clouds are often connected with God.  Clouds can be those of sorrows or sufferings or persecutions, within or without our personal lives, which seem to dispute the rule of God.  It is by those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith.  If there were no clouds, we would need no faith.  “The clouds are but the dust of our Father’s feet.”  The clouds are a sign that He is there.  What a revelation it is to know that sorrow and bereavement and suffering are the clouds that come along with God!

It is not always true to say that Jehovah wants to teach us something in our trials: through some clouds He brings, He wants us to unlearn something.  His purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our relationship to Him is like that of a child—God and our own soul closely linked.  Until all others become secondary to God, clouds and darkness will be mine every now and again.

Is the relationship between myself and God getting more intimate than it has ever been?  There is a connection between the strange providences of God and what we know of Him, and we have to learn to interpret the mysteries of life in the light of our knowledge of God.  Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God’s character, we do not yet know Him.

They were afraid when they saw Moses and Elijah enter into the cloud.” (Luke 9:34)—Is there anyone “except Jeshua only” in your cloud?  If so, it will get darker; you must get to the place where there is no one any more except Jeshua only.

 

 

July 30th—The Discipline of Disillusionment

But Jeshua did not commit Himself to them, because He understood everyone, for He knew what was in people.”  John 2:24-25

 

Disillusionment means that there are no more false illusions about life.  To be undeceived by illusions could leave us cynical and unkindly severe in our judgment of others, but the disillusionment which comes from God brings us to the place where we see men and women as they really are, and yet there is no cynicism.  We have no stinging, bitter things to say.

Many of the cruel things in life spring from the fact that we suffer from illusions.  We are often not true to one another in reality; we are true only to our ideas of one another.  Everything is either delightful and fine, or mean and dastardly, according to our idea.

The refusal to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering in human life.  It works in this way—if we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of that person every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive.  We are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give.  There are only two Beings who can satisfy the deep aching abyss of the human heart, and they are Jehovah God and our Lord Jeshua the Anointed.  Why Our Lord is apparently so severe regarding every human relationship is because He knows that every relationship not based on loyalty to Him will end in disaster.

Our Lord trusted no man, yet He was never suspicious, never bitter.  Our Lord’s confidence in His Father and in what His grace could do for any man was so perfect that He despaired of no one.  If our trust is only placed in human beings, we shall end in despairing of everyone.

 

 

July 31st—Till You Are Entirely His

But patience will be a complete work, that you would be perfected and complete, not lacking anything.”  Jacob (James) 1:4

 

Many of us are alright in the main, but there are some domains in which we are slovenly.  It is not a question of sin, but of the remnants of the carnal life which are apt to make us slovenly.  Slovenliness is an insult to the Holy Spirit.  There should be nothing slovenly, whether it be in the way we eat and drink, or in the way we worship God.

Not only must our relationship to God be right, but the external expression of that relationship must be right.  Ultimately God will let nothing escape; every detail is under His scrutiny.  In numberless ways Jehovah will bring us back to the same point over and over again.  He never tires of bringing us to the one point until we learn the lesson, because He is producing a finished product.  It may be a question of impulse, and again and again, with the most persistent patience, God has brought us back to the one particular point; or it may be mental wool gathering, or independent individuality.  God is trying to impress upon us the one thing that is not entirely right.

We have been having a wonderful time this session over the revelation of God’s Redemption.  Our hearts are perfect towards Him; His wonderful work in us makes us know that in the main we are right with Him.  “Now,” says the Spirit, through St. James, “let patience have its perfect work.”  Watch the slipshod bits—“Oh, that will have to do for now.”  Whatever it is, God will point it out with persistence until we correct it and are entirely His.

 

 

August 1st—Something More About His Ways

Now it happened, when Jeshua finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.”  Matthew 11:1

 

He comes to where He has commanded us to leave.  If when God said “Go,” you stayed because you were concerned about your people at home, you robbed them of the teaching and preaching of Jeshua the Anointed Himself.  When you obeyed and left all consequences to God, our Lord went into your city to teach; as long as you would not obey, you were in the way.  Watch where you begin to debate and to put what you call duty in competition with your Lord’s commands.  “I know He told me to go, but my duty was here;”—that means you do not believe that Jeshua means what he says.  He teaches where He instructs us not to.

“Master,. . .  we will make three booths.” (Luk 9:33)  Are we playing the amateur spiritual provider in other lives?  Are we so noisy in our instruction of others that God will not get anywhere near them?  We have to keep our spirit alert and know when to keep our mouths shut.  Jehovah wants to instruct us in regard to His Son.  He wants to turn our times of prayer into mountains of transfiguration, and we will not let Him.  When we are certain of the way God is going to work, He will not work in that way anymore.

He works where He sends us to wait.  “Stay. . .  until. . . ” (Luke 24:49)  Wait on God and He will work, but don’t wait in spiritual sulks because you cannot see an inch in front of you!  Are we detached enough from our own spiritual hysterics to wait on God?  To wait is not to sit on our hands, but to learn to do what we are told.  These are phases of His ways that we rarely recognize.

 

 

August 2nd—The Discipline of Difficulty

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me there shall be peace for you.  In the world there will be suffering for you; but take heart, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

 

A common view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble.  It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different.  “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. . . .  no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your tent.”(Psm 91:1,10)—no plague can come near the place where you are at one with God.

If you are a child of God, there certainly will be troubles to meet, but Jeshua says do not be surprised when they come.  “In the world there will be suffering for you; but take heart, I have overcome the world.”  Men who before they were saved would scorn to talk about troubles often become dispirited after being born again because they have the wrong idea of a saint.

God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome.  The strain builds the strength.  If there is no strain, there will be no strength.  Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy?  He will not, unless you will accept the strain.  As soon as you face the strain, you will get the strength.  Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will let you eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment.  If you wear yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but wear yourself out spiritually, and you get more strength.  God does not give us strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute.

The temptation is to face difficulties from a common-sense standpoint.  The saint is joyous when he is crushed with difficulties because he understands that the thing is ludicrously impossible for anyone but God.

 

 

August 3rd—What to Do Under Your Conditions

Cast your burden on Jehovah, and He shall sustain you.”  Psalm 55:22

 

We must distinguish between the burden-bearing that is right and the burden-bearing that is wrong.  We ought never to bear the burden of sin or doubt, but there are burdens placed on us by Jehovah which He does not intend to lift off.  He wants us to roll them back on Him.  If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing; but if we roll back on God that which He has put upon us, He takes away the sense of responsibility by bringing in the realization of Himself.

Many workers have gone out with high courage and fine impulses, but with no intimate fellowship with Jeshua the Anointed, and before long they are crushed.  They do not know what to do with the burden, it produces weariness, and people say—“What an embittered end to such a good beginning!”

“Cast your burden on Jehovah”—you have been bearing it all; deliberately put one end on the shoulders of God.  “The government will be upon His shoulder.” (Isa 9:6)  Commit to God “what He has given you” (Deu 16:17); do not fling it off, but put it over on to Him and give Him yourself with it.  The burden is lightened by the companionship.

Remember that He can put burdens on us to refine us and test us, to make us better disciples (Zec 13:9).  Never disassociate yourself from a burden that is sent by Jehovah.

 

 

August 4th—The Brave Comradeship of God

Then He took His twelve and said to them . . . ”  Luke 18:31

 

The bravery of God in trusting us!  You say—“But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing in me; I am not of any value.”  That is why He chose you.  As long as you think there is something great in you, He cannot choose you because you will be committed to proving your greatness; but if you have let Him bring you to the end of your self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him to Jerusalem, and that will mean the fulfilment of His purposes for you.

We are apt to say that because a man has natural attributes, he will make a good Christian.  It is not a question of our equipment but of our poverty, not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a question of natural virtues or strength of character, knowledge, and experience—all that is of little importance in this matter.  The only thing that matters is that we are taken up into the big compelling of God and made into His comrades (cf 1 Cor 1:26-31).  The comrades of God are men and women who know their poverty.  He can do little with the man who thinks that he is useful to God.

As Christians we are not out for our own cause at all, we are out for the cause of God.  We may not know what God is after, but we have to maintain our relationship with Him whatever happens.  We must never allow anything to injure our relationship with God; and if it does get injured we must repent and get it put right.

The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain with Messiah and the atmosphere produced by that relationship.  That is what God asks us to look after, and it is something that is being continually assailed.

 

 

August 5th—The Baffling Call of God

““And all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Mankind will be fulfilled. . .”  But they did not comprehend even one of these things.”  Luke 18:31, 34

 

God called Jeshua the Anointed to what seemed an unmitigated disaster.  Jeshua the Anointed called His disciples to watch Him be put to death; He led every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken.  Jeshua the Anointed’s life was an absolute failure from every standpoint but God’s.  But what seemed failure from man’s standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God’s, because God’s purpose is not man’s purpose.

There comes the baffling call of God in our lives also.  The call of God can never be stated explicitly.  The call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him.  It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is, because His call is to become a comrade with Him for His own purposes, and the test is to believe that God knows what he is doing.  The things that happen do not occur by chance, they all happen entirely by the decree of God.  God is working out His purposes.

If we are in communion with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, we shall no longer have to know what His purposes are.  As we go on in the Christian life it gets simpler, because we are less inclined to say—‘Now why did God allow this and that?’  Behind the whole thing lies the compelling of God.  “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends.”

A Christian is one who trusts the wits and the wisdom of God, and not his own wits.  If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the contentment which ought to characterize the children of God.

 

 

August 6th—The Stake in Prayer

In that day you will ask in My Name, . . ”  John 16:26

 

We are given to thinking of the Stake as something we have to get through; but we do not need to get through it; we need to get into it.  The Stake stands for this to us—a complete and entire and absolute identification of our death with the death of our Lord Jeshua the Anointed and, apart from our immersion in water, there is nothing in which this harmony is realized more than in prayer.

Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Mat 6:8)  Then why ask?  The goal of prayer is not just to get answers from God; prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God.  If we pray only because we want answers, we will get annoyed with God.  The answers come every time, but often not in the way we expect, and our spiritual annoyance shows a refusal to make ourselves one with Our Lord in prayer.  We are not here to prove God answers prayer; we are here to be living monuments of God’s grace.

“. . . I do not say to you that I will pray to the Father for you: for the Father Himself loves you.” (John 16:26)  Have you reached such an intimacy with God that our Lord Jeshua’s life of prayer is the only explanation of your life of prayer?  Has Our Lord’s vicarious life become your vital life?  On that day you will be so harmonised with Jeshua that there will be almost no distinction in your wills.

When prayer seems to be unanswered, beware of trying to place the blame on someone else.  That is always a snare of Satan.  You will find there is a reason which is a deep instruction to you, not to anyone else.

 

 

August 7th—Prayer in the Father’s House

“Did you not realise that it was necessary for me to be in My Father’s House?”  Luke 2:49

 

Our Lord’s childhood was not immature manhood; our Lord’s childhood brought great joy to His Father, who stayed close to him and guided His growth.  Am I a holy innocent child of God in harmony with my Lord and Saviour?  Do I look upon life as being in my Father’s house?  Is the Son of God living in His Father’s house in me?

The abiding reality is God, and His guidance comes through every moment of our lives.  Am I always in contact with Jehovah, or do I only pray when things have gone wrong, when there is a disturbance in the moments of my life?  I have to learn to become one with my Lord in holy communion in ways I have not discerned so far.  “It is necessary for me to be in My Father’s House”—live all my moments in My Father’s house.

Narrow it down to your individual circumstances—are you so unified with Jeshua that you are simply a child of Jehovah, continually talking to Him and realizing that all things come from His hands?  Is the Eternal Son in you living in our Father’s house?  Are the graces of His ministering life working out through you in your home, in your business, in your domestic circle?

Have you been wondering why you are going through the things you are?  You have to go through them because of the relationships which the Son of God and His Father need to develop in your particular sainthood.  Let Them have Their way, keep in perfect union with Them.

The vicarious life of your Lord is to become your vital simple life; the way He worked and lived among men must become the way Jeshua works and lives in you.

 

 

August 8th—Prayer in the Father’s Honour

He who is to be born from you will be called the Son of God.”  Luke 1:35

 

If the Son of God is linked to my mortal flesh, is His holy innocence and simplicity and oneness with the Father getting a chance to manifest itself in me?  What was true of the virgin Mary in the conception of God’s Son is essentially true in every saint.  The Son of God is placed into me by the direct act of Jehovah.  Then I as a child of God have to exercise the right of a child, the right of being face to face with my Father.  Am I continually saying with amazement to my common-sense life—‘Why do you want to stop me here?  Don’t you realise that it is necessary for me to be in My Father’s House?’  Whatever the circumstances may be, that Holy Pure Eternal Son must be in contact with His Father.

Am I simple enough to let myself become one with my Lord in this way?  Is He getting His wonderful way in me?  Is Jehovah acknowledging that His Son is living in me, or have I carefully put Him to one side?  Oh, the clamour of these days!  Everyone is clamouring—for what?  For the Son of God to be put to death.  There is no room here for the Son of God just now, no room for quiet holy communion with the Father.  No!  We must always stop and make room for God.

Is the Son of God, through His Holy Spirit, praying in me or am I dictating to Him?  Is He ministering in me as He did in the days of His flesh?  Is the Son of God in me going through His passion for His own purposes?  The more one knows of the life of God’s servants, the more one sees what God’s purpose is—“fill up what is lacking in the sufferings for the Anointed in my flesh, for the sake of His body, which is the congregation,” (Col 1:24)  There is always something to be done in this “filling up” of afflictions for the sake of the congregation.

 

 

August 9th—Prayer in the Father’s Hearing

Jeshua lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.”  John 11:41

 

When the Son of God prays, He is fully focused on His Father.  Jehovah always hears the prayers of His Son, and if I am being conformed to the Son of God, the Father will always hear my prayers.  I have to see that Jeshua is manifested in my mortal flesh.  “Your body is the Palace of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you; whom you have received from God, and you are not your own.” (1 Cor 6:19)  So we are the Temple of Jerusalem for the Son of God.

Is Jeshua getting His opportunity in me?  Is the direct simplicity of the life of God’s Son being worked out exactly as it was worked out in His human life?  When I come in contact with the occurrences of life as an ordinary human being, is the prayer of God’s Eternal Son to His Father being prayed in me?  “In that day you will ask in My Name. . . .” (John 16:26)  What day?  Every day since the Holy Spirit came into me and made me effectually one with my Lord.

Is the Lord Jeshua the Messiah being abundantly satisfied in your life or have you got a spiritual strut on?  Never let common sense intrude and push the Son of God to one side.  Common sense is a gift which God gave to human nature; but common sense is not the gift of His Son.  Supernatural sense is the gift of his Son; do not enthrone common sense.  The Son detects the Father; common sense never yet detected the Father and never will.

Our ordinary wits never worship God unless they are transfigured by the indwelling Son of God.  We have to see that this mortal flesh is kept in perfect subjection to Him and that He works through it moment by moment.  Are we living in such dependence upon Jeshua the Anointed that His life is being manifested in us moment by moment?

 

 

August 10th—The Sacrament of the Saint

Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing excellent works, as to a faithful Creator.”  1 Peter 4:19

 

To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to choose God’s Will even if it means suffering is a very different thing.  No healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he or she chooses to do God’s will, as Jeshua did, whether it means suffering or not.

No saint dares to interfere with the discipline of suffering in another saint.  The saint who satisfies the heart of Jeshua will encourage other saints to become strong and mature for God.  The people who do us good are not those who sympathize with us; they always hinder, because sympathy enervates.  No one understands a saint except the saint who is nearest to the Saviour.  If we accept the sympathy of a saint, the reflex feeling is—‘Well, God is dealing cruelly with me.’  That is why Jeshua said self-pity was from Satan (see Matt 16:23).

Be merciful to Jehovah’s reputation.  It is easy to blacken God’s character because God does not answer back, He rarely vindicates Himself.  Beware of the thought that Jeshua needed sympathy in His earthly life; He refused sympathy from man because He knew far too wisely that no one on earth understood what He was doing.

Notice God’s unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world.  God plants His saints in the most useless places.  We say—‘God intends me to be here because I am so useful.’  Jeshua did not evaluate His life along the line of the greatest use.  God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is.

 

 

August 11th—This Experience Must Come

So he saw him no more.”  2 Kings 2:12

 

It is not wrong to depend upon Elijah as long as God gives him to you, but remember the time will come when he will have to go; then he will stand no more as your guide and leader, because God does not intend that he should.  You say—“I cannot go on without Elijah.”  God says you must.

 

Alone at your Jordan:  v.14.  Jordan is the type of separation where there is no fellowship with anyone except God, and where no one can take the responsibility for you.  You have to put to the test now what you learned when you were with your Elijah.  You have been to the Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are up against it alone.  It is no use saying you cannot go; this experience has come, and you must go.  If you want to know whether Jehovah is the God you believe Him to be, then go through your Jordan alone.

 

Alone at your Jericho:  v.15.  Jericho is the place where you have seen your Elijah do great things.  When you come to your Jericho alone, you may have a strong disinclination to take the initiative and trust in God; you want someone else to take it for you.  If you remain true to what you learned with Elijah, you will get a sign that God is with you.

 

Alone at your Bethel:  v.23.  At your Bethel you will find yourself at your wit’s end and at the beginning of God’s wisdom.  When you get to your wit’s end and feel inclined to succumb to panic, Don’t!  Stand true to God and He will bring his truth out in a way that will make your life a sacrament.  Put into practice what you learned with your Elijah, use his cloak and pray.  Determine to trust in Jehovah and do not look for Elijah any more.

 

 

August 12th—The Theology of Rest

Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”  Matthew 8:26

 

When we are in fear we can do nothing better than pray to God.  Jehovah has a right to expect that those who name His Name should have a growing confidence in Him.  God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are the reliable ones.  But sometimes our trust is in God up to a certain point, then we go back to the elementary panic prayers of those who do not know God.  We get to our wit’s end, showing that we have lost our confidence in Him and His government of the world; He seems to be asleep, and we see nothing but breakers ahead.

“O you of little faith!”  What a pang must have shot through the disciples—‘Missed it again!’  And what a pang will go through us when we suddenly realize that we might have produced downright joy in the heart of Jeshua by remaining absolutely confident in Him, no matter what was ahead.  There are stages in life when there is no storm, no crisis, when we do our human best; it is when a crisis arises that we reveal who we rely upon.  If we have been learning to worship God and to trust Him, the crisis will reveal that we will go to the breaking point and not break in our confidence in Him.

We have been talking a great deal about sanctification—what is it all going to amount to?  It should work out into rest in God which means oneness with God, a oneness which will make us not only blameless in His sight, but a deep joy to Him.

 

 

August 13th—Do Not Quench the Spirit

“Do not quench the Spirit.”  1 Thessalonians 5:19

 

The voice of the Spirit can be as gentle as a zephyr, so gentle that unless you are living in perfect communion with God, you never hear it.  The corrections of the Spirit can come in the most extraordinarily gentle ways; if you will not respond His voice you will quench it, and your personal spiritual life will be impaired.  His corrections often come as a calm, quiet voice, so small that no one but the saint notices them (1 Kings 19:12).

Beware if in personal testimony you have to hark back and say—“Once, so many years ago, I was saved.”  If you are walking in the light, there is no need for harking back: the past is transfused into the present wonder of communion with God.  If you get out of the light you become a sentimental Christian and live on memories.  Your testimony has a hard, metallic note.  Beware of trying to patch over a present refusal to walk in the light by recalling past experiences when you did walk in the light.  Whenever the Spirit corrects you, call a halt and get the thing right, or you will go on grieving Him without knowing it.

Suppose Jehovah has brought you up to a crisis and you nearly go through it, but not quite.  He will engineer the crisis again, but it will not be so keen as it was before.  There will be less discernment of God and more humiliation at not having obeyed; and if you go on grieving the Spirit, there will come a time when that crisis will not be repeated; you have grieved Him away.  But if you go through the crisis, there will be the song of praise to God.

Never sympathize with the thing in you that is stabbing at God all the time.  Trust God and let it go.

 

 

August 14th—Chastening

My son, do not turn away from the Way of Jehovah, nor let your soul be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him.”  Hebrews 12:5

 

It is very easy to quench the Spirit; we do it by despising the chastening of the Lord, by turning away when we are rebuked by Him.  If we have only a shallow experience of sanctification, we mistake the shadow for the reality, and when the Spirit of God begins to correct us, we say—‘Oh, that must be the devil.’  Never quench the Spirit, and do not despise Him when He says to you—“Don’t be blind on this point any more; you are not where you thought you were.  Up to the present I have not been able to reveal it to you, but I reveal it now.”  When the Holy Spirit chastens you like that, let Him have His way.  Let Him relate you rightly to Jehovah.

“Nor let your soul be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him.”  We can get into sulks with God and say—“Oh, well, I can’t help it; I did pray and things did not turn out right, and I am going to give it all up.”  Think what would happen if we talked like this in any other domain of life!  Am I prepared to let God grip me by His power and do a work in me that is worthy of Him?  Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me; sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for me, and He has to get me into the attitude of mind and spirit where at any cost I will let Him sanctify me wholly.

 

 

August 15th—Signs of the New Birth

You must be born again.”  John 3:7

 

The answer to the question “How can a man be born when he is old?” is—By being old enough to die—to die right out to his birthrights, to his virtues, to his religion, to everything, and to receive into himself the life of God which was never there before.  This new life manifests itself in repentance and holiness.

“As many as received Him.” (John 1:12)  Is my knowledge of Jeshua born from studying God’s Word and internal spiritual perception, or is it from what I have learned by listening to others?  Have I something in my life that connects me with the Lord Jeshua as my personal Saviour?  All spiritual growth must have personal knowledge of God as its bedrock.

Being born again means that I know Jeshua.  “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)  Do I seek for signs of the Kingdom, or do I perceive God’s rule?  The new birth gives a new power of vision where I begin to discern God’s rule.  His rule was there all the time, but true to His nature; now that I have received His nature I can see His rule.

“Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin.” (1 John 3:9)  Do I seek to stop sinning or have I stopped sinning?  Being born of God means that I have a new nature and the supernatural power of God to stop sinning.  In the Bible it is never—‘Should a Christian sin?’  The Bible puts it emphatically—A Christian must not sin (1 Cor 15:34).  This is why God has written His Laws in our hearts and minds (Heb 10:16).  The effective working of the newborn life in us is that we do not commit sin, not merely that we now have the power not to sin, but that we are refusing to continue in our sins (Rev 14:12).  1 John 3:9 does not mean that it is impossible for us to sin; it means that if we obey the life of God in us, we can choose to not sin.

 

 

August 16th—Does He Know Me?

The flock hear his voice; and he calls his sheep by their names and he leads them out.”  John 10:3

 

When have I sadly misunderstood Him?  (John 10:6)  It is possible to know all about doctrine and yet not know Jeshua.  We are in danger when knowledge of doctrine outstrips intimate contact with Jeshua.  Why was Mary weeping?  Doctrine did not reduce Mary to tears.  The Pharisees could have made a fool of Mary doctrinally, but they could not alter the fact that Jeshua had cast seven demons out of her and given her a new heart.

Yet even these blessings were nothing in comparison to Him.  Mary “saw Jeshua standing there, but did not know it was Jeshua.” (John 20:14)  As soon as she heard His voice, she knew she had a wonderful connection with the One who spoke:  “Master!”

When I have stubbornly doubted?  (John 10:24-27)  Have I been doubting something about Jeshua—an experience to which others testify but which I have not had?  The other disciples told Thomas that they had seen Jeshua, but Thomas doubted—“Unless I  see.., I will not believe.” (John 20:25)  Thomas needed the personal touch of Jeshua.  When His touches come, or how they come, we do not know; but when they do come they are indescribably precious.  “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)

When I have cowardly denied Him?  (Matt 26:33-75)  Peter had denied Jeshua the Anointed with oaths and curses, and yet after the Resurrection Jeshua appeared to Peter and restored him as a disciple.  “My Lord, You know that I love You.” (John 21:17)  Do I have a personal history with Jeshua the Anointed?  The sure sign of discipleship is intimate connection with Him, a knowledge of Lord Jeshua, demonstrated by our love for Him which nothing can shake.

 

 

August 17th—Are You Discouraged in Devotion?

You still lack one thing.  Go, sell everything that you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  Luke 18:22

 

“But when he heard this, he was sad, for he was very rich.” (Vs 23)  Have you ever heard the Master say a hard word to you?  If you have not, I wonder whether you have heard Him say anything.  Jeshua the Anointed says a great deal that we hear, but yet do not hear.  When we do hear, His words can be amazingly hard.  Jeshua did not compel this man to do what He told him.  Nor did He soften what He had said to keep him with Him.  He simply said—“sell everything that you have, and come, follow Me.”  Our Lord did not plead, He did not cajole, He did not entrap; He simply spoke the sternest words this man had ever listened to, and then left it alone.

Have I ever heard Jeshua say a hard word?  Has He said something personally to me to which I have carefully listened to?  Not something I can expound or say this and that about, but something I have heard Him say just to me?  This man did hear what Jeshua said, he heard it and he understood what it meant, and it broke his heart.  He did not go away defiant; he went away sorrowful, thoroughly discouraged.  He had come to Jeshua full of the fire of earnest desire, and the word of Jeshua simply froze him.  Instead of producing an enthusiastic devotion, it produced a heartbreaking discouragement.

And Jeshua did not go after him, He let him go.  Our Lord knows perfectly that when His Word is heard, it will bear fruit in its season.  The terrible thing is that some of us lack patience and try to force the fruit to ripen immediately. I wonder what we will say when we finally make up our minds to learn His patience and realize the damage we have done?  One thing is certain, He will be gracious to us.

 

 

August 18th—Expressionless with Sorrow

But when he heard this, he was sad, for he was very rich.”  Luke 18:23

 

The rich young ruler went away stricken with sorrow; he had not a word to say.  He had no doubt as to what Jeshua said, no debate as to what it meant, and it produced in him a sorrow that had not any words.  Have you ever been there?  Has God’s word come to you about something you are very rich in—temperament, personal affinity, relationships of heart and mind?  Then you have been expressionless with sorrow.  The Lord will not pursue you, He will not plead, but every time He meets you on that point He will simply repeat—‘If you truly want to follow Me, these are the conditions.’

“Sell everything that you have,”  Undress yourself before God of everything that you possess until you are a mere human being, and then offer God that.  That is where the battle is fought—in the domain of your will before God.  Are you more devoted to your idea of Jeshua than to Him?  If so, you are sure to hear one of His hard sayings that will produce sorrow in you.  What Jeshua says can be hard; it is only easy when it is heard by those who are walking in His Spirit.  Beware of allowing anything to soften a hard word of Jeshua the Messiah.

I can be so rich in poverty, so rich in the consciousness that I am nobody, that I cannot be a disciple of Jeshua; and I can be so rich in the consciousness that I am important that I cannot be a disciple.  Am I willing to give up my pride in my poverty, or the security of my wealth?  This is where discouragement comes in.  Discouragement is disenchanted self-love, and self-love may be my love of my ‘devotion’ to Jeshua, rather than love of Jeshua Himself.

 

 

August 19th—Self-consciousness

Come to Me, all you who labour and carry burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

 

God wants us to live a fully rounded life in Messiah Jeshua, but there are times when that life is attacked from the outside, and we tumble into a way of introspection which we thought was gone.  Self-consciousness is the first thing that will upset the completeness of the life in God, and self-consciousness continually produces wrestling.

Self-consciousness may be produced by a nervous temperament or by a sudden change into new circumstances.  It is never God’s will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him.  Anything that disturbs our rest in Him must be dealt with at once, and it is not fixed by being ignored, but only by coming to Jeshua the Anointed.  If we pray and ask Him to allow us to draw closer to Him, He will always do it and help us deal with the problem.

Never allow your life in Messiah to be divided up without dealing with it.  Beware of leakage, of the dividing up of your life by the influence of friends or of circumstances; beware of anything that is going to split up your oneness with Him and make you see yourself isolated.  Nothing is so important as to keep right spiritually.  The great solution is the simple one—“Come to Me.”  The depth of our reality: intellectually, morally and spiritually, is tested by these words.  In every area where we are not transformed, we will dispute rather than come.

 

 

August 20th—Completeness

Come to Me, all you who labour and carry burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

 

Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jeshua the Anointed, turn to Him at once and ask Him to establish rest.  Never allow anything to remain which is causing the disconnection.  Take every element of disintegration as something to wrestle against, and not something to be tolerated.  Pray—‘Lord, let me become more conscious of You dwelling in me’, and self-reliance will go and He will be all in all.

Beware of allowing self-consciousness to grow, because by slow degrees it will awaken self-pity, and self-pity is Satanic.  ‘Well, I am not understood’; ‘this is a thing they ought to apologize for’; ‘that is a point I really must have cleared up.’  Leave others alone and ask Lord Jah to give you the Spirit of Messiah, and He will develop you until the completeness is absolute.

When I am only conscious of myself, there is something wrong.  It is the sick man who knows how precious health is.  The child of God is not focused on his own consciousness because he is reflecting the will of God.  When there has been the slightest deviation from the will of God, we begin to ask—‘What is Your will?’  As a child walking with God, we are restfully certain that God always does answer prayer.

If we try to overcome self-reliance by any common-sense method, we will only develop it tremendously.  Jeshua says, “Come to Me and I will give you rest,”  i.e., Christ-consciousness will take the place of excess self-consciousness.  Wherever Jeshua comes He establishes rest, the rest of the perfection of acting in His Will.

 

 

August 21st—The Ministry of the Unnoticed

Blessed are they who are poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Matthew 5:3

 

The New Covenant brings out things which from the world’s standards do not seem to count.  “Blessed are the poor in Spirit,” is literally “Blessed are the paupers”—an exceedingly commonplace thing!  The preaching of today is apt to emphasize strength of will, beauty of character—the things that are easily noticed.  The phrase we hear so often: ‘Decide for Messiah’, is an emphasis on something Our Lord never trusted.  He never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to Him—it is a very different thing.

One of the basics of Jeshua the Anointed’s Kingdom is the unaffected loveliness of the commonplace.  The thing I am blessed in is my poverty.  If I know I have no strength of will, no nobility of disposition, then Jeshua says—“Blessed are you”, because it is through this poverty that I enter His Kingdom.  I cannot enter His Kingdom as a ‘good’ man or woman, I can only enter it as a complete pauper, acknowledging my total dependence on His Grace.

The true character of the loveliness that tells for God is complete humility.  Paul states it beautifully: “Therefore if there is any consolation in Messiah, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfil my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of the same soul, of one understanding.  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not merely for himself, but also for the things of others.” (Phil 2:1-4)

Who are the people that have influenced us the most?  Often not the ones who thought they did, but those who had not the remotest notion that they were influencing us.  In the life of a Christian we find this unaffected loveliness which is the characteristic of the touch of Jeshua.  We always know when Jeshua is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.

 

 

August 22nd—“I . . .  But He Will

I immerse you with water unto repentance, but He who will come after me is stronger than I.  I am not worthy to remove His sandals.  He will immerse you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”  Matthew 3:11

 

Have I ever come to a place in my experience where I can say—“I —But He”?  Until that moment does come, I will never know what the immersion of the Holy Spirit means.  I am at an end, I cannot do a thing: But He begins just there—He does the things no one else can ever do.

Am I prepared for His coming?  When He comes am I prepared for Him to drag into the light every wrong thing I have done?  It is just there that He comes.  Wherever I know I am unclean, there He will put His feet.  Repentance brings a sense of unutterable unworthiness.  When I repent, I realize that I am utterly helpless; I know all through me that I am not worthy even to carry Jeshua’s shoes.  Have I repented like that?  Or is there a lingering suggestion of standing up for myself?  True repentance leads us to the immersion in water.  We symbolically die for our sins with Jeshua as we go beneath the water, and are washed clean and raised to a new life with Jeshua as we come up again. (Romans 6:1-13)

“He shall immerse you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  John speaks of the immersion of the Holy Spirit as a work performed by Jeshua the Anointed.  “He shall immerse you.”  The main conscious experience those who are immersed with the Holy Spirit have is overwhelming joy.  They overflow from the Love of God pouring down into them, and often start declaring the wonderful works of God (Like in Acts 2:1-11).  It is deeply humbling to be touched by God.

 

 

August 23rd—Prayer Choice and Prayer Conflict

But you, when you pray, enter your inner room and close your door and pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you with revelation.”  Matthew 6:6

 

Jeshua did not say—Dream about your Father in secret, but pray to your Father in secret.  Prayer is an effort of will.  After we have entered our secret place and have shut the door, sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to pray.  We cannot get our minds into working order, and the first thing that conflicts is wandering thoughts.

One great battle in private prayer is the overcoming of mental wool gathering.  We have to discipline our minds and concentrate on wilful prayer.  We have a selected place for prayer and when we get there the plague of flies begins—‘This must be done, and this, and that.’  You must ‘shut your door.’  If you still can’t focus, read a Psalm and use that to lead you into prayer.

A secret silence means to shut the door deliberately on the world and spend time with God.  God sees us in the secret place and comes to be with us; He does not see us as other people see us, or as we see ourselves.  When we live in the secret place it becomes impossible for us to doubt God, we become more sure of Him than of anyone else.  ‘Your Father’, Jeshua says, ‘is in secret.’  Enter the secret place, and right in the centre of the common ground you find Jehovah has been there all the time.  Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything.

Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and then pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.

 

 

August 24th—The Spiritual Index

And what person is there among you who, if their son asks for bread, will hand him a stone?”  Matthew 7:9

 

The illustration of prayer that Our Lord uses here is that of a good child asking for a good thing.  We talk about prayer as if God responds to us irrespective of the condition of our relationship to Him (Isa 1:15, Mat 6:1-7, 1 John 3:22).

If you have moved away from God, it may well be that it is not God’s will to give you what you ask.  Don’t back off and faint, but find out the reason, work through the list.  Are your relations right with your wife, with your husband, with your children, with your fellow students, with your workmates—are you a “good child”  there?  “O Lord, I have been irritable and cross, but I want Your blessings now.”  You cannot have it, you will have to do without it until you repent and right the wrongs.

We mistake defiance for devotion and arguing with God for surrender.  We will not look at the bigger picture.  Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want when there is something I have not paid for?  Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone else?  I have not forgiven someone his trespasses; I have not been kind to him; I have not been living as God’s child among my relatives and friends. (Matt 7:12)  I am a child of God by regeneration, and as a child of God I must walk in the light.

Prayer can be turned into pious platitudes, but prayer is really a matter of emotion and mind in communion with Jehovah.  We are all good at producing fogs which conceal our problems.  If we work through the list, we will see very clearly what is wrong—that friendship, that debt, that temper of mind.

It is no use praying until we are willing to repent.  Then we must pray straightaway!  First we need to ask God to help us return to living as children of God.  Then, Jeshua says—“Everyone that asks receives.” (Matt 7:8)

 

 

August 25th—The Fruitfulness of Friendship

I have called you My friends.”  John 15:15

 

We never understand the joy of self-sacrifice until we surrender in every particular.  Self-surrender is the most difficult thing—‘I will if. . . !’ ‘Oh, well, I suppose I must devote my life to God.’  There is none of the joy of self-sacrifice in that.  As soon as we do surrender, the Holy Spirit gives us an intimation of the joy of Jeshua.  The final aim of self-sacrifice is laying down our lives for our Friend.  When the Holy Spirit comes in, the great desire is to lay down our life for Jeshua, and the thought of sacrifice doesn’t deter us because sacrifice is the love passion of the Holy Spirit.

Our Lord is our example in the life of self-sacrifice—“I delight to do Your will, O my God.” (Psalm 40:8)  Though Jeshua went through a trial of anguish, He went on with His sacrifice (Luke 22:41-45).  Have you ever yielded in absolute submission to Jeshua the Anointed?  If Jeshua the Anointed is not your goal, there is no benefit in the sacrifice; but when the sacrifice is made with your  heart bonded with His, slowly and surely the moulding influence begins to tell (1 Cor 13:1-13).

Beware of letting worldly commitments hinder your walk in love.  The commitment of the saint is to the Lord Jeshua.  Love for God is not sentimental, for the saint to love as God loves is the most exhilarating thing.  “I have called you My friends.”  It is a friendship based on the new life created in us which has no affinity with our old life, but only with the life of God.  It is unutterably humble, unsulliedly pure, and absolutely devoted to loving and obeying God.

 

 

August 26th—Are You Ever Disturbed?

Peace I leave with you, My own peace I give to you; it is not as the world gives that I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not fear.”  John 14:27

 

There are times when our peace is based upon ignorance, but when we awaken to the facts of life, inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jeshua.  When Our Lord speaks peace, He makes peace, His words are always “Spirit and Life.” (John 6:63)  Have I ever received what Jeshua speaks?  “My peace I give to you”—it is a peace which comes from looking into His face and experiencing His joyful tranquillity.

Are you painfully disturbed just now, distracted by the waves and billows of your circumstances?  Have you turned over the boulders of your belief, and you are finding no well of peace or joy or comfort; is all barren?  Then look up and receive the tranquillity of the Lord Jeshua.  His gift of peace is the proof that you are right with Jehovah because you are at liberty to turn your mind to Him.

If you are not right with Jehovah, you cannot turn your mind anywhere but on yourself.  If you allow anything to hide the face of Jeshua the Anointed from you, you are either disturbed or you have a false security.  Are you looking unto Jeshua now, in the immediate matter that is pressing on you and are you receiving peace from Him?  If so, He will be a gracious provider of peace in and through you.  But if you try to worry it out on your own, you obliterate Him and deserve all you get.

We get disturbed because we have not been considering Him.  When one confers with Jeshua the Anointed the perplexity goes, because He has no perplexity, and our real concern is to abide in Him.  Lay it all out before Him, and in the face of difficulty, bereavement and sorrow, hear Him say, “Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not fear.”

 

 

August 27th—Theology Alive

Jeshua said to them, “A little time yet the light is among you.  Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overcomes you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.”  John 12:35

 

Beware of not acting upon what you see in your moments on the mount with God.  If you do not obey the light, darkness will come.  “Therefore, if the light that is in you is dark, how great is your darkness!” (Mat 6:23)  If you recant on sanctification or any other truth upon which Jehovah gave you light, your spiritual life begins to decay.  Continually bring the truth out into your life; work it out in every domain, or the light you have will be extinguished.

The most difficult person to deal with is the one who has the smug satisfaction of an experience to which he can refer back to, but who is not working it out in practical life.  If you say you are sanctified, show it.  The experience must be so genuine that it shows in our life.  Beware of any belief that makes you self-indulgent; it comes from the pit, no matter how beautiful it sounds.

Theology must work itself out in the most practical relationships.  “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness becomes greater than that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” said Our Lord (Mat 5:20).  You must be more moral than the most moral person you know.  You may know all about the doctrine of sanctification, but are you running it out into the practical issues of your life?  Every bit of your life, physical, moral and spiritual, is to be judged by the standard of the Atonement.  This can only be done perfectly by staying close to God.

 

 

August 28th—What’s the Good of Prayer?

Our Lord, teach us to pray.”  Luke 11:1

 

It is not part of the life of a natural man to pray.  We hear it said that a man will suffer in his life if he does not pray.  What suffers is the life from the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer.  When a man is born from above, new life from the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it.  Prayer is the way the life from God is nourished.

Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the Bible.  We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the deeper Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.

“Ask and you will receive.”(John 16:24, compare James 4:3)  We complain before God, we are apologetic or apathetic, but we ask for few things.  Yet what a splendid audacity a child has!  Our Lord says—“Unless you become like children.” (Mat 18:3)  Ask, and God will do.  Give Jeshua the Anointed a chance, give Him elbow room—no natural man will ever do this unless he is at his wit’s end.

When a man is at his wit’s end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the best way he can get into touch with Jehovah.  Be yourself before Jehovah and present your problems, the things you have come to your wit’s end over.  As long as you think you are self-sufficient, you believe that you do not need to ask God for anything.

It is not just that “prayer changes things”; prayer changes me and I change things.  Jehovah has so constituted things that prayer on the basis of Redemption alters the way in which a person looks at things.  Prayer is not merely a way of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man’s disposition.

 

 

August 29th—Sublime Intimacy

Jeshua said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”  John 11:40

 

Every time you venture out in the life of faith, you will find something in your common-sense circumstances that flatly contradicts your faith.  Common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense; they stand in the relation of the natural and the spiritual.

Can you trust Jeshua the Anointed where your common sense cannot trust Him?  Can you venture heroically on Jeshua the Anointed’s statements when the ‘facts’ of your common-sense life shout—“It’s a lie?”  On the mountain it is easy to say—‘Oh, yes, I believe God can do it!’; but you have to come down into the demon-filled valley and meet with ‘facts’ that laugh ironically at the whole of your mount-of-transfiguration belief.

Every time my program of belief is clear to my own mind, I come across something that contradicts it.  Let me say I believe God will supply all my needs, and then let me run dry, with no outlook, and see whether I will go through the trial of faith, or whether I will sink back to something lower.

Faith must be tested, because it can be turned into a personal strength only through conflict.  What is your faith up against just now?  The test will either prove that your faith is right, or it will kill it.  “Blessed is he who is not be offended in Me.” (Mat 11:6).

The final thing is confidence in Jeshua.  Believe steadfastly on Him and everything you come up against will develop your faith.  There is continual testing in the life of faith, and the last great test is death.  May God keep us in fighting trim!  Faith is an unshakeable trust in God, trust which never accepts that He will not stand by us.

 

 

August 30th—Am I Convinced by Messiah?

Behold, I give authority to you to trample on serpents and scorpions and all the power of the enemy, and nothing will harm you.  Nevertheless do not rejoice in this; that the demons are subject to you, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  Luke 10:19, 20

 

Jeshua the Anointed says, in effect, ‘Don’t rejoice in successful service, but rejoice because you are rightly related to Me.’  The snare in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service, to rejoice in the fact that God has used you.

You can never measure what God will do through you if you are rightly related to Jeshua the Anointed.  Keep your relationship right with Him, then whatever circumstances you are in, and whoever you meet day by day, He is pouring rivers of living water through you.  It is part of His mercy that He does not let you know it.

When you are rightly related to Jehovah by salvation and sanctification, remember that wherever you are, you are put there by God.  By the action of your life on the circumstances around you, you will fulfil God’s purpose, as long as you keep in the light as God is in the light.

The tendency today is to put the emphasis on service.  Beware of the people who make usefulness their ground of appeal.  If you make usefulness the test, then Jeshua the Anointed was a great failure.  He had only made a few dozen real disciples before He was killed.  The goal of the saint is God Himself, not someone’s estimate of usefulness.

It is the work that God does through us that counts, not just what we do for Him.  All that Our Lord heeds in a man’s life is their relationship with His Father.  Jeshua is bringing many children to glory.

 

 

August 31st—My Joy . . .  Your Joy

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be perfect.”  John 15:11

 

What was the joy that Jeshua had?  The joy of Jeshua was the absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice of Himself to His Father, the joy of doing what our Father sent Him to do.  “I delight to do Your will, O my God.” (Psalm 40:8)  Jeshua prayed that our joy might go on increasing until it was the same joy as His.  Have I allowed Jeshua the Anointed to inject His joy into me?

The full flood of my life is not in bodily health, not in external happenings, not only in seeing Jehovah’s work succeed, but in understanding Jehovah, and in developing the communion with Him that Jeshua Himself has.  The first thing that will hinder this joy is the corrosive irritation of thinking about our circumstances.  The cares of this world, said Jeshua, will choke God’s word (Mark 4:19).  Before we know where we are, we are caught up in the appearance of things.  All that God has done for us is the mere threshold; He wants to get us to the place where we will be His witnesses and proclaim Who Jeshua is.

Be rightly related to God, find your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water.  Be a centre for Jeshua the Anointed to pour living water through.  Stop being self-conscious, stop being a sanctified snob, and live your life that is hidden with Messiah.  The life that is rightly related to God is as natural as breathing wherever it goes.  The lives that have been of most blessing to you are often those who were unaware of it.

 

 

September 1st—Destiny of Holiness

Be holy in your entire way of life, for He who has called you is holy, because it is written, “You be holy too, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:15-16

 

Continually restate to yourself what the purpose of your life is.  The destined end of man is not happiness, nor health, but holiness.  Nowadays we have far too many commitments: we are dissipated with them; right, good, noble commitments which will yet have their fulfilment, but in the meantime Jehovah has to atrophy them.  The one thing that matters is whether a man will accept the God who will make him holy.  At all costs a man must be rightly related to God.

Do I believe I need to be holy?  Do I believe God can come into me and make me holy?  If by your preaching you convince me that I am unholy, I resent your preaching.  The preaching of the good news awakens an intense resentment because it must reveal that I am unholy; but it also awakens an intense craving.  God has one destined end for mankind, which is holiness.  His aim is the production of saints.

Jehovah is not an eternal blessing-machine for men; He did not come to save men out of pity.  He came to save men because He created them to be holy.  The Atonement means that God can put me back into perfect union with Himself, without a shadow between us, through the Death of Jeshua the Anointed.

Never tolerate through sympathy with yourself or with others any practice that is not in keeping with a holy God.  Holiness means unsullied walking with the feet, unsullied talking with the tongue, unsullied thinking with the mind—every detail of life under the scrutiny of God.  Holiness is not only what God gives me, but what I manifest of that which God has given to me.

 

 

September 2nd—The Sacrament of Sacrifice

Everyone who believes in Me, just as the Scriptures say, rivers of living water will flow from his belly.”  John 7:38

 

Jeshua did not mean—“he that believes in Me shall realize the blessing of the fullness of God,” but—“he that believes in Me, out of him shall flow everything he receives.”  Our Lord’s teaching is always against self-reliance.  His purpose is not the development of a man; His purpose is to make a child of God exactly like Himself (1 John 3:2), and the characteristic of the Son of God is self-expenditure.

If we believe in Jeshua, it is not what we gain, but what He pours through us that counts.  It is not God’s goal to make us beautifully rounded grapes, but to pour sweetness out of us.  Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we find that we cannot measure that at all.

When Mary of Bethany broke the box of precious ointment and poured it on Jeshua’s head, it was an act for which no one else saw any occasion; the disciples said it was a waste.  But Jeshua commended Mary for her extravagant act of devotion, and said that wherever His good news was preached “what this woman has done will also be spoken of in her memory.” (Mark 14:9)  Our Lord is overjoyed when He sees any of us doing what Mary did, not being set on this or that economy, but being surrendered to Him.  God poured out the life of his Son that the world might be saved; are we prepared to pour out our lives for Him?

“Everyone who believes in Me, rivers of living water will flow from his belly”—hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed.  It is time now to break open our life, to cease craving for satisfaction, and to pour these living waters out.  Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him?

 

 

September 3rd—The Waters of Satisfaction Scattered

David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!”  So the three mighty men split the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David.  Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to Jehovah.”  2 Samuel 23:16

 

What has been like water from the well of Bethlehem to you recently—love, friendship, spiritual blessing?  Then at the peril of your soul, you take it to satisfy yourself.  If you do, you cannot pour it out before Jehovah.  But you can sanctify to God that with which you long to satisfy yourself.  If you satisfy yourself with a blessing from God, it will corrupt you; you must sacrifice it, pour it out, do with it what common sense says is an absurd waste.

How am I to pour out unto the Lord natural love or spiritual blessing?  In one way only—in the determination of my mind.  There are certain acts of other people which one could never accept if one did not know God, because it is not within human power to repay them.  But as soon as I say—‘This is too great and worthy for me, it is not meant for a human being at all’, I must pour it out unto Jehovah, then these things pour out in rivers of living water all around.  Until I do pour these things out before the Lord, they endanger those I love as well as myself because they will turn to lust.  Be warned; we can be lustful even in things which are not sordid and vile.  Love has to get to its transformation point of being poured out unto the Lord.

If you have become bitter and sour, it is because when Jehovah gave you a blessing you clutched it for yourself; whereas if you had poured it out unto the Lord, you would have been the sweetest person out of heaven.  If you are always taking blessings to yourself and never learn to pour out anything unto the Lord, other people do not get their horizon enlarged through you.

 

 

September 4th—His!

I have revealed Your Name to the children of men whom You have given to Me from the world.  They were Yours, and You have given them to Me, and they have kept Your Word.”  John 17:6

 

The missionary is one in who the Holy Spirit has wrought this realization—“You are not your own.” (1 Cor 6:19)  To say, “I am not my own” is to have reached a great point in spiritual nobility.  True life in this world is the deliberate giving up of myself to another in sovereign preference, and that other is Jeshua the Anointed.

The Holy Spirit expounds the nature of Jeshua to me in order to make me one with my Lord, not so that I might become a showroom exhibit.  Our Lord sent out the disciples out on the basis of what He had done for them (Mat 9:35 to 11:1 and Luke chap 10).  And after the Resurrection, when the disciples had been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jeshua again said “Go.”

“He who comes to Me and does not hate his father and his mother and his brothers and his sisters and his wife and his children, and even his own soul, is not able to be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)  Not that he cannot be good and upright, but he cannot be one over whom Jeshua writes the word “Mine.”

Any one of the relationships Our Lord mentions may be a competitive relationship.  I may prefer to belong to my mother, or to my wife, or to myself; then, says Jeshua, ‘you are not able be My disciple.’  This may not mean I will not be saved, but it does mean that I cannot be part of His “little flock.” (Luke 12:32)  Our Lord makes a disciple His own possession, He becomes responsible for him.  “You shall be My witnesses.” (Acts 1:8)

The spirit that comes in is not just one of doing anything for Jeshua, but of being a perfect delight to Him.  The secret of the missionary is—‘I am His, and He is carrying out His enterprises through me.’  Be entirely His.

 

 

September 5th—The Spontaneity of Love

Love is patient and its spirit is kind; love does not envy; love does not get upset and is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, nor does it seek its own, nor is it provoked, nor does it consider evil.  Love does not rejoice in evil, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes and endures all things.  Love never fails.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 

Love is spontaneous, it bursts up in extraordinary ways.  There is nothing of mathematical certainty in Paul’s category of love.  We can say—“Now I am going to think no evil; I am going to believe all things.” but this can only happen when God’s Love fills us.  One characteristic of love is its spontaneity.  We set the statements of Jeshua in front of us as a standard; but when His Spirit is having His way with us, we live according to His standard without knowing it, and on looking back we are amazed at the love He has poured through us into other’s lives.

The springs of love are in God, not in us.  It is absurd to look for the love of God in our hearts naturally.  It is only there when it is being shed abroad through our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

If we try to prove to Jehovah how much we love Him, it is a sure sign that we do not love Him fully.  The evidence of our love for Him is the absolute spontaneity of our love; it comes naturally.  In looking back we cannot tell why we did certain things, we did them according to the spontaneous nature of His love in us.

“But hope does not produce shame, because the overflowing love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

 

 

September 6th—What Do You Make of This?

There is no greater love than this, that a person will lay down his soul for the sake of his friends.  You are My friends if you will do everything that I command you.”  John 15:13-14

 

Jeshua laid down His soul for us (John 10:15).  Peter said—“I will lay down my soul for Your sake” (John 13:37) and he meant it; his sense of the heroic was magnificent.  It would be a sad thing to be incapable of making such a declaration as Peter made; the sense of our duty is only realized by our sense of the heroic.

Has the Lord ever asked you—“Will you lay down your life for My sake?”  It is easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out for our high calling.  We are not made just for brilliant moments, but we have to walk in the light of them in ordinary ways.  

The Mount of Transfiguration was a brilliant moment in the life of Jeshua; then He emptied Himself the second time of His glory, and came down into the demon-filled valley.  For thirty-three years Jeshua laid out His life to do the will of His Father, and John says, “By this we know His love toward us, for He gave His soul in our place.  And it is right that we also would give our souls for the sake of our brethren.” (1 John 3:16)

It is contrary to human nature to do it.  If I am a friend of Jeshua, I have to deliberately and carefully lay down my life for Him.  It is difficult, and thank God it is difficult.  Salvation is easy for us because it cost God so much, but the manifestation of it in my life is difficult.  God saves a man and gives him the Holy Spirit, and then says in effect—“Now work it out, be loyal to Me, even while the nature of things around you would make you disloyal.”

“I have called you My friends.”  Stand loyal to your Friend, and remember that His honour is at stake in your bodily life.

 

 

September 7th—The Uncritical Temper

You should not judge, that you not be judged.”  Matthew 7:1

 

Jeshua says regarding judging—‘Don’t.’  The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual.  Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism.  The effect of criticism is a reduction of the powers of the one criticized.

The Holy Spirit is the only One in the true position to criticize.  He alone is able to show what is wrong without unnecessarily hurting and wounding.

It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper.  It makes you hard, vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person.  Jeshua says as a disciple we are to cultivate the uncritical temperament.  It is not done once and for all.

Beware of anything that makes you feel that you are a superior person.  There is no getting away from the penetration of Jeshua.  If I see the mote in your eye, it means I probably have a beam in my own.  Every wrong thing that I see in you, God locates in me.  Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-23).

Stop having a measuring rod for use on other people.  There is always one fact more in every man’s case about which we know nothing.  The first thing God does is to give us a spiritual spring-cleaning; there is no place for pride left in a man after that.  I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.

 

 

September 8th—Do it Yourself

We cast down arguments and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and we take all thoughts as prisoners for obedience to the Messiah.”  2 Corinthians 10:5

 

Deliverance from sin is not deliverance from human nature.  There are things in human nature, such as prejudices, which the saint has to destroy by neglect; and other things which have to be destroyed by direct action, i.e., by the Divine strength imparted by God’s Spirit.  There are some things over which we are not to fight, but to stand still in and see the salvation of God; but every theory or conception which erects itself as a rampart against the knowledge of God is to be determinedly demolished by drawing on God’s power, not by fleshly endeavour or compromise (vs 4).

It is only when God has altered our disposition and we have entered into the experience of sanctification that the real fight begins.  The conflict is along the line of turning our natural life into a spiritual life, and this is never done easily, nor does God intend it to be done easily.  It is done only by a series of moral choices.  Jehovah does not make us holy in the sense of character; He makes us holy in the sense of innocence, and we have to turn that innocence into holy character by a series of moral choices.  These choices are continually in antagonism to the entrenchments of our natural life, the things which erect themselves as ramparts against the knowledge of God.  We can either turn back and make ourselves of no account in the Kingdom of God, or we can determinedly demolish these things and let Jeshua transform us into a child of glory.

 

 

September 9th—Do it Yourself II

We cast down arguments and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and we take all thoughts as prisoners for obedience to the Messiah.”  2 Corinthians 10:5

 

This is another aspect of the strenuous nature of sainthood.  How much Christian work there is today which has never been disciplined, but has simply sprung into being by impulse!  In Our Lord’s life every act was disciplined to the will of His Father.  There was not a movement made from an impulse of His own will as distinct from His Father’s—“The Son is not able to do anything from His own will.” (John 5:19)  Then take ourselves—a vivid religious experience, and every project born of impulse put into action immediately, instead of being imprisoned and disciplined to obey Messiah.

This is a day when practical work is over-emphasized, and the saints who are bringing every thought into captivity are criticized and told that they are not in earnest for God or for souls.  True earnestness is found in obeying Jehovah, not in the inclination to serve Him that is born of undisciplined human nature.  It is inconceivable, but true nevertheless, that saints are not bringing every thought into captivity, but are doing ‘work for God’ at the instigation of their own human nature which has not been spiritualized by determined discipline.

We are apt to forget that a man is not only committed to Jeshua the Anointed for salvation; he is committed to Jeshua the Anointed’s view of God, of the world, of sin and of the devil, and this will mean that he must recognize the responsibility of being transformed by the renewing of his mind.  Only our renewed mind, guided by the Holy Spirit, can truly know what Jeshua wants us to do.

 

 

September 10th—Missionary Munitions

Nathaniel said to Him, “Where do You know me from?”  Jeshua said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”  John 1:48

 

We imagine we would be all right if a big crisis arose; but the big crisis will only reveal the stuff we are made of, it will not put anything into us.  “If God gives the call, of course I will rise to the occasion.”  You will not unless you have risen to the occasion in the workshop, unless you have been the real thing before God there.  If you are not doing the thing that lies nearest, which God has engineered for you to do; when the crisis comes, instead of being revealed as fit, you will be revealed as unfit.  Crisis always reveals character.

The private relationship of worshipping Jehovah is the great essential of fitness.  The time comes when there is no more “fig-tree” life possible, when it is out into the open, out into the glare and into the work, and you will find yourself of no value there if you have not been worshipping as occasion serves you in your home.  Worship aright in your private relationships, then when God sets you loose you will be ready, because in the unseen life which no one saw but God you have become perfectly fit, and when the strain comes you can be relied upon by God.

“I can’t be expected to live the sanctified life in the circumstances I am in; I have no time for praying just now, no time for Bible reading, my opportunity hasn’t come yet; but when it does, of course I shall be all right.”  No, you will not.  If you have not been worshipping as the occasion arises and studying your Bible, when you get into the work you will not only be useless yourself, but a tremendous hindrance to those who are associated with you.

The workshop of missionary munitions is the hidden, personal, worshipping life of the saint.

 

 

September 11th—The Initiative Against Drudgery

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon you!”  Isaiah 60:1

 

We sometimes have to take the first step.  If we want God to help us, we must arise; but as soon as we arise we find He is there.

Whenever Jehovah inspires, the initiative is a moral one.  We must do the right thing and not lie there like a log.  If we will arise and shine, drudgery becomes divinely transfigured.

Drudgery is one of the finest touchstones of character there is.  Drudgery is work that is very far removed from anything to do with the ideal—the utterly mean, grubby things; and when we come in contact with them we know instantly whether or not we are spiritually real.  Read John 13.  We see there the Incarnate God doing the most menial piece of drudgery, washing fishermen’s feet, and He says—“Therefore if I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet for you, how much more should you wash one another’s feet?” (Vs 14)24

It requires the inspiration of God to go through drudgery with the light of God upon it.  Some people do a certain thing and the way in which they do it hallows that thing for ever afterwards.  It may be the most commonplace thing, but after we have seen them do it, it becomes different.  When the Lord does a thing through us, He always transfigures it.

Our Lord has placed Himself in our human flesh and transfigured it, and it has become for every saint the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit.  We must live in the Way that reflects that glory.

 

 

September 12th—By Spiritual Confusion

Jeshua answered and said, “You do not know what you ask.  Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, or be immersed with the immersion that I will be immersed with?”  Matthew 20:22

 

There are times in spiritual life when there is confusion, and it is not good enough to say that there should not be confusion.  It is often not a question of right and wrong, but a question of Jehovah taking you by a way which at the time you do not understand, and it is only by going through the confusion that you will get to what God wants.

 

The Shrouding of His Friendship: Luke 11:5-8.  Jeshua gave the illustration of the man who looked as if he did not care for his friend, and He implied that this may be how the Heavenly Father will appear to you at times.  You will think He is an unkind friend, but remember He is not; the time will come when everything will be explained.  There is a cloud on the friendship of the heart, and often even love itself has to wait in pain and tears for the blessing of fuller communion.  When God looks completely shrouded, will you hang on in confidence in Him?

 

The Shadow on His Fatherhood:  Leviticus 26:13-17.  Jeshua says there may be times when we refuse to obey our Father, and He will punish us as if He were callous and indifferent, but remember He is not; I have told you—“Ask and you will receive.” (John 16:24)  If there is a shadow on the face of the Father just now, repent, and remember that He will ultimately give His clear revealing and justify Himself in all that he has done.

 

The Strangeness of His Faithfulness: Luke 18:1-8.  “When the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?”  Will He find faith which trusts Him, in spite of the confusion?  Stand firm, in faith believing what Jeshua said is true and keeping God’s commandments, though at the time you may not understand what God is doing (Rev 14:12).

 

 

September 13th—After Surrender—What?

I have glorified You on the earth.  I have finished the work that You have given to Me to do.”  John 17:4

 

Surrender is not merely the surrender of our external life, but of our self-reliance; when that is done, all is done.  There are few crises in life; the great crisis is the surrender of our self-reliance.  God does not crush a person into surrender, He does not beseech him, He waits until the person yields up his self-reliance to Him.  That battle never needs to be re-fought.

 

Surrender for Deliverance:  “Come to Me, all you who labour and carry burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Mat 11:28)  It is after we have begun to experience what salvation means that we surrender ourselves to Jeshua for rest.  Whatever is perplexing our heart or mind is unravelled when we respond to Christ’s call—“Come to Me.”  It is a voluntary coming.

 

Surrender for Devotion:  “They who desire to follow after Me, let them deny themselves, and take up their stake, and follow Me.” (Mat 16:24)  The surrender here is of myself to Jeshua, myself denied, with His purpose at the heart of it.  Then the remainder of our life is nothing but the manifestation of this surrender to God.  When the surrender has taken place we never need to “suppose” anything.  We do not need to care what our circumstances are, as Jeshua is watching over us and He is amply sufficient.

 

Surrender for Death:  “Truly, I say to you, that . . . when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will gird you and take you where you do not want.” (John 21:18).  Have you learned what it means to be bound for death?  Beware of a surrender which you make to God in an ecstasy; you are apt to take it back again.  It is a matter of being wholly united with Jeshua in His death until nothing ever appeals to you that does not appeal to Him.

After this surrender—what?  The whole of life after surrender is an eternity of ever-deepening communion with Jehovah.

 

 

September 14th—Imagination Versus Inspiration

But I fear, lest as the serpent seduced Chavvah by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the integrity that is in the Anointed.”  2 Corinthians 11:3

 

Integrity is the secret of seeing things clearly.  A disciple may not think clearly at first, but a saint ought to see clearly without any difficulty.  You cannot think a spiritual muddle clear, you have to obey it clear.  In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you can think yourself into cotton wool.

If there is something upon which Jehovah has put His pressure, obey Him in that matter, bring your imagination into captivity to the obedience of Messiah with regard to it and everything will become as clear as daylight (2 Cor 10:5).  The reasoning capacity comes afterwards, but we never see first along that line.  We should see with the purity of children; when we try to be wise we see nothing (Matthew 11:25).

The tiniest thing we allow in our lives that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit is quite sufficient to account for a spiritual muddle, and all the thinking we like to spend on it will never make it clear.  Spiritual muddle is only made plain by obedience, which leads us to integrity.  As soon as we obey, we discern.  This is humiliating, because when we are muddled we know the reason is in the temper of our mind.  When the power of vision is devoted to the Holy Spirit, it becomes the power of perceiving God’s will and our whole life is kept in simple integrity.

 

 

September 15th—What to Renounce

But we reject shameful secrets and we do not walk in craftiness and we do not deny the word of God, but by revealing the truth we show our souls and minds to all the children of men before God.”  2 Corinthians 4:2

 

Have you “rejected shameful secrets”—the things that your sense of honour will not allow to come to the light?  Is there a thought in your heart about anyone which you would not like to be dragged into the light?  Reject it as soon as it springs up; renounce the whole thing before God until there is no shameful secret or craftiness about you.  Envy, jealousy, strife—these things arise from the body of sin, and should be removed from our lives (see Romans 6:19 and 1 Peter 4:1-2).  Maintain a continual watchfulness so that nothing of which you will be ashamed arises in your life.

“Not walking in craftiness,” that is, resorting to devious means to ‘make your point’.  This is a great snare.  You know that Jehovah will only let you work in one way; be careful to never treat people in another way; God’s blight will be upon you if you do.  Others may do things which you know is walking in craftiness, but Jehovah has given you a higher standard.  Never blunt the sense of your “Everything for My God” and slide back into craftiness.  Many have gone back because they are not willing to look at things from God’s standpoint.

Always feed on God’s Word when you feel weakened by temptation.  The great crisis comes spiritually when a person has to emerge farther on than the denominational creed they used to accept.  Always remember that only God is always right (Rom 3:4).

 

 

September 16th—The Divine Prayer

But you, when you pray, enter your inner room and close your door and pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you with revelation.”  Matthew 6:6

 

The main idea of prayer is—Your eyes upon Jehovah, not on men.  Do not have as your motive the desire to be known as a praying man.  Get into an inner chamber in which to pray where no one knows you are praying, shut the door and talk to God in secret.  Have no other motive than to know your Father in heaven.  It is impossible to conduct your life as a disciple without frequent times of secret prayer.

But when you pray do not use vain repetitions. . . (vs.7).  Jehovah is not impressed by empty rituals.  He hears us on the ground of Redemption.  Prayer is not simply getting things from God, that is a most basic form of prayer.  Prayer is getting into perfect communion with God.  If the Son of God is formed in us by regeneration, He will press forward in front of our common sense and change our attitude to the things about which we pray.

“Everyone who asks will receive.” (Mat 7:8)  We pray pious platitudes, our will is not in it, and then we say God does not answer; but really we never asked for anything of substance.  “You may ask whatever you desire,” said Jeshua (John 15:7).  Asking means our desire and our will is in it, it is of real importance to us.  Whenever Jeshua talked about prayer, He put it with the grand simplicity of a child.  We bring in our critical temperament and say—‘Yes, but. . . ’  Jeshua said “Ask.”  But remember that we have to ask God for things that are in keeping with the will of the God who Jeshua the Anointed revealed (1 John 5:14).

 

 

September 17th—What’s the Good of Temptation?

No temptation has come to you except those of the children of man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make an escape, so you can endure it.”  1Corinthians 10:13

 

The word “temptation” has come down into the world; we are apt to use it wrongly.  Temptation is not sin, but instead an urge to sin.  It is the thing we are bound to meet if we are human.

Not to be tempted would place us beneath contempt.  Many of us, however, suffer from temptations which we have no business to suffer, and this is simply because we have refused to let Jehovah lift us to a higher plane where we would face temptations of another order.

A person’s disposition on the inside, his personality, determines what he is tempted by on the outside.  The temptation fits the nature of the one tempted, and reveals the possibilities of their nature.

Temptation can be a suggested shortcut to the achievement of the highest at which I aim—not towards what I understand as evil, but towards what I understand as good.  Sometimes the temptation is something that completely baffles me for a while; I do not know whether the thing is right or wrong.  Temptation yielded to is lust deified, and is proof that it was timidity that prevented the sin before.

Temptation is not something we can escape, it is essential to the growth of a person.  Beware if you think you are tempted as no one else is tempted.  What you go through is the common inheritance of humanity, not something no one ever went through before.  God does not bring temptations onto us; and He strengthens us in the midst of them (Luke 11:4, Heb 2:18).  Always remember to turn to God when being tempted, He will help us escape from the situation without sinning.

 

 

September 18th—His Temptation and Ours

For He is not a High Priest who cannot suffer with our weaknesses, but was tested in all things like us, yet is without sin.”  Hebrews 4:15

 

Until we are born again, the only kind of temptation we understand is that mentioned by St. James—“But each one is tempted by his own desires and he lusts and is seduced.” (James [Jacob] 1:14)  But by regeneration we are lifted into another realm where there are other temptations to face, viz., the kind of temptations Our Lord faced.

The temptations of Jeshua do not appeal to us, they have no home at all in our human nature.  Our Lord’s temptations and ours move in different spheres until we are being born again and become His brethren.  The temptations of Jeshua are not those of a man, but the temptations of God as Man.  By regeneration the Son of God is formed in us, and in our physical life He has the same setting that He had on earth.

Satan does not only tempt us to do wrong things; he tempts us to deceive us into losing what Jehovah has put into us by regeneration, viz., the possibility of becoming children of God.  He sometimes comes on the line of tempting us to subtly shift our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil.

Temptation can mean the test of one’s total obedience to God.  After Jeshua in His immersion had accepted the commission of bearing away the sin of the world, He was immediately sent into the desert and put into the testing machine of the devil.  He did not give in, He went through the temptations “without sin,” and He retained the purity of His faith intact by remaining true to the teachings of God’s Word (Mat 4:1-11).  We are called to do likewise.

 

 

September 19th—Do You Continue to Go With Jeshua?

You are those who have continued with Me in My trials.”  Luke 22:28

 

It is true that Jeshua the Anointed is with us in our temptations, but are we going with Him in His temptations?  Some of us cease to go with Jeshua from the moment we have an experience of what He can do.  Watch when God shifts your circumstances, and see whether you are going with Jeshua, or siding with the world, the flesh and the devil.  We were wearing His badge, but are we still going with Him?  “Because of this saying, many of His disciples turned their backs and did not walk with Him.” (John 6:66)

The temptations of Jeshua continued throughout His earthly life, and they will continue throughout the life of the Son of God in us on earth.  Are we going on with Jeshua in the life we are living now?

We sometimes have the idea that we ought to shield ourselves from some of the things Jehovah brings round us.  Never!  God engineers our circumstances and whatever they may be like we have to face them while abiding continually with Him in His temptations.  They are His temptations, temptations to the life of the Son of God in us.  The honour of Jeshua the Anointed is at stake in your bodily life.  Are you remaining loyal to the Son of God in the things which beset His life in you?

Do you continue to go with Jeshua?  The way lies through Gethsemane, through the city gate, outside the camp; the way lies alone, and the way continues until there is no trace of our footsteps left, only the beloved’s voice, “Follow Me.”

 

 

September 20th—His Birth and Our New Birth

Behold, a virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they will call His name Emmanuel,” which is interpreted, “Our God is with us.”  Matthew 1:23 (from Isaiah 7:14)

 

His Birth in Bethlehem:25  “The representative26 answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come, and the power of the Highest will rest on you.  Because of this, He who is to be born from you will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)  Jeshua the Anointed was born into this world, not from it.  He came into human history from the outside.  Jeshua the Anointed is not the best human being, He is a Being who cannot be fully accounted for by the human race at all.  He is not a man becoming God, but God Incarnate, God coming into human flesh, coming into it from outside.  His birth is that of the Only and Holy Son of God entering into our physical world.  Our Lord’s birth was an advent.

 

His Birth in Me:  “My children, for whom I labour first until the Messiah is formed in you” (Gal 4:19)  Just as Our Lord came into humanity from outside, so He must come into me from outside.  Have I allowed my personal human life to become a “Bethlehem”  for the Son of God?  I cannot enter into the realm of the Kingdom of God unless I am being born from above by a spiritual birth.  “You must be born once again.” (John 3:7)  This is a foundational fact.  The characteristic of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that His Spirit begins to dwell in me.  As soon as Messiah is living in me, His nature begins to transform me.

 

God manifest in the flesh:—that is what is made profoundly possible in you and me by the Redemption.

 

 

September 21st—The Day of Trumpets

For our Lord, with a command and with the voice of the head representative and with the blast of the trumpet of God, will descend from heaven.  And those who died and are in the Messiah will rise first.”  1 Thessalonians 4:16

 

With this verse, the rest of God’s Plan of Salvation begins to unfold, as outlined in Leviticus 23:23-44.  First, Jeshua comes back to resurrect His people and transform those who are still alive: “And then we who remain and who have life, we will be carried away with them, as one in the clouds, to meet with our Lord in the air.  And in this way we will always be with our Lord.” (Vs 17, also see 1 Cor 15:52).

This Biblical Holy Day marks both the glorious resurrection and transformation of God’s Children and the beginning of the final phase of the Great Tribulation which God will send upon those who dwell on the earth, punishing them for their unfaithfulness, their eagerness to murder Jehovah’s saints and their ongoing refusal to repent from their sins and obey him (Mat 24:3-44, Rev 9:18-21, Rev 16:4-11).  Then Jehovah will destroy the “Great Babylon”—the Roman Catholic Church and her daughters—who deceived the world and exalted in spilling the blood of God’s prophets and disciples (Rev 17:18-19:4).

At last we can rejoice as Jeshua takes us as His Bride, in a marriage that will grow deeper and more tender for eternity (Rev 19:5-9, Eph 5:22-32, Col 1:13-23, Rev 12:1-17).27  After the wedding, we will join His army to assist Him as He takes control of the earth.  And of course, Satan and his followers will rise up against us. (Rev 19:11-19).

 

 

September 22nd—The Disciple’s Master

You call me ‘our Master’ and ‘our Lord’, and you speak well, for so I am.”  John 13:13

 

Having Jeshua as my master means that there is one who knows me better than I know myself, one who is closer than a friend, one who fathoms the remotest depth of my heart and satisfies it, one who has brought me into the secure sense that he has met and solved every perplexity and problem of my mind.  To have Jeshua as a master is this and nothing less—“One is your Leader, the Anointed.” (Mat 23:10)

Our Lord does not force obedience; He does not make me do what He wants.  At certain times I wish God would compel me to do the right thing, but He will not; in other moods I wish He would leave me alone, but He does not.

“You call me Master and Lord”—but is He?  Master and Lord have little place in our vocabulary, we prefer the words Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer.  The only word to describe our Master through our experience is love and initially we know very little about love as Jehovah reveals it.  This is proved by the way we use the word obey.  Our Lord was not merely God’s servant, He was His Son.  “Though He is the Son, He learned obedience from the fear and the suffering which He endured, and in this way He was perfected” (Heb 5:8-9)  Yes, at times there are hard things that are needed to perfect us.  But if our only idea is that of a stern overlord, it is proof that we do not yet know Jehovah; and if that is our attitude towards Jeshua, we are far away from the relationship He wants.  He wants us in a relationship in which He is not only our gentle and generous Master, but also our spouse, our brother and our friend, where we rejoice because we are His and our delight is to obey Him and be near Him.

 

 

September 23rd—The Disciple’s Goal

Then He took His twelve and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem”  Luke 18:31

 

In the natural life our ambitions alter as we develop; in the Christian life our goal is given at the beginning, and the beginning and the end are the same, viz., Our Lord Himself.  We start with Messiah and we end with Messiah—“until we shall all be one in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and one perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the maturity of the Anointed.” (Eph 4:13)  We need Messiah, not our idea of what the Christian life might be.  The aim of the disciple is to do Jehovah’s will, not to be useful, not to win unbelievers; A disciple can be useful and can win the heathen, but that is not his primary aim.  His aim is to do the will of his Lord.

In Our Lord’s life Jerusalem was the place where He reached the climax of His Father’s will upon the Stake, and unless we go there with Jeshua we will have no companionship with Him.  Nothing deterred Our Lord on His way to Jerusalem.  He never hurried through certain villages where He was persecuted, nor lingered in others where He was blessed.  Neither gratitude nor ingratitude turned Our Lord one hair’s breadth away from His purpose in going up to Jerusalem.

“There is no disciple that is greater than his master, nor a servant than his lord.  It is sufficient for a disciple to be like his master.” (Mat 10:24-25)  The same things will happen to us on the way to our Jerusalem.  The works of God will be manifested through us, people will get blessed, and one or two will show gratitude and the rest will show gross ingratitude, but nothing must deflect us from going up to our Jerusalem.

“There they impaled Him.” (Luke 23:33)  That is what happened when Our Lord reached Jerusalem, and that opened the gateway to our salvation and resurrection.  Jehovah’s saints are not destroyed when they are impaled or beheaded: by the Lord’s grace they will be resurrected and live forever before Jehovah’s glory (1 Cor 15:42-58).  In the meantime our watchword is—‘I, too, go up to Jerusalem.’

 

 

September 24th—The “Go” of Preparation

Therefore if you bring your offering to the altar, and there you remember that your brother holds a certain grudge against you,  leave your offering there before the altar, and first go and reconcile with your brother, and then come and offer your offering.”  Matthew 5:23-24

 

We imagine that we will get to a place where we are complete and ready, but perfection is not suddenly accomplished.  It is a process steadily maintained.  It is dangerous to get into a settled state of experience.  We need preparation and more preparation.

The sense of sacrifice appeals to a young Christian.  Humanly speaking, one thing that attracts us to Jeshua the Anointed is our sense of the heroic, and the scrutiny of Our Lord’s words suddenly brings this tide of enthusiasm to the test.  “First go and reconcile with your brother”  The “go” of preparation is to let God’s Word scrutinize us.  The excitement of heroic sacrifice alone is not enough.  The Holy Spirit may detect a disposition in you that will never work in his service.  No one but Jehovah can detect that flaw.  Have you anything to hide from God?  Invite God in to search you with His light.  If there is sin, confess it and repent of it.  If it impacts on a brother, go and make it right.  Are you willing to obey your Lord and Master whatever humiliation it may bring to you?

Never disregard a conviction.  If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to have brought it to your mind, it is important enough for you to act on it.  You were looking for a great thing to give up.  God may be telling you of some tiny thing; but at the back of it there lies the central citadel of obstinacy: ‘I will not give up my right to rule myself.’—it is the very thing God intends you to give up if you are ever going to be a disciple of Jeshua the Anointed.

 

 

September 25th—The “Go” of Relationship

He who compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”  Matthew 5:41

 

The heart of Our Lord’s teaching is that the relationship which He demands is an impossible one unless He has done a supernatural work in us.  Jeshua the Anointed demands that there be not the slightest trace of resentment even suppressed in the heart of a disciple when he meets with tyranny and injustice.

No enthusiasm will ever stand the strain that Jeshua will put upon his worker.  Only one thing will, and that is a personal relationship to Him which has gone through His spring-cleaning until there is only one purpose left—‘I am here for God to send me where He will.’  Every other thing may get fuzzy, but our relationship to our Lord Jeshua must always stay focused.

The Sermon on the Mount is not mere ideals, it is the statement of what will happen in me when Jeshua the Anointed has altered my disposition and put in a disposition like His own.  Jeshua is the only One who has fulfilled the Sermon on the Mount.  If we are to be disciples of Jeshua, we must be made disciples supernaturally.  “I have chosen you.” (Hag 2:23)

That is the way the grace of God begins.  It is a constraint we cannot get away from; we can disobey it, but we cannot create it.  The drawing is done by the supernatural grace of God, and we can never trace where His work begins.  Our Lord’s making of a disciple is supernatural.  He does not build on our natural capacities.  Jehovah does not ask us to do the things that are easy to us naturally; He asks us to do the things we are only able to do by His grace, and the stake will come along that line always.

 

 

September 26th—The Unblameable Attitude

Therefore if you bring your offering to the altar, and there you remember that your brother holds a certain grudge against you,  leave your offering there before the altar, and first go and reconcile with your brother, and then come and offer your offering.”  Matthew 5:23-24

 

If you come to the altar, and there you remember that your brother has anything against you, not—‘If you can rake up something by a morbid sensitiveness,’ but—“If you remember,” that is, if it is brought to your mind by the Spirit of God: “first go and reconcile with your brother, and then come and offer your offering”  Never object to the intense sensitivity of the Spirit of God in you when He is educating you down to the scruple.  “First go and reconcile with your brother. . . ”  Our Lord’s direction is that simple, “First go and reconcile.”

Go back the way you came, go the way indicated to you by the conviction given at the altar; have an attitude of mind and a temper of soul to the one who has something against you that makes reconciliation as natural as breathing.  Jeshua does not mention the other person, He says—‘you go.’  There is no question of your rights.  The stamp of the saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jeshua.

“And then come and offer your offering.”  The process is clearly marked.  First, the heroic spirit of self-sacrifice, then the sudden correcting by the sensitiveness of the Holy Spirit, and the stoppage at the point of conviction, then the way of obedience to the word of God, constructing an unblameable attitude of mind and temper to the one with whom you have been in the wrong; then the glad, simple, unhindered offering of your gift to Jehovah.

 

 

September 27th—The “Go” of Renunciation

Now while they journeyed on the road, a man said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go, My Lord.”  Luke 9:57

 

Our Lord’s response to this man was a discouraging challenge because He knew what was in man.  We would have said—“Fancy losing the opportunity of winning that man!”  Never apologize for your Lord.  The words of Lord Jeshua hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend.  Jeshua the Anointed has no tenderness whatever toward anything that is ultimately going to ruin a person in the service of God.  Our Lord’s answers are based not on caprice, but on the knowledge of what is in man.  If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something in you that He wants to hurt to death.

“Jeshua said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of heaven nests, but the Son of Mankind has nowhere to lay His head.”” Vs 58.  These words knock the heart out of serving Jeshua the Anointed because it is comfortable for me.  There is nothing left but my Lord, and myself, and hope.  Let the luxury go, your only goal must be your relationship to Jeshua, and He has nowhere to lay His head.

“Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”  But he said to Him, “My Lord, first allow me to go and bury my father.””Vs 59.  This man did not want to disappoint Jeshua, nor to hurt his family.  We often put sensitive loyalty to relatives ahead of loyalty to Jeshua the Anointed and Jeshua has to take second place.  In a conflict of loyalty, obey Jeshua at all costs.

“And another said to Him, “I will follow You, My Lord, but first allow me to go and farewell my household and I will follow.”” Vs 61.  The one who says—“Yes, Lord, but. . . ”  is the one who is fiercely ready, but never goes.  This man had one or two reservations.  The exacting call of Jeshua the Anointed has no margin for good-byes and looking back.  When the call of God comes, start going and never stop going.

 

 

September 28th—One Thing is Lacking

Then Jeshua looked at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing is lacking in you: Go and sell everything that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then take up your stake and come and follow Me.”  Mark 10:21

 

The rich young ruler had a great passion to be perfect.  When he saw Jeshua the Anointed, he wanted to be like Him.  Our Lord never puts our personal holiness to the fore when He calls a disciple; He wants us to absolutely annihilate our belief in our own ‘holiness’ and unify with Him—to form a relationship with Him and His Father which surpasses all other relationships.  Luke 14:26 highlights the requirement for unconditional commitment to Jeshua the Anointed.  Very few of us know the joy of absolute surrender to Jeshua.

“Then Jeshua looked at him and loved him.”  The look of Jeshua will mean a heart transformed forever. No allegiance to any other person or thing can remain the same.  Has Jeshua ever looked at you?  The look of Jeshua transcends and transfixes.  Where you are “soft” with God is where the Lord has looked at you.  If you are hard and vindictive, insistent on your own way, certain that the other person is more likely to be in the wrong than you are, it is an indication that there are whole tracts of your nature that have never been transformed by His gaze.

“One thing is lacking. . . ”  The only “good thing” from Jeshua the Messiah’s point of view is union with Himself and nothing in between.

“Sell everything that you have.”  I must reduce myself until I am a mere man, I must fundamentally renounce possessions of all kinds, not to save my soul (only one thing saves a man—absolute reliance upon our Lord Jeshua’s atoning death and resurrection.)—but in order to follow Jeshua.  “Then take up your stake and come and follow Me.”  But instead he went away grieved. (vs 22).  Will you give up all for your Messiah?

 

 

September 29th—Placed in the Light

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of His Son Jeshua cleanses us from all of our sins.”  1 John 1:7

 

To mistake freedom from sin for deliverance from sin by the Atonement is a great error.  No man understands what sin is until he is being born again.  Sin is what Jeshua faced on Golgotha.  The evidence that I am delivered from sin is that I know the real nature of sin in me.  It takes the full depth of the Atonement of Jeshua the Anointed, that is, the impartation of His absolute perfection, to make a man know what sin is.  The Holy Spirit applies the Atonement to us in every realm, and it is only when we get a grasp of the unrivalled power of the Spirit in us that we understand the meaning of 1 John 1:7, “the blood of His Son Jeshua cleanses us from all of our sins.”  This does not refer to only the sins we are conscious of, but to the tremendously profound understanding of our sinful natures which the Holy Spirit reveals in me.

If I walk in the light as Jeshua is in the light, not in the feeble light of my conscience, but in the blazing light of Jehovah God—if I walk there, with nothing hidden away, then there comes the amazing revelation that the blood of Jeshua the Anointed cleanses me from all sin so thoroughly that God Almighty can see nothing to censure in me.  The power of Jehovah God at work in me makes me hate with the hatred of the Holy Spirit all that is opposed to God’s holiness.  To walk in the light means that everything that is of the darkness repels me, and God comforts me and draws me closer into the centre of the light.

 

 

September 30th—Atonement and Satan Bound

And he seized the dragon, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the depth, and shut and sealed the top of it, that he would not seduce all the nations again.  After these years it is allowed to release him for a little time.

And I saw seats, and they sat on them, and judgement was given to them and the souls of those who were cut off for the testimony of Jeshua and for the word of God, and because they had not worshipped the beast nor its image, nor received the mark between their eyes nor on their hands.  They lived and reigned with Messiah for one thousand years.  And this is the first resurrection.  Revelation 20:2-5

 

The Day of Atonement is a wondrous event, given to us by Jehovah our God in Leviticus 23:26-32.  It is a day of fasting in which we are to draw near to God, which we can only do through repentance and acceptance of what Jeshua has done for us (Matt 9:14-15, Psm 69:5-15).

This day looks forward to the time that Satan is finally bound, the sins he has created are placed back on him, and he is rendered totally impotent for one thousand years.28  Everyone who has supported Satan in this rebellion against Jehovah God will by this time have been defeated and Atonement will celebrate their punishment: their leaders will be cast into the Lake of Fire and the rest destroyed with the sword of Jeshua the Anointed (Rev 19:11-21).  Those who have refused to accept and follow the ways of the antichrists (exemplified by the Catholic popes)perverse ways which twist and defile everything that God has given to uswill be spared from God’s Wrath.  (Do you know that accepting God’s Instructions and keeping them gives us God’s Mark (or Sign) on our forehead and hand?  Likewise, accepting the false teachings of fake Christianity, pagan religions or keeping their traditions gives us the Mark of the Beast on our forehead or hand (Exo 13:9, Deut 6:4-8, Deut 11:18-21, Rev 14:9).

As part of the Atonement, both Israel and all other surviving peoples will finally understand the full depravity of their sins and decide that they will no longer live in rebellion against God.  Then they will be cleansed by Jeshua’s blood, set free from sin by His death and given a new relationship with Jehovah God (Lev 16:1-34, 1 John 1:5 to 2:6).  Now they will learn the joy of having Jehovah’s Instructions written in their hearts and the peace that comes from walking with Jeshua (Jer 31:31-34, Zec 12:9-13:2, Col 2:6-7, Phil 4:6-9).

While all the people are being cleansed and restored, Jehovah’s saints will begin to reign under His guidance and authority.  Great will be the joy of those who are in the First Resurrection (Rev 20:4-6).  Hold passionately onto God, love Him and obey Him, so you may partake in this incredible blessing.

 

 

October 1st—The Mountain of Exaltation

Jeshua took Peter, Jacob, and John, and led them alone up onto a high mountain; and He was transfigured before their eyes.”  Mark 9:2

 

We have all had times on the mount, when we have seen things from God’s standpoint and have wanted to stay there; but God does not allow us to stay there.  A test of our spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have power to rise only, something is wrong.  It is a great thing to be on the mount with God, but a person only gets there so afterwards he may come down among the devil-possessed and lift them up.

We are not built just for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all.  We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle.  Spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mount.  We feel we could talk like representatives (aka angels) and live like representatives, if only we could stay on the mount.  The times of exaltation are exceptional, they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware lest our spiritual selfishness wants to make them our entire experience.

We are apt to think that everything that happens is to be turned into useful teaching, but it is often turned into something better than teaching, viz., into character.  The mount is not always meant to teach us something, it is also meant to make us into something.  There is a great snare in asking—‘What is the use of it?’  In spiritual matters we can never calculate on that line.  The moments on the mountain tops are rare moments, and they are always important in God’s purpose.

 

 

October 2nd—The Valley of Humiliation

But whatever You can do, help me!  Have compassion on me.”  Mark 9:22

 

After every time of exaltation we are brought down with a sudden rush into things as they are, where it is neither beautiful nor poetic nor thrilling.  The height of the mountain top is measured from the drab drudgery of the valley; but it is in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God.  We see His glory on the mount, but we don’t live for His glory there.  It is in the valley of humiliation that we find our true worth to God.  That is where our faithfulness is revealed.

Most of us can do things if we are at the heroic pitch because of the natural self-glorification in our hearts, but God also wants us to function fully at the commonplace pitch, where we live in the valley according to our personal relationship to Him.  Peter thought it would be a fine thing for them to remain on the mount, but Jeshua the Anointed took His disciples down from the mount into the valley, the place where the meaning of the vision is explained.

“But whatever You can do. . . ”  It takes the valley of humiliation to root the scepticism out of us.  Look back at your own experience, and you will find that until you learned who Jeshua was, you were a cunning sceptic about His power.  When you were on the mount, you could believe anything, but what about the time when you were up against ‘the facts’ in the valley?  You may be able to give a testimony to sanctification, but what about the thing that is a humiliation to you just now?  The last time you were on the mount with God, you saw that all power in heaven and in earth belonged to Jeshua—will you now give up being sceptical in the valley of humiliation?

 

 

October 3rd—Concentrated on Jeshua

This kind cannot be cast out by anything except by fasting and prayer.”  Mark 9:29

 

“Why weren’t we able to cast him out?”  The answer lies in a personal relationship to Jeshua the Anointed.  This kind cannot be cast out by anything except by concentration and redoubled concentration on Jehovah, achieved by fasting and prayer.  We can ever remain powerless, as were the disciples, by trying to do God’s work not in concentration on His power, but by ideas drawn from our own temperament.  We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him.

You are brought face to face with a difficult case and nothing happens externally, and yet you know that liberation will be given because you are concentrated on Jeshua the Anointed.  This is your line of service—to see that there is nothing separating Jeshua and yourself.  Is there?  If there is, you must get through it, not by ignoring it in irritation, or by railing against it, but by facing it squarely, digging into God’s Word and getting deeper into the presence of Jeshua the Anointed.  Then that very thing, and all you have been through in connection with it, will glorify Jeshua the Anointed in a way you will never fully know until you talk to Him face to face after your resurrection.

We must be able to mount up with wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31); but we must also know how to come down.  The power of the saint lies in the coming down and living while down.  “I am powerful enough for all things through the Messiah who strengthens me.” said Paul (Phil 4:13), and the things he referred to were often humbling things (2 Cor 11:23-28).  Is it in our calling as disciples to refuse to be humbled and to say—“No, thank you, I much prefer to stay on the mountain top with God.”?  Can I face things as they actually are in the light of Jeshua the Anointed, or can things as they are erode my faith in Him, and put me into a panic?

 

 

October 4th—Called to be Holy

To the congregation of God which is in Corinth, to those who are called and holy, sanctified in the Anointed Jeshua, and all those who call on the Name of our Lord Jeshua the Anointed in every place, both theirs and ours”  1 Corinthians 1:2

 

Thank God for showing you what you have never yet been.  You have had the vision, but you are a long way from there yet.  It is when we are back in the valley where we prove whether we will be the selected ones that many of us turn back.  We are not quite prepared for the blows which must come if we are going to be turned into the shape we saw in the vision.  We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to battered into shape and used by God to achieve that vision?  The batterings usually come in commonplace ways and through ordinary people.

There are times when we do know what Jehovah’s purpose is; whether we will let the vision be turned into our actual character depends upon us.  If we prefer to relax on the mount and live in the memory of the vision, we will be of no real use in the ordinary stuff of which human life is made up.  We have to learn to live in reliance on what we saw in the vision, not lust for ecstasies and self-indulgent contemplation, but to live in the real world in the light of the vision until we get to the veritable reality.  Every bit of our training is in that direction.  Learn to thank God for making known His demands.

Our little “I am” often sulks when God says ‘Do’.  Let your little “I am” shrivel up in God’s indignation—“I AM THAT I AM has sent you.” (Exo 3:14)  He is our Lord and must dominate.  Is it not humbling to realize that God knows where we live, and the kennels we crawl into!  He will hunt us up in a lightning flash.  No human being knows us as God does.

 

 

October 5th—The Feast of Booths Begins

And I saw seats, and they sat on them, and judgement was given to them and the souls of those who were cut off for the testimony of Jeshua and for the word of God, and because they had not worshipped the beast nor its image, nor received the mark between their eyes nor on their hands.  They lived and reigned with Messiah for one thousand years.  And this is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy are they who have their part in the first resurrection, and the second death has no authority over them, for they will be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for one thousand years.”  Revelation 20:4-6

 

A Booth is a temporary dwelling, often more substantial than a common tent, but none the less still temporary.  Thus it is with God’s Feast of Booths (Lev 23:39-44).  It is a taste of God’s eternal Kingdom, with many glories, but still missing the complete reforming of the entire universe, the New Jerusalem and the dwelling of our ultimate Father, Jehovah, with us.

Indeed, how wonderful will this Thousand Years of Peace be, which is what God’s Feast of Booths (also called Tabernacles) symbolises.  With Satan bound, people will no longer live in fear.  All of the animals will be restored to their original vegetarian natures, and will no longer kill and eat each other (Isa 11:6, Isa 65:25).  But our greatest joy will be that Jehovah’s own true son, Jeshua the Anointed, will remain on earth with us and be both our High Priest and High King (Acts 1:11, Zec 12:10 to 13:1, Zec 14:16, Rev 20:4-6).

Jeshua will guide us in the most incredible transformation of our planet.  When He returns, it will be reeling from pollution, corruption and war.  God assures us that if Jeshua delayed His return, the earth would be so badly damaged that no one would survive (Mat 24:21-22).  But life will flow out from Jeshua and begin to cleanse and heal both the earth and all of the organisms that live on it (Psm 72:1-17, Ezek 47:1 to 12).  The week-long Feast of Booths celebrates this coming Millennium of joy.

 

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it.

Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.”  For out of Zion the Instruction shall go forth, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Instead, everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of Jehovah of Hosts has spoken.  For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of Jehovah our God forever and ever.” (Micah 4:1-5)

 

 

October 6th—The Palace of the Holy Spirit

Or do you not know that your body is the Palace of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you; whom you have received from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought for a price; therefore you should glorify God with your body and with your spirit, which are God’s.”  1 Cor 6:19-20

 

I will have to give an account to God for the way in which I rule myself within His dominion.  Paul said “I do not reject the grace of God” (Gal 2:21)—which would make it of no effect.

The grace of God is absolute, the salvation through Jeshua is perfect.  It is done for ever.  I am not being saved, I am saved; salvation is as eternal as God’s throne.29  The thing for me to do is to work out what God works in.  “for it is God who carefully works in you both to will and also to do what you desire to do” (Phil 2:13)

I am responsible for doing it.  It means that I have to manifest in this body the life of the Lord Jeshua, not mystically, but really and emphatically.  “But it is my body I discipline and I bring into subjection, lest I, who have preached to others, should become rejected myself.” (1 Cor 9:27).  Every saint can place his body under absolute control for God.  God has made us able to have union with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and thus have control over our imaginations and affections (Phil 2:1).  We are responsible for this, and we must never give way to inordinate affections.  Most of us are much sterner with others than we are with ourselves; we make excuses for ourselves while we condemn others.  It should not be so.

“Therefore I beg you, my brethren,” says Paul, “by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is a reasonable service.” (Rom 12:1)  The point to decide is this—“Do I agree with my Lord and Master that I am His Palace?”  If so, then for me the whole matter is summed up in this revelation, that God is transforming my body, soul and spirit into the Palace of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

October 7th—Reconciliation

For He who had not known sin made Himself as sin in your place, that through Him we would become the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:21

 

Sin is the sign of a fundamentally flawed relationship; it is the wrong way of being that leads to wrong doing, springing from a deliberate and emphatic independence from God.  Christianity bases everything on the radical nature of sin.  Other religions deal with sins; the Bible alone deals with our sinful nature.

The first thing Jeshua the Anointed faced in men was their inherent sinfulness, and if we ignore this in our presentation of the Good News, the message of the Good News loses its sting and its blasting power.  The revelation of the Bible is that Jeshua the Anointed not only took upon Himself our sins, but that He also took upon Himself our sinful natures which no man can heal.  God made His own Son to be sin so He can make the sinner a saint.

All through the Bible it is revealed that Our Lord bore the sin of the world through obedience, not through sympathy.  He deliberately took upon His own shoulders, and bore in His own Person, the whole massed sin of the human race—“He who had not known sin made Himself as sin in your place,” and by doing so He restored the whole human race on the basis of Redemption.  Jeshua the Anointed rehabilitated the human race; He put it back to where God designed it to be, and every one of us can be reunited with God on the basis of what Our Lord has done on the Stake.

No man can redeem himself; Redemption is God’s task.  It is absolutely finished and complete; but its application to an individual person depends on their willingness to accept it.  A distinction must always be made between the revelation of Redemption and the actual experience of salvation in a person’s life.

 

 

October 8th—The Graciousness of Uncertainty

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we are going to be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, and we shall see Him as He is.”  1 John 3:2

 

Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing.  We imagine that we have to reach some end, but that is not quite right.  The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain within our uncertainty, consequently we do not make our nests anywhere.  Common sense says—“Well, supposing I were in that condition. . . ”  We cannot suppose ourselves to be in any condition we have never been in.

Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life.  To be certain of Jehovah means that we are uncertain in all our ways, because we do not know what a day may bring forth.  This is generally said with a sigh of sadness, but it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation.  We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God’s lead.

As soon as we surrender to Jehovah, and do the duty that lies nearest, He packs our life with surprises all the time.  When we become advocates of church tradition, something dies; we stop believing God, we only believe our church’s traditions about Him.

Jeshua said, “Except you become as little children.” (Mat 18:3)  Spiritual life is the life of a child.  We are not uncertain of Jehovah, but uncertain of what He is going to do next.  If we are only certain in our traditions, we get dignified and severe and become frozen in our views; but when we are rightly related to God as His child, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy.  “Believe also in Me,” (John 14:1) said Jeshua, not—“Believe certain things about Me.”  Leave the whole thing to Him.  It is gloriously uncertain how He will come into your life, but He will come.  Remain loyal to Him.

 

 

October 9th—Pull Yourself Together

Do not yield your members as instruments of iniquity for sin, but yield yourselves to God as people who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Romans 6:13-22

 

I cannot save and sanctify myself; I cannot atone for my sin; I cannot redeem myself, let alone the world.  I cannot make right what is wrong, pure what is impure, holy what is unholy.  All of that is the sovereign work of God.  Do I have faith in what Jeshua the Anointed has done?  He has made a perfect atonement; am I in the habit of constantly acknowledging it?  The greatest need is not to do things, but to first believe things.

The Redemption of Messiah is not merely an experience for us, it is the great act of God which He has performed through the cruel death and glorious resurrection of His own Son, our Messiah, and I have to build my faith upon it.  If I construct my faith on my experience, I produce that most unscriptural creature: an isolated life with my eyes fixed on my own whiteness.  Beware of the ‘piety’ that does not spring from the Atonement of the Lord.  It is of no use for anything; it is useless to God and a nuisance to man.

Measure every experience by our Lord Himself.  We cannot do anything pleasing to God unless we deliberately build on the foundation of the Atonement.  The Atonement of Jeshua has to work out in practical, unobtrusive ways in my life.  Every time I obey, absolute Deity is on my side, so that the grace of God and spiritual obedience coincide.  Obedience means that I have risked everything on the Atonement, and my obedience is met immediately by the delight of the supernatural grace of God.

Beware of the piety that denies our physical life, it is a fraud.  Continually bring yourself to the level of the Atonement—where is the discernment of the Atonement in this thing, and in that?

 

 

October 10th—How Shall I Know?

I give thanks to You, My Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and the intellectuals and You have revealed them to children.”  Matthew 11:25

 

We are not redeemed step by step; we are either redeemed or we are not.  God does not cleanse us more and more from sin, but when we turn to the light, and begin walking in the light, we are cleansed from all sin.  From then on, it is a question of obedience to Jeshua, and instantly the cleansing is perfected.  But turn away for one second from obedience, and darkness and death are at work at once.

All Jehovah’s revelations are sealed until they are opened to us by obedience.  You will never get them open by philosophy or thinking.  As soon as you obey, a flash of light comes.  Let God’s truth work in you by soaking in it, not by worrying about it.  The only way you can get to know Jeshua is by repenting and being born again.  Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up.  One can read many books on the work of the Holy Spirit, but five minutes of absolute obedience can make things as clear as a sunbeam.  “I suppose I shall understand these things some day!”  You can understand them now.  Bible study is required, but it is obedience that completes it.  A tiny fragment of obedience, and heaven opens and profound truths of God are yours straight away.

Jehovah will not reveal more truth about Himself until you have obeyed what you know already.  Beware of becoming “wise and prudent” instead of submissive and obedient.

 

 

October 11th—After God’s Silence—What?

And when He heard that he was sick, He stayed in the place where He was for two more days.”  John 11:6

 

Has God trusted you with a silence—a silence that is rich with meaning?  Jehovah’s silences can be His answers.  Think of those days of peaceful silence in the home at Nazareth!  Is there anything similar to those days in your life?  Can God trust you like that, or are you still insisting on a visible answer?  God might give you the blessings you ask if you will not go any further without them; but His silence may be the sign that He is bringing you into a marvellous understanding of Himself.  Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response?  You will find that God has trusted you in the most intimate way possible, with a peaceful silence, not of despair, but of pleasure, because He saw that you could stand a larger revelation.  If God has given you a silence, praise Him, for He is bringing you into the great run of His purposes.  

The manifestation of the answer in time is a matter of God’s sovereignty.  Time is no barrier to God.  For a while you said—“I asked God to give me bread, and He gave me a stone.”  He did not, and today you find He gave you the Bread of Life.

A wonderful thing about God’s silence is that the essence of His stillness gets into you and you become perfectly confident—“I know God has heard me.”  His silence is the proof that He has.  As long as you need God to bless you in answer to prayer, He will do it, but He may not give you the grace of His silence.  If Jeshua the Anointed is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, He will give you a sign of His intimacy—silent comfort.

 

 

October 12th—The Last Great Day

Then I saw a great white throne and He who sat upon it,”  Rev 20:11

“And I saw the new heavens and the new earth”  Rev 21:1

“And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no death from now on, nor grieving, nor trauma, nor shall there be diseases again, for His sake.”  Rev 21:4

 

And at last we reach the final Great Day in God’s Plan of Salvation (Lev 23:39, John 7:37).  Many things happen on this day.  First, the Thousand Years of Peace come to an end and Satan is released.  He immediately begins assembling his followers for their assault against God’s people (Rev 20:5-8).  The assault fails, and they are consumed by fire.  Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev 20:9-10).

Now comes the Great White Throne Judgement, when Jehovah God decides who will be given everlasting life, and who will be destroyed forever in the Lake of Fire.  Then both death and Hades are destroyed (1 Cor 15:20-28, Rev 20:11-15).

Once this is complete, Jehovah our God remakes the entire universe, and brings down the New Jerusalem, His new capital city of the universe, in which He and Jeshua will dwell with us for eternity (Psm 102:25-28, John 14:1-3, Rev 21:1 to 22:14).

Never forget that there are blessings in reading Revelation and obeying God, including keeping His Holy Days (Rev 1:3, Rev 14:12).  Never forget the future that Jehovah and Jeshua have created for you and how much they love you!

 

 

October 13th—Antagonism and Paradise

I will give the overcomer permission to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of My God.”  Revelation 2:7

 

In our present world, life without struggle is impossible either in nature or in grace.  Currently, the basis of physical, mental, moral, and spiritual life is antagonism.  This is the open fact of life.

Health is affected by the balance between physical life and external nature, and life is maintained by sufficient vitality on the inside against things on the outside.  Many things outside my body are able to put me to death.  Things which keep me going when I am alive will disintegrate my body when I die.  If I have enough fighting power, I can remain healthy.

The same is true of our spiritual life.  If I want to maintain a vigorous spiritual life, I have to fight against sin, and in that way virtue is produced.  Everything depends on the strength of my relationship with my Father God as to whether I overcome and live righteously.  No unredeemed man is righteous because he cannot attain it; righteousness is a gift from God.  Jeshua said, “In the world there will be suffering for you,” i.e., everything that is not holy will try to destroy us, but—“But take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  I have to learn to grow from the things that come against me, and in that way grow in holiness; then it becomes a delight to meet opposition.  Holiness is my submission to the law of God as expressed in Jeshua the Anointed.

And the future?  In the Paradise of God there will be only growth, life, peace and joy.  As Jehovah says: “And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no death from now on, nor grieving, nor trauma, nor shall there be diseases again, for His sake.” . . .  And He who sat on the throne said to me, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev 21:4-5)  The antagonism will finally be gone.

 

 

October 14th—Go Until We’re Gone

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and in the earth.  Just as My Father sent Me, so I send you.  Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to keep everything that I have commanded you.  Behold, I am with you every day until the end of the world.””  Matthew 28:18-20

 

The basis of missionary outreach is the authority of Jeshua the Anointed.  We are apt to look upon Our Lord as the one who assists us in our enterprises for God.  Our Lord sees it the other way around; Jeshua is the sovereign Lord over His disciples and we are assisting Him.  He does not say the heathen will be lost if we do not go; He simply says—“Therefore go and make disciples, and teach them to keep everything that I have commanded you.”

“Then the eleven disciples went . . . to the mountain which Jeshua had appointed for them.” (vs 16).  If I want to teach the universal sovereignty of Messiah, I must know Him for myself, and how to get along with Him; I must take time to worship the Being whose Name I bear.  “Come unto Me”—that is the place to meet Jeshua.  Are you weary and heavy laden?  How many missionaries are!  We banish those marvellous words of the universal Sovereign of the world to the threshold of an after-meeting; but they are the words of Jeshua to His disciples.

“Therefore go. . . .”  Acts 1:8 is the description of how to go.  Jeshua did not just say—Go into Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, but also, “You shall be witnesses unto Me” in all these places.  He undertakes to establish the goings.  “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you. . . ” (John 15:7)—that is the way to keep going in our own lives.  Where we are placed is not a matter of our concern; God engineers the placings and the goings.  “But my soul is not considered valuable to me, so I may finish my race and the service which I received from our Lord Jeshua. . . ” (Acts 20:24) And always remember that Jeshua is with us every day!  That is how to keep going until we’re gone.

 

 

October 15th—The Key to the Missionary Message

For He is in Himself the Atonement because of our sins, and not in our place only but also in place of the whole world.”  1 John 2:2

 

The key to the missionary message is the Atonement30 of Messiah Jeshua.  Take any phase of Christ’s work—the healing phase, the saving and sanctifying phase; there is nothing limited about those.  “The Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)—that is beyond all limits.  The missionary message is the limitless significance of Jeshua the Anointed as the atonement for our sins, and a missionary is one who is soaked in that revelation.

The key to the missionary message of Christ’s life is the removing of our sins, not His kindness and His goodness and His revealing of the Fatherhood of God; the great limitless significance is that He is the atonement for our sins.  The missionary message is not patriotic, it is not restricted to nations and individuals, it is for the whole world.  When the Holy Spirit comes in, He is not limited by my predilections, He brings me into union with the Lord Jeshua.

A missionary is one who is wedded to the charter of his Lord and Master.  He is not sent to proclaim his own point of view, but to proclaim the Lamb of God.  It is easier to belong to a group which tells what Jeshua the Anointed has done for me, easier to become a devotee to divine healing, or to a special type of sanctification, or to the immersion of the Holy Spirit.  Paul did not say—“Woe is me, if I do not preach what Messiah has done for me,”  but—“Woe is me, if I do not preach the good news.” (1 Cor 9:16)  This is the Good News—“The Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world!”

 

 

October 16th—The Key to the Master’s Orders

Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.”  Matthew 9:38

 

The key to outreach is in the hand of Jehovah, and that key is prayer.  Not work, that is, not work as the word is popularly understood today because that may mean the evasion of concentration on God.  The key to outreach is not the key of common sense, nor the medical key, nor the key of civilization, nor education nor even evangelization.  The key is prayer.  “Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest.”  Naturally, prayer is not practical, it is absurd; prayer is stupid from the ordinary ‘common-sense’ point of view which denies there is a God who cares for us.

There are no national limits in Jeshua the Anointed’s outlook, but the whole world.  How many of us pray without respect to persons, and with respect to only one Person, Jeshua the Anointed?  He owns the harvest that is produced by distress and conviction of sin, and this is the harvest we have to pray for labourers to be sent into to reap.  We can be taken up with active work while people all round are ripe to harvest, and we do not reap one of them, but waste our time ‘for the Lord’ in over-energized activities.

Suppose the crisis comes in your father’s life, in your sister’s life, are you there as a labourer to reap the harvest for Jeshua?  “Oh, but I have a special work to do!”  No Christian has a special work to do.  A Christian is called to be Messiah Jeshua’s own servant, one who is not above his Master, one who does not dictate to Jeshua what He should do.  Our Lord calls us to no special work: He calls us to Himself.  “Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest,” and He will engineer the circumstances and send you out.

 

 

October 17th—Greater Works

Truly, truly I say to you that whoever believes in Me, these works that I do, he will do also; and more than these he will do, because I go to the Father.”  John 14:12

 

Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.  We think of prayer as an ordinary exercise of our higher powers in order to prepare us for God’s work.  In the teaching of Jeshua the Anointed, prayer is the out-working of the miracle of Redemption in me which produces the miracle of Redemption in others by the power of Jehovah.  The way fruit remains is by prayer, but remember it is prayer based on the agony of Messiah in Redeeming us, not on my agony.

Prayer is the battle-front; it does not matter where you are.  Which-ever way God engineers circumstances, our duty is to pray.  Never allow the thought—“I am of no use where I am;” because you certainly are of no use where you are not.  Wherever God has placed you, in all circumstances pray, cry out to Him all the time.  “Whatever you ask in My Name, I will do for you.” (John 14:13)

‘We won’t pray unless we get thrills.’—that is the most conceited form of spiritual selfishness.  We have to labour along the line of God’s direction, and He says pray.  “Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.” (Mat 9:38)

There is nothing thrilling about a labouring man’s work, but it is the labouring man who helps makes the concepts of the genius a reality; and it is the labouring saint who helps make the concepts of his Master reality.  You labour at prayer and results happen all the time from His standpoint.  What an astonishment it will be to find, when the veil is lifted, all the souls that you have helped reap, simply because you made the habit of taking your orders from Jeshua the Anointed.

 

 

October 18th—The Key to Missionary Devotion

They went forth for His Name’s sake.”  3 John 7

 

Our Lord has told us how our love of Him is to manifest itself.  “Do you Love Me?”  Then “Shepherd My sheep for Me.” (John 21:16)—make yourself one with My interests in other people, not, identify Me with your interests in other people.  John 10:1 to 18 gives the character of this love; it is the love of God expressing itself.  We are not to be hirelings, but we are to show the Love of Jeshua.  The test of my love for Jeshua is the practical one, all the rest is sentimental jargon.

Loyalty to Jeshua the Anointed is the supernatural work of Redemption wrought in me by the Holy Spirit who sheds abroad the love of God in my heart, and that love works effectively through me in contact with everyone I meet.  I remain loyal to His Name even when atheists claim He is a lie, and declare that he has no more power than a morning mist.

The key to missionary devotion means being attached foremost and always to nothing and no one except Our Lord Jeshua and His Father Jehovah, but this does not mean being detached from things externally.  Our Lord was amazingly out and about among ordinary things; but His attachment was always on the inside towards His Father.

The loyalty of a missionary is to keep his soul completely open to his Lord Jeshua the Anointed.  The men and women our Lord sends out on his enterprises are the ordinary human stuff, but are being transformed each day by the unwavering devotion to Him wrought by the Holy Spirit.

 

 

October 19th—The Unheeded Secret

My kingdom is not of this world.”  John 18:36

 

The great enemy of Lord Jeshua the Anointed in the present day is the practical work that has not come from the Bible, but from the systems of the world in which endless energy and activities are insisted upon, but there is no time for a private life with Jehovah.  The emphasis is put on the wrong thing.  Jeshua said, “The Kingdom of God does not come from observation . . .  for the Kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20-21)—it is a hidden, invisible thing until Messiah returns.  An active Christian worker too often lives in the shop window.  It is their innermost being that reveals the power of the life of God.

We have to get rid of the spirit of the religious age in which we live.  In Our Lord’s life there was not the press and rush of tremendous activity that we regard so highly, and the disciple is to be as His Master.  The central thing about Jeshua’s Kingdom is that we have a personal relationship with Him, not our public usefulness to men.

It is not practical activities that are the strength of this Bible Training College; its whole strength lies in the fact that here you are able to soak before God.  You have no idea of where God is going to engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what strain is going to be put on you either at home or abroad, and if you waste your time in strenuous activities instead of soaking up the great fundamental truths of God’s Redemption, you will snap when the strain comes.  But if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in God on the Biblical line, you will remain true to Him whatever happens.

 

 

October 20th—Is God’s Will My Will?

For this is the will of God: your holiness and that you should separate yourselves from all fornication”  1 Thessalonians 4:3

 

It is not a question of whether God is willing to sanctify me; He is ready.  But is it my will?  Am I willing to let God do in me all that has been made possible by the Atonement?  Am I willing to let Jeshua be made sanctification to me, and to let the spirit of Jeshua be manifested in my mortal flesh?

Beware of saying—‘Oh, I am longing to be sanctified.’  You are not!  Stop longing and make it a matter of interaction—“I bring nothing in my hands.”  Receive Jeshua and let Him sanctify you in implicit faith, and the great marvel of the Atonement of Jeshua will be made real in you.  All that Jeshua made possible is made mine by the free loving gift of Jehovah.  My attitude as a saved and sanctified person should be that of profound humble holiness (there is no such thing as proud holiness), a holiness based on agonizing repentance and a sense of my own unspeakable shame and degradation; and also on the amazing realization that the love of God overwhelmed me while I cared nothing about Him.  He completed everything required for my salvation and sanctification (see Rom 5:8-11).  No wonder Paul says nothing is “able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Messiah Jeshua our Lord.” (Rom 8:39)

Sanctification makes me one with Jeshua the Anointed, and through Him, one with Jehovah God, and it can be done only through the superb Atonement of Messiah.  Never mistake the effect for the cause.  The effect in me is obedience and service and prayer, and it is the outcome of unutterable thanks and adoration for the marvellous sanctification wrought in me because of Jeshua’s sacrifice.

 

 

October 21st—Direction by Impulse

But you, beloved, be encouraged from above in your holy faith, while praying in the Holy Spirit”  Jude 20

 

There was nothing of impulse or of cold-bloodedness about Our Lord, but only a calm strength that never got into panic.  Most of us develop our Christianity along the line of our temperament, not along the line of God.  Impulse is a trait in natural life, but Our Lord always deplores it, because it hinders the development of a disciple.  Watch how the Spirit of God corrects impulse.  His corrections often bring a rush of self-conscious foolishness which makes us instantly want to vindicate ourselves.  Impulse is common in a child, but it is disastrous in a man or woman; an impulsive man is always a sulky man.  Impulse has to be replaced with disciplined intuition.

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of Jehovah.  Walking on the water is satisfying for impulsive pluck, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jeshua the Nazarine is a different thing.  Peter walked on the water to go to Jeshua, but when things got hard he followed Him afar off on the land.  We may not initially need the grace of God to stand in a crisis, as human nature and pride may be sufficient for a little while; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty four hours of every day, day after day, as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a servant of Jeshua.

We believe that we have to do extraordinary things for God; but we may not have to.  But we do have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.

 

 

October 22nd—The Witness of the Spirit

And that Spirit testifies to our spirit that we are children of God”  Romans 8:16

 

We are in danger of getting the barter spirit when we come to Jehovah; we want the witness before we have done what God tells us to do.  “Why doesn’t God reveal Himself to me?”  He will not, because you are in the way as long as you won’t surrender absolutely to Him.  As soon as you do, God witnesses instantly through His own nature in you.  If you had the witness before the reality, it would end in sentimental emotion.

As soon as you give up reasoning and arguing against God and interact on the basis of Jeshua’s Redemption, God witnesses to what He has done, and we are amazed at our impertinence in having kept Him waiting.  If you are debating whether God can deliver you from your sins, either let Him do it, or tell Him He cannot.  Do not quote this and that person, try Matthew 11:28—“Come unto Me.”  Come, if you are weary and heavy laden; ask for His forgiveness, if you know you are evil (Luke 11:13).

The Spirit of God witnesses to the Redemption of Our Lord, He does not witness to anything else.  He will not witness to our reason.  The simplicity that comes from our better natural common-sense decisions can be mistaken for the witness of the Spirit, but the Spirit witnesses only to God’s Word, and to the work of Redemption, not to our reason.  If we try to make Him witness to our reason, it is no wonder we are in darkness and perplexity.  Fling it all overboard, trust in Him, and He will give the witness.

 

 

October 23rd—Not a Bit of It!

Therefore, all who are in the Anointed are a new creation; with this the old things have passed away”  2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Our Lord does not nurse our prejudices, He mortifies them, runs clean through them.  We imagine that God has a special interest in our particular prejudices; we are quite sure that God will never deal with us as He has to deal with other people.  “God must deal with other people in a very stern way, but of course He knows that my prejudices are all right.”  We have to learn—“Not a bit of it!”

Instead of God being on the side of our prejudices, He is deliberately wiping them out.  It is part of our moral education to have our prejudices run down by His providence, and to watch how He does it.  There is only one thing God wants of us, and that is our unconditional surrender to Him.

When we are being born again, the Holy Spirit begins to work His new creation in us, and there will come a time when there is not a bit of the old order left; the old solemnity goes, the old attitude to things goes, and “all things are from God.”  How are we going to get to the life that has no lust, no self-interest, no sensitiveness to ridicule, to the love that is not provoked, that thinks no evil, that is always kind?  (1 Cor 13:4-7)  The only way is by allowing not a bit of the old life to be left; but having only simple, perfect trust in God, such trust that we are no longer driven by our needs, but only want Him.  Have we come to the place where God can withdraw his blessings and it does not reduce our trust in Him?

When we see God at work, we will never bother our heads about things that happen, because we are actually trusting our Father in Heaven, who the world cannot see.

 

 

October 24th—The Viewpoint

Now thanks be to God who always makes a vision for us in the Anointed, and through us reveals the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”  2 Corinthians 2:14

 

The viewpoint of a worker for God must not be nearly the highest he can get, it must be the highest.  Be careful to fight strenuously for God’s vision.  It has to be done every day, bit by bit; don’t settle for less.  No outside power can alter God’s viewpoint.

The viewpoint to maintain is that we are here for one purpose only: to be willing slaves in the train of Christ’s triumphs.  We are not trophies in Jehovah’s showroom, we are here to exhibit one thing—the absolute submission of our lives to Jeshua the Anointed.  How small the other points of view are—‘I am standing alone battling for Jeshua; I have to maintain the cause of Messiah and hold this fort for Him.’  Paul’s attitude is—‘I am in the army of a conqueror, and it does not matter what the difficulties are, I am always led in triumph.’  Is this vision being worked out practically in us?

Paul’s joy was that God took him, a bloody-handed rebel against Jeshua the Anointed, and made him a servant, and now that is all he lives for.  Paul was astonished to be liberated, accepted and even loved by our Lord.

It is a shameful thing for a Christian to talk about getting their victory.  The Victor ought to have filled us so completely that it is His victory all the time, and we are more than conquerors through Him.  “For we are the sweet fragrance of the Messiah to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” (2 Cor 2:15)  We are overwhelmed with the fragrance of Jeshua, and wherever we go we are a wonderful refreshment to God.

 

 

October 25th—The Eternal Crush of Things

I am everything to everyone, that I may offer life to everyone.”  1 Corinthians 9:22

 

A Christian worker has to learn how to be God’s honourable man or woman amid a crowd of crude things.  Never make this plea—‘If only I were somewhere else!’  All God’s people are ordinary people made extraordinary by the tasks He has given to them.  Unless we have the right approach in our minds intellectually and in our hearts affectionately, we will be hustled out of usefulness to God.  We are not workers for God by our choice.  Many people deliberately try to be workers, but they have no understanding of God’s astounding grace, no understanding of His mighty Word.  Paul’s whole heart and spirit and soul were taken up with the great commission of Lord Jeshua, and he never lost sight of that one thing.  We have to face ourselves with the one central fact—God’s Son Jeshua, and Him impaled.  “I have chosen you.” (John 13:18)  Keep that note of greatness in your belief.  It is not that you have called God but that God has called you.

Every day, God is at work, bending, breaking, moulding, doing just as He chooses.  He is doing it for one purpose only—that he may be able to say, ‘This is My man, My woman.’  We have to be ready in God’s hand so that He can plant more men on the Rock as He has planted us.

If you choose to become a worker when God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or to the left.  He will do with you what He never did with you before the call came.  He will do with you what He is not doing with other people.  Let Him have His way.

 

 

October 26th—What Is a Missionary?

Then Jeshua said to them again, “Peace be with you!  Just as My Father has sent Me, I also send you.”  John 20:21

 

A missionary is one sent by our Anointed Lord Jeshua, just as He was sent by his Father Jehovah.  The great dominant note is not the needs of men, but the command of Jeshua.  The source of our inspiration in work for God is behind, not before.  The tendency today is to put the inspiration ahead, to sweep everything in front of us and bring it all out to our conception of success.  In the New Covenant the inspiration is put behind us, coming from the Lord Jeshua.  The ideal is to be true to Him, to carry out His enterprises.

Personal attachment to Lord Jeshua and His vision is the one thing that must not be overlooked.  In missionary enterprises the great danger is that God’s call is effaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jeshua.  The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters and fails.  We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs; but first and foremost the command of Jeshua the Anointed—“Therefore go, and teach all nations.” (Mat 28:19)

When looking back on the lives of men and women of God the tendency is to say—‘What wonderfully astute wisdom they had! How perfectly they understood all that God wanted!’  The astute mind behind it is the Mind of God, not human wisdom at all.  We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the Divine guidance of God through childlike people who were wise enough to trust God’s wisdom and the supernatural methods of God.

 

 

October 27th—The Method of Missions

Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to keep everything that I have commanded you.”  Matthew 28:19-20

 

Jeshua did not say—Go and save souls (for the salvation of souls is the supernatural work of God), but—“Go and disciple,” i.e., teach, “all nations,” and you cannot teach disciples unless you have been taught yourself.

When the disciples came back from their first mission they were filled with joy because the demons were subject to them, and Jeshua said, in effect—‘Don’t rejoice in successful service; the real secret of joy is that you are My disciples.’ (Luke 10:17-24)  The great essential of the missionary is that he remains true to the teachings of God, and realizes that his one purpose is to disciple men and women to Jeshua.  Beware, there is a passion for souls that does not spring from Jehovah, but from the desire to make converts to our point of view.

The challenge to the missionary does not come on the line that people are difficult to get saved, that backsliders are difficult to reclaim, that there is a wedge of callous indifference; but along the line of his own personal relationship to Jeshua the Anointed.  “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, and believe in Me.” (John 14:1)  Our Lord reminds us steadily, it faces us in every individual case we meet.  The one great challenge is—Do I believe in my Risen Lord?  Do I know the power of his indwelling Spirit?  Am I wise enough in Jehovah’s sight, and foolish enough according to the world, to trust what Jeshua the Anointed has said?  Or am I surrendering the great supernatural position, which is the only call for a missionary, viz., boundless confidence in Messiah Jeshua?  If I take up any other method I depart altogether from the methods laid down by Our Lord—“All authority has been given unto Me, therefore go.” (Mat 28:18-19).

 

 

October 28th—Reconciled by Death

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God in the death of His Son, therefore, how much more, through His reconciliation, we shall live by His Life.”  Romans 5:10

 

It is not repentance that reconciles me, I am reconciled to God by nothing less than the Death of Jeshua.  Repentance is the sign that I realize I am a sinner, and need what Jehovah has done for me in Messiah Jeshua.  I am not saved from death just by believing; I am saved by the miracle of the Resurrection of Jeshua.  But it is necessary for me to believe to be saved.

The danger is to put the emphasis on the effect instead of on the cause.  Is it my obedience that puts me right with God, is that my consecration?  Never!  I am only put right with God because prior to all I do, Messiah died.

When I turn to God and by belief accept what Jehovah reveals He has done for me, instantly the stupendous Atonement of Jeshua the Anointed places me into a right relationship with God; and by the supernatural miracle of God’s grace I stand justified.  Not because I am sorry for my sin, not because I have repented, but because of what Jeshua has done.  I am freed from eternal death because Jeshua died in my place.  And I can receive everlasting like because Jehovah raised Jeshua from the dead.  The Spirit of God brings it to me with a breaking, all-over light, and I know, though I do not deserve it, that I am saved.

The salvation of God does not stand on human logic, it stands on the sacrificial Death and Resurrection of Jeshua.  We can only be begotten again because of the Atonement of Our Lord.  Sinful men and women can be changed into new creatures, not by their repentance or their belief, even though they are required, but by the marvellous work of God in Messiah Jeshua which underlies all commitment on our part.

The magnificent provider of justification and sanctification is God Himself.  We cannot work out these things for ourselves, nor can any church provide them; they have been fully worked out by the Atonement.  This supernatural work is completed by the miracle of God and there is the realization of what Jeshua the Anointed has already done—“It is finished.” (John 19:30)

 

 

October 29th—Substitution

For He who had not known sin made Himself as sin in your place, that through Him we would become the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:21

 

The modern view of the death of Jeshua is that He died for our sins out of sympathy.  The Bible view is that He bore our sin not through sympathy, but by unification.  He essentially became every one of us on the stake and died our deaths.  Our sins are removed only because of the death of Jeshua, and the explanation of His death hinges on His love for and obedience to His Father, not merely His sympathy with us.

We are acceptable to Jehovah not because we have obeyed, nor because we have promised to give up things, but because of the death of Messiah, and in no other way.  We say that Jeshua the Anointed came to reveal the Fatherhood of God, and the loving-kindness of God. This is true, but the New Covenant says His primary mission was to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  Because Jeshua is truly Jehovah’s Son and helped His Father create humanity, His death is worth more than the death of all of humanity (John 1:1-18).  And Jeshua reveals His Father only to those to who know Him as their Saviour (John 14:9).

The idea that ‘Messiah died for my sins, therefore I am free to do whatever I want’, is never, ever, taught in the New Covenant (1 Cor 6:9-11, Gal 6:7, James 1:12-27).  What is taught in the New Covenant is that “He died for all” people, and that by identification with His death I can be freed from my sin,31 and have imparted to me His very righteousness.  The substitution taught in the New Covenant works two ways: “He who had not known sin made Himself as sin in your place, that through Him we would become the righteousness of God.”

We cannot remain in Jeshua unless we are dedicated to walking just as Messiah walked (1 John 1:7).

 

 

October 30th—Faith

For without faith no man can please God, for whoever is brought near to God is indebted to believe that He is, and He is the rewarder of those who seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6

 

Faith without common sense is fanaticism, and common-sense without faith is rationalism.  Biblical Christianity brings the two into a right relationship.  Common-sense is not faith, and faith is not common-sense; they stand in the relation of the natural and the spiritual; of practical and inspiration.

Jeshua the Anointed did not come to bring us common-sense, but revelation-sense, and it reaches the shores where common-sense fails.  Faith must be tested before the reality of faith is proven.  “And we know that God helps those who love Him; He helps those whom He called and ordained from the beginning in everything for their good.” (Rom 8:28)  No matter what happens, God’s providence transforms the idea of faith into living reality.  Faith always works on the personal line; the purpose of Jehovah is to see that the ideal of faith is made real in His children.  For every detail of the common-sense life, there is a revelation from God through which we can discover in actual experience what God is.

Faith is a tremendously active principle which always puts Jeshua the Anointed first—‘Lord, You have said so and so (e.g., Matthew 6:33).  It looks mad, but I am going to venture out on Your word.’  To turn head-faith into reality is a fight always, not sometimes.  God brings us into circumstances in order to educate our faith, because the nature of faith is to make its object real.  Until we know Jeshua, Jehovah is a mere abstraction, we cannot have real faith in Him; but as soon as we hear Jeshua say—“Whoever sees Me sees the Father,” we have something that is real, and faith is boundless. (John 14:9)

Faith is the whole person rightly related to God by the power of the Spirit of Jeshua the Anointed.

 

 

October 31st—Discernment of Faith

Truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here,’ and it will move; and nothing will be able to prevail over you.”  Matthew 17:20

 

Galatians 3:9 tells us that God blesses us for our faith.  One great blessing is that faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God His opportunity to work with us.  If you are becoming a saint, Jehovah frequently has to knock the bottom board out of your experience in order to get you into contact with Him.  God wants you to understand that He has called you to a life of active faith, not a quiet life of sentimental enjoyment of His blessings.

Your early life of faith was likely narrow and intense, settled around a little sunspot of experience that had as much of sensation as of faith in it, full of light and sweetness.  Then Jehovah withdrew His obvious blessings in order to teach you to walk by faith.  You are worth far more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight and thrilling testimony.

Faith by its very nature must be tested, and a real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character has to be cleared of all doubts in our own minds.  Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of silent isolation.  Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life.  Some of what we call the trial of faith is just the inevitable result of being alive.

Biblical faith is maintaining faith in Jehovah God despite everything that appears to contradict Him—‘I will remain true to God whatever He may do.’ (Rev 15:3)  “Though He slays me, yet I will trust Him” (Job 13:15)—this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole Bible.

 

 

November 1st—You Are Not Your Own

Do you not know that your body is the Palace of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you; whom you have received from God, and you are not your own?”  1 Corinthians 6:19

 

There is no such things as a private life—“a world within the world”—for the man or woman who is brought into fellowship with Jeshua the Anointed’s sufferings.  Jehovah breaks up the private life of His saints, and makes it a thoroughfare for the world on the one hand and for Himself on the other.  No human being can stand that unless he is indwelt by Jeshua the Anointed.

We are not sanctified just for ourselves, we are called into the fellowship of the Good News, and things happen which we do not control.  God is getting us into fellowship with Himself and our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Let Him have His way: if you do not, instead of being of some use to God in his Redemptive work in the world, you will be a hindrance and a clog.

The first thing God does with us is to get us based on the rugged Stake until we do not care what becomes of us individually as long as we are supporting God’s Way for the purpose of His Redemption.  Why shouldn’t we go through heartbreaks?  Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son.

Many of us collapse and fall at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold of God’s purpose and whine in self-pity, and all the so-called Christian sympathy will aid us to our death bed.  But God will not sympathise with us.  He shows us the pierced hands and side of His Son, and says—“Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.” (1 John 1:3-7)  If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.

 

 

November 2nd—Authority and Obedience

If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  John 14:15

 

Our Lord tells us very emphatically what we should do, but He does not force us do it.32  We are called to obey Him out of a oneness of spirit.  That is why whenever Our Lord talked about discipleship, He prefaced it with an If or Should—you do not have to become a disciple.  “He who desires to follow Me should deny himself, and take up his stake every day, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)—let him (or her) give up his right to himself to Me.  Our Lord is talking of us being of value to Him in this order of things, and is making it clear that our commitment to Him must come before all others (Luke 14:26).  The Lord makes His standard very clear, and if my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what he says without any hesitation.  If I hesitate, it is because I love someone else in competition with Him, often myself.  Jeshua the Anointed will not make me obey Him, I must choose to obey Him; and when I do obey Him, I fulfil my spiritual destiny.

My personal life may be crowded with small petty incidents, each one unnoticeable and minor; but if I obey Jeshua the Anointed in these circumstances, they become pinholes through which I glimpse the face of Jehovah, and when I at last stand face to face with God I may discover that through my obedience thousands were blessed.

When God’s transformation passes the point of obedience in a disciple, it always creates.  If I obey Jeshua the Anointed, the Call of God will rush through me to other lives, because behind the deed of obedience is the Almighty God Jah.

 

 

November 3rd—A Bond-Slave of Jeshua

I have been impaled with the Messiah and since then it has not been I who is living, but the Messiah is living in me; and this life which I now live, I live in the flesh by faith that the Son of God lives, who loved us and gave Himself for us.”  Galatians 2:20

 

These words mean the breaking of my independence with my own consent and surrendering to the supremacy of the Lord Jeshua.  No one can do this for me, I must consent to it myself.  Jehovah may bring me up to this point three hundred and sixty-five times a year, but He will not force me to submit.  It means breaking the husk of my individual independence from God, and the freeing of my personality into oneness with Him, not for my own ideas, but for absolute loyalty to Jeshua.  There is no possibility of dispute when I am there.  Very few of us know true loyalty to Messiah—“For My sake.” (Luke 9:24)  It is that love which makes the disciple a saint.

Has that break come?  All the rest is pious fraud.  The point to decide is—‘Will I give up all, will I surrender all to Jeshua the Anointed’, and make no conditions whatever as to how the break comes?  I must be broken from my self-reliance, and as soon as that point is reached, the reality of the supernatural unification takes place, and the witness of the Spirit of God is unmistakable—“I have been impaled with the Messiah.”

The passion of a Christian is that I deliberately sign away my own rights and become a bond-slave of Jeshua the Anointed.  Until I do that, I do not begin to be a saint.  One student a year who responds to God’s call would be sufficient for God to have called this College into existence.  This College as an organization is not worth anything, it is not academic; it is for nothing else but for God to help Himself to our lives.  Are we going to join ourselves to Him, or are we committed to our own conception of what we are going to be?

 

 

November 4th—Live or Exist?

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, sinners; purify your hearts and doubting souls.”  Jacob (James) 4:8

 

It is essential to give people a chance to act on the truth of God.  The responsibility must be left with the individual, you cannot act for them.  It must be their own deliberate act, but the evangelical message should always lead a person to act.

The paralysis of refusing to act leaves a man exactly where he was before.  When he acts, he is never the same.  It is the apparent foolishness of it that stands in the way of hundreds who have been convicted by the Spirit of God.  As soon as I precipitate myself over into an act, that second I begin to live; all the rest is merely existence.  The moments when I truly live are the moments when I obey God with my whole will.

Never allow a truth of God that is brought home to your soul to pass without acting on it, not always physically, but always in will.  Record it, with ink or with blood.  The feeblest saint who interacts with Jeshua the Messiah is set free the second he acts; all the almighty power of Jehovah is available on his behalf.  We come up to the truth of God, we confess we are wrong, but go back again; then we come up to it again, and go back; until we learn that we have no business in going back.  We have to go all the way over on some word from our redeeming Lord and interact with Him.  His word “come” means “interact.”

“Come unto Me.”  It takes courage to come; but everyone who does come knows that at that second the supernatural life of God floods into him instantly.  The once-dominating power of the world, the flesh and the devil are paralysed, not by your act, but because your act has linked you to God and His redemptive power.

 

 

November 5th—Partakers of His Sufferings

But rejoice that you share in the Anointed’s sufferings, for in this way also you will rejoice in the revelation of His glory, and you will be jubilant.”  1 Peter 4:13

 

If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that will make you useful in His hands, and enable you to understand what transpires in other souls so that you will not be overwhelmed by what you come across.  ‘Oh, I can’t deal with that person.’  Why not?  God gave you ample opportunity to soak before Him on that line, but you slipped out because it seemed stupid to spend time in that way.

The sufferings of Messiah are not those of ordinary men.  He suffered “according to the will of God,” not from the ordinary things we suffer as individuals.  It is only when we are related to Lord Jeshua that we can understand what Jehovah is after in His dealings with us.  It is part of Christian growth to know what God’s aim is.

In the history of the standard Christian Churches the tendency has been to evade being identified with the sufferings of Jeshua the Anointed; men have sought to carry out God’s orders by shortcuts of their own.  God’s way is the way of suffering, the way of the “long, long trail.”

Are we partakers of Christ’s sufferings?  Are we prepared for God to stamp our personal ambitions right out?  Are we prepared for God to destroy by transformation our individual determinations?  It will not mean that we know exactly why God is taking us that way, that could make us spiritually arrogant.  We never realize at the time what God is putting us through; we go through it only partly understanding; then we come to a luminous place, and say—“Why, God has girded me, though I did not know it!”

 

 

November 6th—Programme of Belief

And whoever lives and believes in Me shall not die forever.  Do you believe this?”  John 11:26

 

Martha believed in the power at the disposal of Jeshua the Anointed, she believed that if He had been present He could have healed her brother.  She also believed that Jeshua had a unique intimacy with Jehovah and that whatever He asked Jehovah for, Jehovah would do; but she needed a closer personal intimacy with Jeshua.  Martha’s programme of belief had its fulfilment in the future; Jeshua led her on until her belief became a personal strength, and then slowly emerged into a particular inheritance—“Yes, my Lord, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who has come into the world.” (vs 27)

Is there something like that in the Lord’s dealings with you?  Is Jeshua educating you into a personal intimacy with Himself?  Let Him press home His question to you—“Do you believe this?”  What is your ordeal of doubt?  Have you come, like Martha, to some overwhelming passage in your circumstances where your programme of belief is about to transform into a personal belief?  This cannot happen until a personal need arises out of a personal problem.  To believe is to commit.  Through the programme of belief I must commit myself, and abandon all that is not related to that commitment.  In personal belief I commit myself to this way of confidence and refuse to compromise with any other; and through that belief I commit myself spiritually to Jeshua the Anointed, and determine to be led by the Lord alone.

When I next stand face to face with Jeshua the Anointed and He says to me—“Do you believe this?” I find that faith is as natural as breathing, and I am staggered that I was so stupid as to not trust Him before.

 

 

November 7th—The Unsuspected Sacredness of Circumstances

And we know that God helps those who love Him; He helps those whom He called and ordained from the beginning in everything for their good.”  Romans 8:28

 

The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained by Jehovah.  In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance.  God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you cannot understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands.  God is bringing you into places and among people and into conditions so the intercession of the Spirit in you may take a particular line.  Never put your hand in front of the circumstances and say—‘I am going to be my own providence here, I must watch this, and guard that.’

All your circumstances are in the hand of God, therefore never think it strange concerning the circumstances you are in.  “Rejoice in our Lord always.  And again I say, rejoice!” (Phi 4:4)  And you need to remember that you are there not just for your own benefit, but also for the benefit of those around you.  And to benefit them, you need to consistently uphold them in intercessory prayer.  Always utilize the circumstances God puts you in, and remember the people He puts you amongst by His providence, by prayer bringing them before God’s throne.  Give the Spirit in you an opportunity to intercede for them.  In this way God is going to sweep the whole world with His saints.

Am I making the Holy Spirit’s work difficult by being lackadaisical, or by trying to do His work for Him?  I must do the disciple’s side of intercession, and that is informed by the circumstances I am in and the people I am in contact with.  I have to maintain my life as a palace of the Holy Spirit: then as I bring the different ones before God, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for them.

Your intercessions can never be mine, and my intercessions can never be yours, but the Holy Spirit makes intercession through our particular lives; without our intercession, both we and someone around us will be impoverished.

 

 

November 8th—The Unrivalled Power of Prayer

In this way the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what is necessary for us to pray for, but the Spirit prays for us with groanings which cannot be spoken.”  Romans 8:26

 

We realize that we are energized by the Holy Spirit for prayer; we know what it is to pray in the Spirit; (1 Cor 14:4-19) but we do not often realize that the Holy Spirit Himself prays prayers which we cannot utter for us.  When we are begotten again by Jehovah and are indwelt by the Spirit of God, He expresses for us the unutterable.  “He,” the Holy Spirit in you, “is praying for the sake of the saints according to the will of God” (vs 27) and God searches your heart not only to know what your prayers and hopes are, but to find out what is the prayer of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of God works within the believer as in a palace in which to offer His intercession.  “Your body is the Palace of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you.” (1 Cor 6:19)  When our Lord Jeshua cleansed the temple, He “would not allow anyone to carry merchandise inside the Palace (of God).” (Mark 11:16)  The Spirit of God does not want you to use your body for your own convenience.  Jeshua vigorously cast out all those who bought and sold in the House of God, and said—“My House will be called the House of Prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” (Mat 21:13)

Have we recognized that our body is the Palace of the Holy Spirit?  If so, we must be careful to keep it undefiled for Him.  We have to remember that now our entire life is to be regarded by us as the Palace of the Holy Spirit.  Jehovah God will look after the things that we can do nothing about; but we must see that we guard that for which we are responsible.

 

 

November 9th—Sacrificial Service

And I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and I fill up what is lacking in the afflictions for the Anointed in my flesh, for the sake of His body, which is the congregation”  Colossians 1:24

 

A Christian has to be a sacrificial “go-between,” to be so unified with his Lord and the reality of His Redemption that He can continually allow God to remove his dross and bring His creating life through him to those around him.  It is not the strength of your personality being superimposed on another, but the real presence of Messiah coming through His worker’s life.

When we preach the historic facts of the life, death and resurrection of Our Lord as they are conveyed in the Bible, God uses them on the ground of His Redemption to create in those who listen that which is not created otherwise.  If we preach the effects of Redemption in human lives instead of the revelation regarding Jeshua, the result in those who listen is not the new birth, but refined spiritual culture.

We have to see that we are in such living harmony with God that as we proclaim His truth He is creating in their souls the things which He alone can do.

‘What a wonderful personality!  What a fascinating man!  Such marvellous insight!’  How can the Good News of God get through all that?  It does not get through, because the line of attraction is along the line of personal appeal.  If a man attracts by his personality, his appeal is along that line; if he is unified with his Lord, then the appeal is along the line of what Jeshua the Anointed has done and can do.

The danger is to glory in men; Jeshua says we are to lift Him up (John 8:28).

 

 

November 10th—Fellowship in the Good News

We sent Timothy to you, our brother and servant of God, and our helper in the Good News of the Anointed, that he may strengthen you and inquire how you are concerning your faith.”  1 Thessalonians 3:2

 

After sanctification your aim in life is transformed, because Jehovah, your Father, has taken you up into His purpose by the Holy Spirit.  He is using you now for His purposes throughout the world as He used His Son for the purpose of our salvation.  If you seek great things for yourself—‘God has called me for this and that’; you are erecting a barrier to God’s use of you.  As long as you have a personal interest in your own character, or any set ambition, you cannot get through into harmony with God’s interests.  You can only get there by surrendering forever your own goals and by letting God take you right out into His purpose for you.  Because your comings and goings are directed by the Lord, you cannot determine your ways.

I have to learn that the aim in my life is now God’s, not mine.  Jehovah is using me from his divine standpoint, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him, and never say—“Lord, this gives me such heartache.”  To talk in that way makes me an unprofitable servant.  When I stop telling God what I want, He can lift me up for what He wants without hindrance.  He can crumple me up or exalt me, He can do anything He chooses.  He simply asks me to have implicit faith in Him and in His goodness.  Self-pity is from the devil, if I go off on that line I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world.  I will create “a world within the world” in which I live, and God will not take me outside of it if I am afraid of being frost-bitten.

 

 

November 11th—The Supreme Climb

Now take your son, your unique Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”  Genesis 22:2

 

God’s command is—‘Take now’, not eventually.  It is extraordinary how we debate!  We know what He has said, but we try to find excuses for not doing it at once.  To climb to the height God shows us cannot be done by delaying, it must be begun now.  The sacrifice is worked through in our will before it is performed in the world.  “So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey . . . .  and went to the place which God had told him” (vs 3).  The wonderful simplicity of Abraham!  When God spoke, he did not confer with flesh and blood.  Beware when you want to confer with flesh and blood, including your own sympathies, your own insight, anything that is not based on your personal relationship with God.  These are the things that compete with and hinder obedience to God.

Abraham did not choose the sacrifice.  Always guard against self-chosen service for God; self-sacrifice may be a disease.  If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with thanksgiving; if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him.  If the providential order of God for you is a hard time of difficulty, go through with it, but it is not for you to choose the scene of your martyrdom.  Jehovah chose the crucible for Abraham, and Abraham did not object; he went steadily through.  If you are not living in touch with Him, it is all too easy to pass a crude verdict on God.  You must go through the crucible before you have even the slightest right to pronounce a verdict, because in the crucible you learn to know God better.  God is working for both His and your highest ends.  Eventually His purpose and your purpose will become one.

 

 

November 12th—The Transfigured Life

Therefore, all who are in the Anointed are a new creation; with this the old things have passed away, and everything from God has become new.”  2 Corinthians 5:17

 

What idea do you have of the salvation of your soul?  The experience of salvation means that in your life things are truly altered.  You no longer look at things as you used to; your desires are new, old things have lost their power.  One of the touchstones of this experience is—Has God altered the thing that really matters?  If you still hanker after the old things, it is absurd to talk about being begotten from above, you are deceiving yourself.  If you are being born again, the Spirit of God makes the alteration manifest in your life and reasoning, and when the crisis comes you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference there is in you.  There is no possibility of imagining that you did it.  It is this complete and amazing alteration that is the evidence that you are a saved soul.

What difference has my salvation and sanctification made?  For instance, can I stand in the light of 1 Corinthians 13, or do I have to shuffle in embarrassment?  If so, there is more to learn from Jeshua, and more faith, hope and love to embrace.  The salvation that is worked out in me by the Holy Spirit emancipates me entirely, and as long as I walk in the light as God is in the light, He sees nothing to censure because His life is working out in every particular of my life.

 

 

November 13th—Faith and Experience

I have been impaled with the Messiah and since then it has not been I who is living, but the Messiah is living in me; and this life which I now live, I live in the flesh by faith that the Son of God lives, who loved us and gave Himself for us.”  Galatians 2:20

 

We have to battle through our moods into absolute devotion to our Lord Jeshua, to get out of the hole-and-corner business of our experience into surrendered devotion to Him.  Think about who the New Covenant says that Jeshua the Anointed is, and then think of the despicable shallowness of the miserable faith we have—‘I haven’t had this and that experience!’  Think of what faith in Jeshua the Anointed claims—that He can present us faultless before the throne of God, unutterably pure, absolutely transformed and profoundly justified.  Recall that He has promised us everlasting life in Paradise.   Stand in adoring faith in Him; “He who became the wisdom and the righteousness and the redemption and the holiness of God for us.” (1 Cor 1:30)  How can we talk of making a sacrifice for the Son of God!  Our salvationearned only by His agonising deathis from a meaningless life followed by the Lake of Fire.  How can we talk about us making sacrifices!

We have to step out into faith in Jeshua the Anointed continually; not a cardboard-cutout of Jeshua the Anointed, but the actual New Covenant Jeshua the Anointed, who is God’s own Son, and who would have every right to strike us down as sinners.  Our faith must be in the One from whom our transformation springs.  Jeshua wants our absolute surrender, our absolute devotion to Him.  We cannot fully experience Jeshua the Anointed, nor hold Him completely within the compass of our own hearts, but our faith must be built on strong confidence in Him.

It is along this line that we see the rugged patience of the Holy Spirit helping us grow in belief.  Our fears are evil, and we fear when we do not nourish ourselves in our God’s faith.  How can anyone who is in harmony with Jeshua the Anointed suffer from doubt or fear?  It ought to be an absolute song of perfectly irrepressible, triumphant belief.

 

 

November 14th—Discovering Divine Designs

And he said, “Blessed be Jehovah God of my lord Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my lord.  As for me, being on the way, Jehovah led me to the house of my lord’s brethren.”  Genesis 24:27

 

We have to become so fully one with Jehovah that we always walk with His guidance.  Sanctification means that we are becoming the children of God, and the true life of God’s child is obedience.  As soon as one is disobedient, then there is a spiritual shock, which is the admonition of the Spirit of God.  When Jehovah gives the correction, we have to stop at once, repent and be renewed in the spirit of our mind to learn what God’s will is.

If we are begotten by the Spirit of God, it is normal to allow God to guide us here, there and everywhere.  “Jehovah led me,” and on looking back we see the presence of an amazing design, which, if we are born of God, we will credit to God.

We can all see Jehovah in exceptional things, but it requires the growth of spiritual discernment to see Jehovah in every detail.  Never accept that the ‘haphazard’ is anything other than God’s appointed order, and be ready to discover the Divine designs everywhere.

Beware of making a fetish of consistency to your inclinations instead of being devoted to God.  ‘I shall never do that’—in all probability you will have to, if you are a saint.  The greatest consistency of the saint must be to Jehovah, who is our Divine Life.  It is God’s Spirit who continually reveals more and more discoveries about Jehovah’s Divine mind.  It is easier to be a fanatic than a faithful servant, because there is something amazingly humbling, particularly to our religious conceits, in being loyal to God.

 

 

November 15th—What Is That to You?

When Peter saw this one, he said to Jeshua, “My Lord, what about this one?”  Jeshua said to him, “If I will that this one remain until I come, what is that to you?  You follow Me.”  John 21:21,2

 

One of our severest lessons comes from our stubborn refusal to see that we must not interfere in other people’s lives unless clearly directed to do so by Jeshua.  It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, and thereby interfering with Jehovah’s plan for others.  You see a certain person suffering, and you say—‘He shall not suffer, and I will see that he does not.’  You put your hand straight in front of God’s will and try to prevent it, and God says—“What is that to you?”

If you are stagnating spiritually, never allow it to go on, but get into God’s presence and find out the reason for it.  Possibly you will find it is because you have been interfering in the life of another; proposing things you had no right to propose; advising when you had no right to advise.  When you do have to give advice to another, God will advise through you with the direct understanding of His Spirit; your part is to be so rightly related to God that His discernment comes through you all the time for the blessing of another soul.

Most of us live on the self-conscious level—consciously serving, consciously devoted to God.  The mature stage in the life of a child of God is to be totally surrendered to God, allowing ourselves to be used however He wishes, where self-consciousness is subdued by what God is doing through us.  A saint should always be dependent on God.

 

 

November 16th—Still Human!

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31

 

The great marvel of the Incarnation slips into childhood life; the great vision of the Transfiguration descends into the devil-filled valley; the glory of the Resurrected Jeshua transforms a breakfast on the sea-shore.  This breakfast is not an anticlimax, but a great revelation of Jehovah.  The tendency is to look for the marvellous in our experience; we mistake the sense of the heroic for being heroes.

It is one thing to go through a crisis grandly, but another thing to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, no one paying the remotest attention to us.  Though we do not want medieval halos, we do want something that will make people say—‘What a wonderful man of prayer he is!  What a pious devoted woman she is!’  If you are rightly devoted to the Lord Jeshua, you have reached the sublime height where no one ever thinks of noticing you, all that is noticed is the power of God which flows through you all the time.

‘Oh, I have had a wonderful call from God!’  It takes Almighty God Jehovah in us to do the simplest duty to the glory of God.  It takes God’s Spirit in us to make us so absolutely His that we are utterly unnoticeable.  The test of the life of a saint is not one glorious success, but relentless faithfulness to Jeshua the Anointed.  We set up success in Christian work as the aim; but the aim is to manifest the glory of God in our lives, to live a life filled with Messiah and Jehovah’s spirits in human conditions.  Our human relationships are the actual conditions in which the ideal life of God is to be exhibited.

 

 

November 17th—The Eternal Goal

By Myself I have sworn, says Jehovah, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your unique son, in blessing I will bless you”  Genesis 22:16-17

 

Abraham has reached the place where he is in touch with the very nature of God, he now understands the reality of Jehovah.

 

“My goal is God Himself. . .  

At any cost, dear Lord, by any road.”

 

“At any cost, by any road” means nothing self-chosen in the way God brings us to the goal.

There is no possibility of questioning when God speaks to His own spirit in me; prompt obedience is the only result.  When Jeshua says—“Come,” I simply come; when He says—“Let go,” I let go; when He says—“Trust in God in this matter,” I do trust.  The whole working out is the evidence that the spirit of God is in me.

God’s revelation of Himself to me is influenced by my character:

 

“Tis because I am mean,

Your ways so oft look mean to me.”

 

By the discipline of obedience I get to the place where Abraham was and I see who Jehovah is.  I never have a real God until I have come face to face with Him through Jeshua the Anointed.  Then I know that:

 

“in all the world, my God,

there is none but You,

there is none but You.”

 

The promises of God are of little value to us until by obedience we understand the nature of God.  We read some things in the Bible three hundred and sixty-five times and they mean nothing to us, then suddenly we see what God means, because in some particular we have obeyed God, and instantly His nature is opened up.

 

“All the promises of God

in Him are yes,

and in Him Amen.”

 

The “yes” must be born of obedience; when by the obedience of our lives we say “Amen” to a promise, then that promise is ours.

 

 

November 18th—Truly Free

Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you will truly be free men.

John 8:36

 

If there is any remnant of natural life left, it always says “I can’t.”  Our new man never says “I can’t,” but simply absorbs and absorbs.  Our new spirit always wants more and more.  It is the way we have been transformed.  We are designed with a great capacity for God; but our sinful nature keeps us from getting to God.  Jehovah delivers us from sin and breaks the power of our sinful nature.  We need to offer our natural life to God and allow it to be transformed into a spiritual life by obedience.

God does not cater to our sinful natures in the development of our spiritual life.  His order runs right across our natural life, and we have to decide that we will aid and serve God, not stand against Him and say—‘I can’t do that.’

God wants us to discipline ourselves.  God will not bring our every thought and imagination into captivity; we have to do it.  We can pray—‘O Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts, please help me.’  But don’t expect God to fix this for you, while you do nothing. You must also work to control your wandering thoughts.  Stop surrendering to the tyranny of your individual flaws and be transformed into God’s child.  We often ask for energy, instead of being energized through harmony with Jeshua.

“If the Son sets you free. . . ” know that our Saviour sets us free from sin and gives us the power to overcome our sinful nature; this is the freedom of being transformed by the Son.  It is what Paul means in Gal 2:20—“I have been impaled with Messiah.”  His sinful nature has been broken and his spirit united with his Lord, not destroyed nor merged but united.  “You will truly be free,” free in your heart of hearts, free from the inside to the outside.

 

 

November 19th—When He Comes

And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgement.”  John 16:8

 

Few people know about conviction of sin; we all know the experience of being disturbed because of having done wrong things; but conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit blots out every relationship on earth and leaves only one reality—“Against You, You only, have I sinned!” (Psalm 51:4)  When a person is convicted of sin in this way, he knows with his entire conscience that he does not deserve God’s forgiveness.

And if God did forgive him, He would destroy His own righteousness and undermine His Law.  And yet God does forgive, but it can only be done after the price of sin has been paid in full.  It cost the rending of His heart through the horrific death of His only Begotten Son, Jeshua, to enable Him to do so.  The great miracle of the grace of God is that he can forgive sin, but it was only through the sacrifice of the sinless Jeshua that Jehovah God was able to forgive us and remain true to Himself in doing so.33

It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love.  When we have been convicted of sin we will never say this again.  The love of God means Golgotha, and nothing less; the boundless depth of the love of God is revealed on the Stake.  The only basis on which God can forgive me is through the death of my Lord.  There, the penalty of His Law is satisfied.

Forgiveness means not only that I am saved from the Lake of Fire and given eternal life; forgiveness means that I am accepted into a recreated relationship, into union with God in Messiah as His son (Galatians 4:4-7).  The miracle of Redemption is that God turns me, the unholy rebel, into one of His children, by putting into me a new spirit, the sinless spirit of His Son Jeshua.

 

 

November 20th—The Relapse of Concentration

But the high places were not removed from Israel.  Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days.”  2 Chronicles 15:17

 

Asa was incomplete in his external obedience; he was mostly right but not entirely right.  Beware of the thing of which you say—“Oh, that does not matter much.”  Though it does not matter much to you, it may matter a very great deal to Jehovah.  No sin is a light matter with a child of God.

How much longer are we going to keep God trying to teach us one thing?  Paul warns us: “Nor are you to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you have been sealed for the day of redemption.” (Eph 4:30)  You say—“I know I am right with God”, but still your “high place” remains; there is something in which you have not obeyed.

Are you protesting that your heart is right with God, and yet is there something in your life about which He has caused you to doubt?  Whenever He gives you doubt, quit it immediately, no matter what it is.  Nothing is a mere detail.

Are there some things in your bodily life or your intellectual life upon which you are not concentrating at all?  Perhaps you are mostly right but you are slipshod; there is a relapse on the line of concentration.

You no more need a holiday from spiritual concentration than your heart needs a holiday from beating.  You cannot have a moral holiday and remain moral, nor can you have a spiritual holiday and remain spiritual.  Jehovah wants you to be entirely His, and this means that you have to keep alert to keep yourself spiritually fit.  Some of us expect to “clear the table” in about two minutes, but it can take a tremendous amount of time.  We must keep at it.

 

 

November 21st—It Is Finished

I have glorified You on the earth.  I have finished the work that You have given to Me to do.”  John 17:4

 

The Death of Jeshua the Anointed is the pinnacle of history in salvation from God.  His death was not something which could have been prevented: His death was the very reason why He came.

Never build your preaching of forgiveness on the fact that Jehovah is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us.  It is untrue to Jeshua’s revelation of His Father; it makes the Stake unnecessary, and the Redemption “much ado about nothing.”  If God does forgive sin, it is only possible because Messiah paid our death sentence in full.  As Paul puts it: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life in the Anointed Jeshua, our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)

Jehovah could forgive men in no other way than by the death of His Son, who helped create us, and Jeshua is exalted to be Saviour because of His death.  “But He who was a little lower than the representatives, we see that He is Jeshua, and for the suffering of His death, glory and honour are placed on His head; for by God’s grace, He tasted death in the place of every person.” (Heb 2:9).  The greatest note of triumph that was ever heard by the ears of a startled universe was that spoken on the Stake of Messiah—“It is finished.”  That is the last word in the Redemption of man.

Do not belittle or obliterate the holiness of God by accepting any substitute for our atonement through Jeshua the Anointed.  Jeshua loves His Father (John 14:31).  Jeshua the Anointed became a curse for us according to the Divine covenant He made with His Father before Adam and Eve were created (1 Peter 1:17-21).  The gifts of shame and repentance are given to us to lead us to Jeshua—this is the great mercy of God.  Jeshua hates the evil in man, and Golgotha reveals how far He went to remove that evil.

And remember: Our redemption is finished.  Never accept the lies of the Antichrist, who claims that he controls the salvation that God gives to us freely, and pretends to distribute it crumb by crumb to those deceived by Satan into calling him Pope.  Pray that their eyes are opened to the Truth.

 

 

November 22nd—Shallow and Profound

Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31

 

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the simple concerns of life are not ordained by God; they are as much from God as the profound.  If it is not your devotion to God that makes you want to grow deeper, but your wish to impress other people with the fact that you are not shallow, this is a sure sign that you are a spiritual snob.  Be careful of becoming contemptuous; it always comes along this line, and causes you to go about as a walking rebuke to other people who are as shallow as you are.  Beware of posing as a profound person; remember that God’s Son became a baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being wicked, nor is shallowness proof that there are no deeps: the ocean has a shore.  The simple amenities of life; eating and drinking, walking and talking, are all ordained by Jehovah.  These are things in which Our Lord lived while He was the son of man, and He said that “the disciple is not above his Master.” (Mat 10:24)

Our safeguard is in the simple things.  We have to live our physical life in a common-sense way; when the deeper things come, God gives them to us within the simple concerns.  We are so abominably serious, so desperately interested in our own characters, that we can refuse to behave like Christians in the simple concerns of life.

Determine to take no one seriously but God, and the first person you will find that you have serious problems with for being the greatest fraud you have ever known is yourself.  Ask Jehovah to make you real.

 

 

November 23rd—Distracting Tempers

Have mercy on us, O Jehovah, have mercy on us!  For we are being overfilled with contempt.”  Psalm 123:3

 

The thing of which we have to beware is not just damage to our belief in God, but damage to our Christian temperament.  “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” (Mal 2:16)  Our temperament can be tremendous in its effects, it is the enemy that penetrates right through to our spirit and distracts our mind from God.

There are certain temperaments which we never dare indulge; if we do, we find they have distracted us from faith in God, and until we get back to a quiet mood before God, our faith in Him is negligible, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is the thing that rules.

Beware of “the cares of this world,” because they are the things that can produce a wrong temperament.  It is extraordinary what enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention from Jehovah.  Refuse to be swamped with the cares of this life.

Another thing that distracts us is the lust of self-vindication.    That temperament derails your faith in God.  “I must explain myself; I must get people to understand.”  Our Lord did not justify Himself, so why must we?

When we discern that people are not going on spiritually and allow that discernment to turn into criticism, we block our way to God.  God never gives us discernment so we can criticize, but so we may intercede for them.

 

 

November 24th—Direction of Aspiration

Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their lords, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to Jehovah our God, until He has mercy on us.”  Psalm 123:2

 

This verse describes our entire reliance upon God.  Just as the eyes of the servant are riveted on their master, so our eyes are upon God and our knowledge of His countenance is gained (Psalm 141:8, Rev 4:3).  Spiritual leakage begins when we cease to lift up our eyes unto Him.  The leakage comes not so much through trouble on the outside as in the imagination; when we begin to say—“I think I have been stretching myself a bit too much, standing on tiptoe and trying to be like God instead of being an ordinary humble person.”  We have to realize that no effort to imitate Jeshua can be too great.

For instance, you came to a crisis when you made a stand for God and had the witness of the Spirit that all was right, but the weeks have gone by, and the years maybe, and you are slowly coming to the conclusion—‘Well, after all, was I a bit too pretentious?  Was I taking my stand a bit too high?’  Your ‘rational friends’ will come and say—‘Don’t be a fool, we knew when you talked about this spiritual awakening that it was a passing impulse, you can’t keep up the strain, and God does not expect you to.’  And perhaps you say—‘Well, I suppose I was expecting too much.’  It sounds humble to say it, but it means that your reliance on God has gone and reliance on worldly opinion has come in.

The danger of no longer relying on God is that you relax about lifting up your life to Him.  Only when God brings you to a sudden halt will you realize how you have been slipping away.  Whenever there is a leakage, remedy it immediately.  Recognize what has been coming between you and God, and get it corrected at once.

 

 

November 25th—The Secret of Spiritual Coherence

But do not let it be that I should boast except in the impalement of our Anointed Lord Jeshua, in whom the world has been impaled to me, and I have been impaled to the world.”  Galatians 6:14

 

When a person is first begotten by God, they become incoherent; there is an amount of unresolved emotion about them, unrelated aspects of external things.  As the apostle Paul matured, he developed a strong steady coherence.  Consequently he could let his external life change as it would and it did not distress him because he was rooted and grounded in Lord Jehovah.  Most of us are not spiritually coherent because we are more concerned about being coherent externally.

Paul lived in the basement; the coherent critics live in the upper storey of the external order of things, and the two rarely touch each other.  Paul’s consistency was built on the fundamentals.  The great basis of his coherence was the agony of God in the Redemption of the world, viz., the Stake of Jeshua the Anointed.

Restate to yourself what you believe, then dig beneath as much of it as possible and bring it to the bedrock of the Stake of Messiah.  In worldly history Jeshua’s Stake is a small thing; from the Bible point of view it is of more importance than all the empires of the world.  If we get away from dwelling on the sacrifice of God’s Son upon the Stake in our preaching, we are wasting our time.  It does not convey the essence of God’s Gift to man; it may be interesting but it has no power.  But preach the Stake, and the energy of God is released.  “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know the wisdom of God; it was God’s will that through the insanity of the preaching He will give life to those who believe.” (1 Cor 1:21)  “We preach the Anointed as He was impaled, an offence to the Judeans and madness to the Aramaeans, but to those who are called, Messiah is the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:23-24)

 

 

November 26th—The Concentration of Spiritual Energy

But do not let it be that I should boast except in the impalement of our Anointed Lord Jeshua, in whom the world has been impaled to me, and I have been impaled to the world.”  Galatians 6:14

 

If you want to have the energy of God (i.e., the resurrection life of Jeshua) in your body, you must dwell on the sacrifice of God.  Cut yourself off from your own spiritual issues and bare your spirit before the sacrifice of God, and instantly the energy of God will be in you.

“Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth!  For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)  Pay attention to the true Source and God’s energy will be there.  We lose power if we do not concentrate on the right thing.  The effect of the Stake is salvation, sanctification, healing, and more, but we are to preach Jeshua the Anointed and Him impaled.

The proclaiming of Jeshua will do its own work.  Concentrate on God’s centre in your preaching, and though your hearers may appear to pay no attention, they can never be the same again.  If I talk my own talk, it is of no more importance to you than anyone else’s; but if I talk the truth of God, you will meet it again and so will I.

We have to concentrate on the great point of spiritual energy—the Stake, to keep in contact with that centre where all the power lies, and the energy will be let loose.  In holiness movements and spiritual experience meetings the concentration is apt to be put not on the Stake of Messiah, but on the effects of the Stake.

The feebleness of the denominations is being criticized today, and the criticism is justified.  One reason for the feebleness is that there has not been this concentration of spiritual energy; we have not dwelt enough on God’s sacrifice at Golgotha or on the meaning of Redemption.

 

 

November 27th—The Consecration of Spiritual Energy

But do not let it be that I should boast except in the impalement of our Anointed Lord Jeshua, in whom the world has been impaled to me, and I have been impaled to the world.”  Galatians 6:14

 

If I meditate on the Stake of Messiah, I do not become a subjective pietist, mainly interested in my own purity; I become concentrated on Jeshua the Anointed’s interests.  Our Lord was not a recluse nor an ascetic, He did not cut Himself off from society.  He was not aloof, even though He had come from Heaven.  He was so much in the ordinary world that the religious people of His day called Him a glutton and a wine-bibber (Mat 11:19).  But remember that they hated our Lord, and He never allowed anything to interfere with His relationship with His Father.

The counterfeit of consecration is the conscious cutting off of things with the idea of storing spiritual power for use later on, but that is a hopeless mistake.  The Spirit of God has removed the sin of a great many, yet there is no joyous emancipation, no fullness in their lives.  The kind of religious life we see abroad today is entirely different from the robust holiness of the life of Jeshua the Anointed.  “I do not pray that You would take them out of the world, but that You will protect them from the evil.” (John 17:15)  We are to be in the world but not of it; to be separated fundamentally, not externally.

We must never allow anything to interfere with the consecration of our lives to God.  Consecration is our part, sanctification is God’s part; and we have to deliberately decide to be interested only in that in which Jehovah is interested.

The way to solve perplexing problems is to ask—‘Is this something which Jeshua the Anointed wants to do, or something which the antichrists want to do?’  God’s Instructions will shed light on that answer.

 

 

November 28th—The Bounty of the Destitute

They have all sinned and they were deprived of the glory of God, but they are freely justified by grace and the redemption which exists in the Anointed Jeshua.”  Romans 3:24

 

The Good News of the grace of God awakens an intense longing in human souls and also an intense resentment, because the revelation which it brings is not palatable.  There is a certain pride in man that will give and give, but to recognize our failings, surrender and accept forgiveness is another thing.  I will give my life to martyrdom, I will give myself in consecration, I will give anything, but do not humiliate me by making me recognize and confess that I am a depraved sinner and tell me that I can only accept God’s gift of salvation through the death of Jeshua the Anointed.

We have to realize that we cannot earn or deserve anything from Jehovah; we must either receive it as a gift or do without it.  The greatest blessing spiritually is the knowledge that we are destitute.  God will leave us to our own devices if we think we are sufficient in ourselves.  We have to enter into His Kingdom through the door of destitution.

As long as we think we are rich, possessing anything in the way of pride or independence, God will do little for us.  It is only when we realise that we are empty spiritually that we become ready to receive the Holy Spirit.  The gift of the essential nature of God is made effectual in us by the Holy Spirit.  He imparts to us the quickening life of Jeshua, and immediately we are lifted into the domain where Jeshua lives (Ephesians 2:4-6).

 

 

November 29th—The Absoluteness of Jeshua

And He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and show it to you.”  John 16:14

 

The holiness movements of today have none of the rugged reality of the New Covenant about them; there is nothing about them that needs the Death of Jeshua the Anointed.  All that is required is a pious atmosphere, prayer and devotion.  Indeed, even pagan religions have these attributes. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous, because it does not cost the passion of God.  It is not dyed with the blood of the Lamb, not stamped with the hallmark of the Holy Spirit.  It has not that mark on it which makes men say, as they look with awe and wonder—“That is the work of Jehovah God Almighty.”  That and nothing else is what the Bible talks about.

The Christian experience in the New Covenant is that of personal passionate devotion to the Persons of Jehovah God and our Lord Jeshua the Messiah.  Every other type of Christian experience, so called, is detached from them.  There is no regeneration, no being born again into the Kingdom in which Messiah lives, but only the idea that He is our Pattern.  In the New Covenant Jeshua the Anointed is Saviour foremost, then He is the Pattern.  Today He is being displayed as the Figurehead of a Religion, merely an Example of How to Live.  He is that, but He is infinitely more; He is salvation itself, He is the Good News of God.

Jeshua said, “However, when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak from himself, but everything that He hears He will speak; and He will make known to you things to come.  And He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and show it to you.” (John 16:13-14)  When I fully commit myself to the revelations made in the New Covenant, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit who begins to reveal to me what Jehovah does in me and all that Jeshua the Anointed did for me.

 

 

November 30th—By the Grace of God I Am What I Am

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace within me has not been worthless; for I have laboured more than all of them, yet not I, but His grace which was with me.”  1 Corinthians 15:10

 

The way we continually talk about our own inability is an insult to our Creator.  The deploring of our own incompetence is a slander against God for having overlooked us.  Get into the habit of examining in the sight of God the things that sound humble before men, and you will be amazed at how staggeringly impertinent they are.  “Oh, I wouldn’t like to say I am sanctified; I’m not a saint.”  Say that before Jehovah and it means—“No, Lord, it is impossible for You to save and sanctify me; there are chances I have not had; so many imperfections in my mind and body; no, Lord, it isn’t possible.”  That may sound wonderfully humble before men, but before God it is an attitude of defiance.

Again, the things that sound humble before God may sound the opposite before men.  To say ‘Thank You Jehovah, I know that You have saved and sanctified me.’ is in the sight of God the acme of humility, it means you have so completely surrendered yourself to God that you know He is true and He has done what He promised.  Never bother your head as to whether what you say sounds humble before men or not, but always be humble before God, and let Him be all in all.

There are two relationships that matter the most, and they are your personal relationships to your Father Jehovah and your Lord Jeshua.  Let everything else go, but maintain these relationships at all costs, and Jehovah will fulfil His purpose through your life.  Each person who truly loves God is of priceless value to Him.

 

 

December 1st—The Instructions and the Good News

For whoever keeps all the Instructions, and stumbles in one thing, he is condemned by all the Instructions.”  Jacob (James) 2:10

 

Jehovah’s Instructions do not consider us as weak human beings at all.  It does not excuse us because of our heredity and weaknesses, it demands that we be absolutely obedient.  God’s Instructions never alter, either for the richest or for the poorest, it is eternally and abidingly the same.  God’s Instructions do not make themselves weak to the weak or blind to the rich.  It does not palliate our shortcomings, it remains absolute for all time and eternity.

If we do not realize this, it is because we have been blinded by Satan; as soon as our eyes are opened and we can see, life becomes a tragedy.  “At the beginning, I was alive without the Instructions, but when the commandment came, sin lived and I died.  And I found that the commandment of life was death for me.” (Romans 7:9-10)  When we realize that sin is really the breaking of God’s Instructions, and that we have broken them, then the Spirit of God convicts us of our sins (1 John 3:4).  Until a person reaches this point and knows that there is no hope in their self, the Stake of Jeshua the Anointed is meaningless to them.  Conviction of sin always brings a fearful awareness of their condemnation to death under God’s law.  It makes a person feel hopeless—“For we know that the Instructions are from the Spirit, but I am of the flesh, and I am sold to sin.  For what I did, I did not understand.  Nor was it what I chose to do, but I did what I hated, that was what I was doing.” (Rom 7:14-15)

I, a guilty sinner, can never make myself right with God, it is impossible. There is nothing I can do that will remove my sins.  Indeed, without God’s help, I am not even able to stop adding to my sins!  There is only one way in which I can get right with God, and that is through the Death of Jeshua the Anointed.  Jeshua paid my death sentence in full. My sins can only be washed away by His blood, shed for my sins (Heb 9:14, 1 John 1:7, Rev 1:5).  I must get rid of the lurking idea that I can make myself right with God because of my obedience—which one of us has ever obeyed God to absolute perfection our entire life!

We only realize the power of God’s Instructions when it comes to the “if.”  IF we obey, God will bless us.  IF we disobey, God will punish us (Lev 26:1-46).  But God does not force us to obey.  In one mood we wish He would make us do what is right, and in another mood we wish He would leave us alone.  But whenever God’s will is in our hearts, our compulsion to sin is gone.  When we choose deliberately to repent, accept Jeshua’s sacrifice on our behalf and obey Him, then Jehovah will use even the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist us with all His almighty power.

 

 

December 2nd—Perfecting Christians

Not that I have already received it, or that I am already perfect; but I run on, that perhaps I may obtain that which Messiah Jeshua has obtained for me.”  Philippians 3:12

 

It is a snare to imagine that God must make us perfect specimens of what He can do; God’s purpose is to make us one with Himself.  The emphasis of holiness movements is apt to be that God is producing specimens of holiness to put in His museum.

If you go off on this idea of personal holiness, the direction of your life will not be for God, but for what you will call the manifestation of God in your life.  For example, “It can never be God’s will that I should be sick.”  If it was God’s will to bruise His own Son, even let Him be killed, why should He not bruise you?  The thing that matters to God is not your reverent consistency to your idea of what a saint you should be, but your real vital relationship with Jeshua, and your surrender to Him, whether you are well or ill.

Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection.  Christian perfection is the perfection of your relationship with God, which reveals itself amid the turmoil of human life.  When you obey the call of Jeshua the Anointed, the first thing that strikes you is the apparent irrelevancy of the things you have to do, and the next thing that strikes you is the fact that other people seem to be living comfortable lives without Messiah.  Such people may leave you with the idea that God is unnecessary—by human effort and devotion we can live worthwhile lives.

This is an illusion.  Without God no life is truly fulfilled.  We are created to live in a perfect relationship with God, and so my life should produce a longing after God in other lives, not admiration for myself.  Thoughts about myself hinder my usefulness to God.  God is not perfecting me to be a specimen in His showroom; He is getting me to the place where He can use me as His servant.  Let Him do what He wishes with you.

 

 

December 3rd—By the Spirit and Power of God

And my message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of Power, that your faith would not be in the wisdom of the children of men but in the Power of God.”  1 Corinthians 2:4-5

 

If when sharing the Good News you substitute your knowledge and speaking abilities for confidence in the power of the Good News, you hinder people getting to Jehovah.  You have to ensure that while you proclaim your knowledge of the way of salvation, you yourself are rooted and grounded in faith in God.  Never rely on the clearness of your exposition, but as you give your exposition see that you are relying on the Holy Spirit.  Rely on the certainty of God’s redemptive power, and He will create His own life in their souls.

When you are rooted in Jehovah, nothing can shake you.  If your faith is in experiences, anything that happens is likely to upset that faith.  Nothing can ever upset God or the incredible reality of His Redemption; base your faith on that, and you are eternally secure with God.

When you are in personal contact with Jeshua the Anointed, you will never be moved.  That is the meaning of sanctification.  Jeshua sanctifies Himself to ensure that we too can grow in sanctification through Him (John 17:19).  And on top of this, Jeshua also prays for us who trust in Him through the Word, that we may be one with our brethren, Him and His Father (John 17:20-21).  I have to deliberately give my life to God for His service, so that He can sanctify me and use me as His hands and His feet.

 

 

December 4th—Individual Discouragement and Growth

Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens.  And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren.

Exodus 2:11

 

Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs.  After his first strike for Israel and for ‘the right’ resulted in murder, God allowed Moses to be driven into blank discouragement.  He sent him into the desert to feed sheep for forty years.  At the end of that time, God appeared and told Moses to go and bring forth His people, and Moses said—“Who am I, that I should go?” (Exodus 3:11)  In the beginning Moses believed that he was the man to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first.  He was not the man for the job until he had learned humility and was in communion with Jehovah.

We may have seen the vision of God and think we have a clear understanding of what God wants, but when we start to do the thing, then something equivalent to the forty years in the wilderness comes our way.  It is as if God ignored the whole thing, and when we are thoroughly discouraged, God comes to us and calls us to the task.  Then we get the quaver and say—“Oh, who am I?”  We have to learn the first great lesson of Jehovah—“I AM THAT I AM has sent you.”  We have to learn that our individual effort for God is an impertinence; we can do nothing until we have been given a personal relationship with God (see Matthew 3:17).  We fix on the individual aspect of things; we have seen the vision—“This is what God wants me to do;” but we have not waited to get God’s go-ahead and guidance.  If you are going through a time of discouragement, know that there will be spiritual growth ahead.

 

 

December 5th—Keep Focused, Stay Afloat

 

And Jeshua said to him, “Come.”  And Peter came down out of the boat, and he walked on the water to come to Jeshua.  But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid; and began to sink.  He raised his voice, saying, “My Lord, save me!”  Matthew 14:29-30

 

The wind was very strong, the waves were quite high, but Peter did not consider them at first, he simply recognized his Lord and stepped out in trust of Him, and walked on the water.  Then he began to notice the things around him, and down he went.

Why didn’t our Lord enable him to walk beneath the waves as well as on the top of them?  Neither could be done except by the power of our Lord Jeshua.  We step right out on God over some thing, then self-consideration enters in and down we go.  If you are focused on your Lord, it is not your business to decide where and how He engineers your circumstances.

The physical things exist, but as soon as you look at them you are overwhelmed.  You stop trusting Jeshua, and the rebuke comes: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Vs 31)  Let the circumstances be what they may, keep your focus on Jeshua, maintain complete reliance on Him.

If you begin debating when God has spoken, it is all over.  Never  say—“Well, I wonder if He did speak?”  Be fearless immediately, fling it all out on Him.  You do not know when His voice will come, but whenever the reality of Jehovah comes quietly to you, fearlessly obey Him.

It is through surrender that you recognize Him.  You will only hear His voice more clearly by fearlessness.

 

 

December 6th—The Rainbow in the Cloud

I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.”  Genesis 9:13

 

It is the desire of Jehovah that human beings should develop a relationship with Him, and His covenants are for this purpose.  ‘So why does God not save me?’

He has saved you, but you have not entered into a relationship with Him yet.  Jehovah has done His part, so the point is—Will you step into a covenant relationship with Him?  All the great blessings of God are finished and complete, but they are not yours until you enter into a relationship with Him on the basis of His covenants.

Waiting for God is incarnate unbelief, it means that I have no faith in Him; I wait for Him to do something in me so I may trust in that.  But that is not the basis of the God-and-man relationship.  Man has to go beyond himself to form his covenant with Jehovah, and it can only be forged through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jeshua the Anointed.

It is a question of faith in God—the rarest thing; we have faith only in our feelings.  ‘I do not believe God unless He gives me something in my hand so I may know I have it, then I say—“Now I believe.”’  There is no faith there.  Jehovah says “Look to Me, and be saved.” (Isaiah 45:22)

When I have really interacted with God on His covenant and have surrendered entirely, there is no sense of merit, no human ingredient in it at all, but a complete overwhelming sense of being brought into union with God, and the whole thing is transfigured with peace and joy.

 

 

December 7th—Stand With Diligence

Preach the word and stand with diligence, in time and without time.  Reprove, rebuke and teach, all with sustained spirit.”  2 Timothy 4:2

 

Many of us suffer from the morbid tendency to be “without time.”  The time also refers to us—“in time and without time,” whether we feel like it or not.  If we do only what we feel inclined to do at a given time, some of us would do nothing for ever and ever.  There are unemployables in the spiritual domain, spiritually decrepit people who refuse to do anything unless they feel supernaturally inspired.  The proof that we are rightly related to God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not.

One of the great snares of a Christian is to make a fetish of his rare moments.  When the Spirit of Jehovah gives you a time of inspiration and insight, you say—“Now I will always be like this for God.”  No, you will not; Jehovah will make sure you are not.  Those delightful times are the gift of God entirely.  You cannot give them to yourself when you choose, nor make God do so.

If you say you will only work when you are at your best, you become almost useless to God; you will never do anything unless He keeps you constantly inspired.  If you make a god of your best moments, you will find that God will fade out of your life and not come back until you do the duty that lies nearest, and have learned not to make a fetish of your rare moments.

 

 

December 8th—The Impartial Power of God

For by one offering he has perfected for ever those who are sanctified.”  Hebrews 10:14

 

We trample the blood of the Son of God underfoot if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins.  The only justification for the forgiveness of Jehovah and His unfathomable mercy in forgetting our sins is the Death of Jeshua the Anointed.

Our repentance is simply the start of our response to God calling us to the Atonement which He has worked out for us.  He is “Anointed Jeshua; He who became the wisdom and the righteousness and the redemption and the holiness of God for us” (1 Cor 1:30)  When we realize that Messiah is made all of this for us, the boundless joy of God begins.  Wherever the joy of God is not present, the death sentence is at work.

It does not matter who we are or what we have done, there can only be reunion with God through the death of Jeshua the Anointed and by no other way.  Not by Buddha, nor by Mary, nor the saints, nor the Pope.  And this is not because Jeshua the Anointed pleads for us, but because He died for us.  It cannot be not earned, but only gratefully accepted.  All the pleading which deliberately refuses to recognize the Stake is of no avail; it is futile battering at a locked door, rejecting the one which Jeshua has opened.  ‘I don’t want to come that way, it is too humiliating to be received as a sinner.’  Jehovah will not relent: “Jeshua said to him, “I AM!  I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to My Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)  “Nor is there salvation in any other man, for there is no other name under heaven which is given to men by which we can receive life.” (Acts 4:12)

This stubbornness of Jehovah is the expression of His real heart, and there is unfettered entrance in His Way: “For in Him we have redemption and by His blood the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace by which He has abounded generously in us in all wisdom and understanding” (Eph 1:7-8)  Identification with the death of Jeshua the Anointed means harmony with Him and the death of everything in us that stands against God.

Jehovah will only save bad people when they become willing for Him to make them good.  Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong.  The Atonement is the fruit of the sacrifice through which God, by the death of Jeshua, makes an unholy person holy.  It is a gift of truly infinite value.

 

 

December 9th—Can These Bones Live?

And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”  So I answered, “O Lord Jehovah, You know.”  Ezekiel 37:3

 

Can that sinner be turned into a saint?  Can that twisted life be put right?  There is only one answer: “O Lord Jehovah, You know, I don’t.”  Never trample in with religious common-sense and say—“Oh, yes, with a little more Bible reading and devotion and prayer, I see how it can be done.”  No, you don’t.  All that is good, but only God’s Spirit can transform a person.

It is much easier to make ourselves busy than to trust in God; we mistake action for inspiration.  That is why there are so few fellow workers with God and so many workers for Him.  We would far rather ‘work for God’ than believe Him.

Am I quite sure that God will do what I cannot do?  I despair of men to the degree in which I have never realized what God has done  for me.  Is my experience such a wonderful example of God’s power and might that I can never despair of anyone I see?  Have I really understood that instead of the death I deserve, God has become my friend and my father, and has promised me everlasting life in Paradise with Him?

“Thus says Lord Jehovah: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves” (Vs 12)  When God wants to show you what human nature is like apart from Him, He has to show it to you in yourself.  If the Spirit of God has given you a vision of what you are apart from the grace of God, you know there is no criminal who is as bad in actuality as you know yourself to be in possibility.  My “grave” has been opened by God and “I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh.” (Rom 7:18)  “For Your Name’s sake, O Jehovah, pardon my iniquity, for it is great.” (Psm 25:11)

God’s Spirit continually reveals what our human nature is like apart from His grace, and helps us climb out of our grave.

 

 

December 10th—What Are You Haunted By?

Who is the man that fears Jehovah?  He shall teach him in the way He chooses.”  Psalm 25:12

 

What are you haunted by?  You may say—“By nothing,” but we are all haunted by something; generally by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our sinfulness.  The Psalmist says we are to be haunted by Jehovah.  This initial fear leads us into a true relationship with Him.  The abiding need of our life is to be with God, not just be thinking about Him.  The whole of our life inside and out needs to be absolutely filled by the presence of God.  A child’s life is so mother-filled that when calamity arises, the relationship that abides is that to their mother.  “For it is by Him that we live and we move and we exist, as some of your wise men among you have said, ‘For we are from His lineage.’” (Acts 17:28)  We must look at everything in relation to God, because our relationship with God must be pushed to the front all the time.

If we are filled by Jehovah, nothing else can get in, no cares, no tribulation, no anxieties.  We see now why Our Lord so emphasized the sin of worry.  How can we dare be so utterly unbelieving when God is round about us?  To be taught by God is to have an effective barricade against all the onslaughts of the enemy.  “His soul shall dwell in goodness, and his seed shall inherit the earth.” (Psm 25:13)  In tribulation, misunderstanding, slander, in the midst of all these things, if our life is hidden with Messiah in God, He will keep us in His goodness.  We should not rob ourselves of the marvellous joy of this abiding companionship with God.  “Jehovah of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our Refuge” (Psalm 46:11)—nothing can come through that shelter.

 

 

December 11th—Carnality

Then Jeshua said to His disciples, “They who desire to follow after Me, let them deny themselves, and take up their stake, and follow Me.”  Matthew 16:24

 

Carnality is the opposite of our spiritual life.  Carnality is all thrusting elbows, it separates and isolates.  It is a characteristic of an unsaved person, and if we mistake carnality for our spiritual life, we will remain isolated.  The shell of carnality is the natural covering we inherited from Adam and Eve, but carnality must go so our spiritual life may come out and be brought into fellowship with God.  Carnality counterfeits spirituality like lust counterfeits love.  Jehovah designed human nature to become like Himself; carnality debases human nature for itself.

Two characteristics of carnality are independence and self-assertiveness.  It is the continual assertion of carnality that hinders our spiritual life more than anything else.  If you say—“I cannot believe,” it is because your carnality is blocking the way; carnality can never believe.  But your spirit wants to believe.

Watch yourself when the Spirit of God is at work.  He pushes you to the edges of your carnality, and you have either to say—“I won’t,” or surrender, break the husk of carnality and let your spiritual life emerge.  The Holy Spirit narrows it down every time to one thing (Matthew 5:23-24).  The thing in you that will not be reconciled to your brother is your carnality.  God wants to bring you into union with Himself, but until you are willing to give up your right to stay as you are, He will not.  “Let him deny himself”—deny his independent right to remain carnal, then his spiritual life has a chance to grow.  Then we can all become one with each other through our Messiah (Rom 12:5).

 

 

December 12th—Spirituality

And the glory which You gave Me, I have given to them, so that they will be one as We are one, so that the world will believe that You sent Me.”  John 17:22

 

Spirituality is that peculiar, incalculable thing that is meant when we speak of ourselves as servants of God.  Our spirituality is always too big for us to grasp.  An island in the sea may be but the top of a great mountain.  Spirituality is like an island, we know little about the great depths underneath, consequently we cannot estimate ourselves, let alone others.  We begin by thinking that we can, but we come to realize that there is only one Being who understands us, and that is our Creator.

Spirituality is the characteristic of the spiritual man as independence and carnality are the characteristics of the natural man.  Our Lord Jeshua cannot be defined in terms of individuality and independence, but only in terms of spirituality, “I and My Father are one.”  Spirituality merges, and you only reach your real identity when you are united with Jehovah.  When love, especially the love of the Spirit of God strikes a man, he is transformed and no longer insists upon his separate individuality.

Our Lord did not speak in terms of individuality, of a man’s “elbows” or his isolated position, but in terms of spirituality—“that they will be one as We are one.”  If you give to Jehovah your right to yourself, your spirit bonds with God’s spirit straight away.  Jeshua the Anointed transforms your spirituality, and you are purified by love and personal devotion to Jeshua.

Through becoming one with God we can behold the Glory that Our Father has given to Jeshua.

 

 

December 13th—What to Pray For

Then He spoke a parable to them, that they must always pray and not become weary.”  Luke 18:1

 

You cannot intercede if you do not believe in the reality of Jeshua’s Redemption.  You will turn intercession into futile sympathy with human beings which will only increase their contentment in being out of touch with God.  In intercession you bring the person, or the circumstance that impinges on you, before God.  Sometimes He will reveal His attitude towards that person or circumstance, what He intends to do and what He wants you to do.

Intercession means “I fill up what is lacking in the afflictions for the Anointed in my flesh, for the sake of His body, which is the congregation” (Col 1:24). This does not mean that there is anything lacking in what Jeshua did on the Stake, but that we are filling our own lack of afflictions we suffer when we intercede for our brethren. These efforts are part of what Jeshua expects us to do as loving servants.

Intercession is often explained on the line of—“Put yourself in his place.”  Never do that!  Align yourself with God, learn His Way, pray for His will to be done in that situation.  As a worker, be careful to maintain your communication with God or you will be crushed.

If you learn too much about the situation, more than God intended for you to know, it is hard to pray effectively, for the condition of the people is so crushing that you must struggle to get through it to reach Jehovah.

Our work relies on coming into contact with God about everything, and we can shirk it by becoming ‘active workers’.  We do the things that can be tabulated but we do not intercede.  Intercession is something that has no snares, because it keeps our relationship with God completely open.

The thing to watch in intercession is that no soul is merely patched up: that person must get through into contact with God.  Think of the number of souls God has brought along our path and we have dropped them somewhere along the way!  When we pray for intercession on the basis of Jeshua’s Redemption, God creates something He will create in no other way.

 

 

December 14th—The Witness of Peace

Peace I leave with you, My own peace I give to you; it is not as the world gives that I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not fear.”  John 14:27

 

Whenever a thing becomes difficult for us, we are in danger of blaming God, but it is always we who are in the wrong, not God.  There is some perversity somewhere that we will not let go.  As soon as we do, everything becomes as clear as daylight.  As long as we try to serve two ends—ourselves and God—there is perplexity.  Our attitude must be one of complete reliance on God.  When we are there, there is nothing easier than living the saintly life; the difficulty comes in when we want to usurp the authority of the Holy Spirit for our own ends.

Whenever you obey God, His seal is always that of peace, the witness of an unfathomable peace, which is supernatural: this is the peace of Jeshua.  Whenever peace does not come, tarry until it does or find out the reason why it does not.  If you are acting on an impulse, or from a sense of the heroic, the peace of Jeshua will not witness to it.  There is no simplicity or confidence in God there, because the spirit of simplicity is born from the Holy Spirit, not from your decisions.  Every godly decision sings with simplicity.

My doubts come whenever I cease to obey.  When I am obeying Jehovah, the problems never come between me and God.  Then questions and answers keep my mind flooded with amazement at the revelations of God.

Any problem that comes between God and myself springs out of disobedience.  Any other problems, and there are many, that are alongside me while I obey God, increases my ecstatic delight, because I know that my Father knows, and I am going to watch and see how He unravels this thing.

 

 

December 15th—Perfectly Before God

Take care of yourself and present yourself perfectly before God as a worker without shame who preaches the Word of Truth straightforwardly.”  2 Timothy 2:15

 

If you cannot express yourself on any subject, pray about it and struggle with it until you can.  If you do not, someone will be the poorer all the days of their life.  Struggle to clarify some truth of God’s Word to yourself, and God will use you to present that truth to someone else.  That truth will become the pearl that strengthens  someone else.

But if you say lazily—“I am not going to struggle to understand and express this thing for myself, I will just borrow what I say from another,” the expression will not only be of no use to you, but of no use to anyone.  Refine yourself what you have gleaned from God’s Word, and you give God the opportunity to pass that Truth on to someone else through you.

Always make a practice of meditating on God’s Word and provoking your own spirit to think carefully about what it accepts easily.  Our position is not truly ours until we make it ours through struggle.  The person who benefits you most is not the one who tells you something you did not know before, but the one who gives expression to a concept that has been mutely struggling in you for utterance.  If that concept conforms to God’s Word, embrace it as truth, refine it and make it yours.

 

 

December 16th—Confronting Evil

Therefore put on all the armour of God, so you will be able to confront the evil one; . .  and pray always and desire always in all prayers that you will be in Him in the Spirit, watching constantly while you pray and make supplication for the sake of all the saints. . . ”  Ephesians 6:13, 18

 

You have to wrestle against the things that prevent you from getting to God, and you wrestle in prayer for other souls; in all of these things we are really confronting the Evil One.  But we cannot do this on our own.  We can only succeed if we put on the entire armour of God.  Paul tells us that God’s armour is comprised of Truth, Righteousness, the Good News, Faith, Salvation and the Word of God.  These things work together to protect us thoroughly from the lies of Satan and his servants, and give us the strength to help our brethren and also those searching for God.

Paul details the armour, and how it is to be used: Truth and Righteousness, backed up by the shield of Faith, protect us from body blows from the Adversary, while the helmet of Salvation protects our heads.  The Good News of Peace is on our feet, which can protect us, and others, by taking us to where Jeshua needs us to be.  And lastly, the Sword of the Word of God is our only weapon, which can both protect us and slice apart the lies and pretentions of Satan’s servants.  With this armour we can confront the Evil One and expose his iniquity.

But we can not do it alone.  Paul warns us to “pray always and desire always in all prayers that you will be in Him (God) in the Spirit, watching constantly while you pray and make supplication for the sake of all the saints.”  Paul also asked them to pray that God would place the Word in his mouth, so he could “boldly preach the mystery of the Good News.” (vs 19)  We likewise need to pray for those that are preaching the Good News today.

 

 

December 17th—Redemption Creates the Need it Satisfies

But the soulish man does not receive spiritual things, for they are madness to him; and he is not able to know them, because they are known by the Spirit.”  1 Corinthians 2:14

 

The Good News of God creates a sense of need of the Good News.  Paul says—“But if our Good News is hidden, it is hidden to those who are lost, those whose intellects the god of this world has blinded because they do not believe, lest the light of the Good News of the glory of Messiah, who is the image of God, should dawn on them.” (2 Cor 4:3-4).

The majority of people think they are moral, good people; they have no sense of need of the Good News.  It is God who creates the need of which few human beings are conscious of until God manifests Himself to them.  Jeshua said—“Ask, and it shall be given to you,” (Mat 7:7) but God does not give until a person asks.  That is the way He has constituted things on the basis of Redemption.  By means of our asking, God gets processes working where He creates the need that we are not aware of until we do ask.  The reality of Redemption is that it creates all the time.  As the Redemption places the Spirit of God in us, so it creates the things belonging to our new life.  Nothing can satisfy the need for redemption but that which created the need.  This is the meaning of Jeshua’s Redemption—it creates our realisation that we need to be redeemed and it satisfies that need.

“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to Me.” (John 12:32)  We can preach our own experiences and people may be interested, but no sense of their need is awakened by it.  But if Jeshua the Anointed is preached, the Spirit of God will create a conscious need for Him.  Behind the preaching of the Good News is the creative Redemption of God at work in the souls of men.  It is never our personal testimony that saves men.  “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.” (John 6:63)

 

 

December 18th—The Test of Loyalty

And we know that God helps those who love Him; He helps those whom He called and ordained from the beginning in everything for their good.”  Romans 8:28

 

It is only the loyal soul who believes that God engineers all circumstances.  We often take such liberty with our circumstances, we do not really believe God engineers them, although we say we do.  We treat the things that happen as if they occur by chance.

To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, and that is to our Lord.  Suddenly Jehovah breaks up a particular set of circumstances, and the realization comes that we have been disloyal to Him by not recognizing that He had ordered them.  We never saw what He was doing, and that particular thing can never be repeated all the days of our life.

The test of loyalty always comes just there.  If we learn to worship God in the trying circumstances, He will alter them in two seconds when He chooses.  Loyalty to Jeshua the Anointed is the thing that we need to “stick at” today.  We will be loyal to work, to service, to anything, but do not ask us to be loyal to Jeshua the Anointed.  Many Christians are intensely impatient about talking of loyalty to Jeshua.  Our Lord is dethroned more emphatically by Christian workers than by the world.  They attempt to use God as a machine for blessing men, and Jeshua the Anointed is regarded as a slave to His workers.  Yes, He has called us, and He will help us fulfil His wishes for us, but we are His creations, He is not our creation.

The ideal is not that we work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us.  Always remember that God does not need us to work for Him, but He generously allows us to work for Him, as He also allows His own Son to work for Him.

 

 

December 19th—What to Concentrate On

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.  I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”  Matthew 10:34

 

Never be sympathetic with the soul whose case makes you think that God has been hard.  God is more tender than we can conceive, and every now and again He gives us the role of being the rugged one so He may be the tender One.  If a man cannot get through to God it is because there is a secret thing he does not intend to give up—‘I will admit I have done wrong, but I no more intend to give up that thing than fly.’  It is impossible to deal sympathetically with a case like that: we have let them get right deep down to the root until there is antagonism and resentment against the message.

People want the blessing of God, but they will not stand the thing that goes straight to the quick.  If God has had His way with you, your message as His servant may be merciless insistence on the one line, cut down to the very root, otherwise there will be no healing.  Drive home the message until there is no possible refuge from its application.  Begin to get at people where they are until they realize what they lack, and then erect the standard of Jeshua the Anointed for their lives—“But we never can be that.”  Then drive it home—“Jeshua the Anointed says you must.”  “But how can we be?”  “You cannot, unless your Heavenly Father gives you the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 11:13)

There must be a sense of need before your message is of any use.  Thousands of people appear to be happy without God in this world.  If I was happy and moral until Jeshua came, why did He come?   Why did He have to die?  Because that kind of happiness and goodness is on the wrong level; it can never heal our rebellion against God, nor remove our hidden sinful nature.  Jeshua the Anointed came to put a sword through every peace that is not based on a personal relationship with Him.

 

 

December 20th—The Right Lines of Work

And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to Me.”  John 12:32

 

Few of us have any real understanding of why Jeshua the Anointed had to die.  If sympathy is all that human beings need, then the Stake of Messiah is a farce; there was no need for it.  What the world needs is not “a little bit of love,” but a major surgical operation.

When you are face to face with a person in difficulty spiritually, remind yourself of Jeshua the Anointed on the Stake.  If that person can get to God on any other line, then the Stake of Lord Jeshua is unnecessary.  If you try to help others only by your sympathy or understanding, you are a traitor to Jeshua the Anointed.  You have to keep yourself rightly related to God and let the Holy Spirit pour out through you for others on His line, not pour out on the human line and ignore God.

The great note today is amiable religiosity.  No!  The great thing we have to do is to exhibit Jeshua the Anointed impaled for them, to lift Him up all the time.  Every doctrine that is not embedded in the Stake of Jeshua will lead us astray.  If the worker himself believes in Messiah Jeshua and is trusting in the reality of God’s Redemption, the people he talks to must be taught likewise.  The thing that remains and deepens is the worker’s simple relationship to Jeshua the Anointed; his usefulness to God depends on that and that alone.

The calling of a Christian is to make people realize they are sinners and their only hope for salvation is Jeshua, the Anointed Son of God; consequently he cannot be poetical, he must be sternly surgical.  We are sent by God to teach them about Jeshua, who suffered and died for their sins, not to give wonderful, beautiful discourses.  We have to prepare them for God to probe straight down as deeply as He has probed us, to be keen in sensing the Scriptures which bring the truth straight home and to apply them fearlessly.

 

 

December 21st—Experience or Revelation

 

Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, that we might know the gifts that have been given to us by God.”  1 Corinthians 2:12

 

Redemption has no meaning for me until it speaks a language that I understand deep within.  When I am being born again, the Spirit of God takes me right out of myself and my experiences, and unifies me with Jeshua the Anointed.  Redemption transforms me and my future.  The proof that these changes are produced by God’s Redemption is that I am led beyond myself all the time, and into the righteousness of God.  I no longer pay attention to my old experiences as the basis of reality, but only to Jehovah who makes all things new.

My experiences are not worth anything unless they keep me at the Source, Jeshua the Anointed.  If you try to dam up the Holy Spirit in you to produce subjective experiences, you will find that He will burst all the barriers and take you back again to the true Messiah.  Never nourish an experience which does not have Jehovah as its Source and increased faith in God as its result.  If your experience does not do that, is anti-Christian, no matter what visions you may have had.

Is Jeshua the Anointed Lord of your experiences, or do you try to lord them over Him?  Is any experience dearer to you than your Lord?  He must be Lord over you, and you must not pay attention to any experience over which He is not Lord.  There comes a time when God’s revelation will take you beyond your own experiences—‘I do not care what I experience; I am sure of Him.’  Be ruthless with yourself if you are given to talking about the experiences you have had.  Faith that is based on one’s self is not real faith; faith that is based on God is the only true faith there is.

 

 

December 22nd—The Drawing of the Father

No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up in the last day.”  John 6:44

 

When God draws me, the issue of my will comes in at once.  Will I respond to the revelation which God gives—will I come to Him?  Do not ask advice from anyone when God speaks to you.  Belief is not merely an intellectual act; belief is a moral act where I deliberately commit myself.  Will I commit myself absolutely to God and interact with Him on what He says?  If I will, I shall find I have become part of a reality that is as sure as Jehovah’s love.

In preaching the good news, always push the issue of choice.  We must choose to believe.  There must be a surrender of our will, not a surrender to persuasive arguments, but a deliberate launching forth into God based on what the Bible says until I am no longer confident in what I have done, I am confident only in God.

The hindrance is that I may not trust God, but only my own understanding.  As far as opinions go, I must forsake them all.  I must choose to believe, and this can never be done without the Holy Spirit freeing me from my old ways of looking at things, and by putting myself entirely in His hands.

Every person must reach out beyond their grasp.  It is God who draws me, and my relationship to Him is a personal one.  I am led into the relationship by the miracle of Golgotha and the faith He gives me so I can believe.  Then I begin to get an intelligent appreciation and understanding of the wonder of the transformation He is working within me.

 

 

December 23rd—How Can I Partake in the Atonement?

But do not let it be that I should boast except in the impalement of our Anointed Lord Jeshua, in whom the world has been impaled to me, and I have been impaled to the world.”  Galatians 6:14

 

The Good News of Jeshua the Messiah always forces an issue of will.  Do I accept Jehovah’s forgiveness of my sins on the Stake of Messiah?  Have I the slightest interest in the death of Jeshua?  Do I want to be identified with His death, to be killed outright to all interest in sin, in worldliness, in self—to be in such harmony with Jeshua that I lose interest in everything else but Him?  Do I want to be raised in new Life, in everlasting life with Him?  The great privilege of discipleship is that I can sign on under His Stake, and that means death to my sin and life to me.

Get alone with Jeshua and either tell Him that you want to keep sinning and die in the Lake of Fire or else tell Him that at all costs you want to be identified with His death and resurrection.  As soon as you have confident faith in what Our Lord did on the Stake, a supernatural unification with His death takes place, and you will know with a surpassing knowledge that your “old man” is impaled with Messiah.  This knowledge leads directly to your symbolic death through water immersion into the death of Messiah (Romans 6:1-17).

The proof that your old man is impaled with Messiah is the amazing ease with which the Spirit of God now in you enables you to obey the voice of Jeshua the Anointed.  Every now and again, our Lord lets us see what we would be like if it were not for Him; it is proof of what He said—“I am the vine and you are the branches.  Whoever remains in Me, and I in him, this one brings forth much fruit; because without Me you are not able to do anything.” (John 15:5).  That is why the bedrock of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to our Lord Jeshua.  We mistake the ecstasy of our first introduction into the Kingdom for the purpose of God in getting us there; His purpose in getting us there is that we may spend all eternity rejoicing in harmony with Jeshua the Anointed.

 

 

December 24th—The Hidden Life

For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Anointed in God.”  Colossians 3:3

 

The Spirit of God witnesses to the simple security of our life hidden with Messiah in God and this is continually brought out in the Epistles.  We talk as if it were the most precarious thing to live a sanctified life.  But it is the most secure thing, because it has Almighty God in and behind it.  The most precarious thing is to try to live without Jehovah.  If we are being born again it is the easiest thing to live in right relationship to God and the most difficult thing is to go wrong, if we will heed God’s warnings and keep in the light.

When we think of being delivered from sin, of being filled with the Spirit, and of walking in the light, we picture the peak of a great mountain, very high and wonderful, and we say—“Oh, but I could never live up there!”  But when we do get there by God’s grace, we find it is not a mountain peak, but a large plateau where there is ample room to live and to grow.  “You enlarged my path under me; so that my feet did not slip.” (Psalm 18:36)

When you really see Jeshua, how can you doubt Him?  When He says—“Peace I leave with you, My own peace I give to you; it is not as the world gives that I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not fear.” (John 14:27), why would you trouble your heart?  It is impossible to doubt Him when He is within you.  Every time you are in personal contact with Jeshua, His words are real.  “My own peace I give to you.”  It is an overflowing peace from the crown of your head to the sole of your feet, an irrepressible confidence.  “Your life is hidden with the Anointed in God,” and the imperturbable peace of Jeshua the Anointed is imparted to you.

 

 

December 25th—Missionary Predestinations

And now, says Jehovah, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him, for I shall be glorious in the eyes of Jehovah, and My God shall be My strength.  Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the branches of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel.  I will also give You as a light to the gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”  Isaiah 49:5-6

 

Here we see Jeshua rejoicing in being allowed to serve His Father. The first thing that happens after we have realized our selection by Jehovah in Messiah Jeshua is the destruction of our prejudices and our parochial notions and our earthly patriotism; we are turned into servants of God for His own purpose.  The whole human race was created to glorify Jehovah and enjoy Him forever.  Sin has switched the human race onto another track, but it has not altered God’s purpose in the tiniest degree; and when we are being born again we are brought into the realization of God’s great purpose for the human race, viz., I am created for Jehovah, He made me.  This realization of our selection by God is the most joyful realization we can have, and we have to learn to rely on the tremendous creative purpose of God.  The love of God, the very nature of God, is introduced into us, and the nature of Almighty God is focused in John 3:16—“For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not be destroyed, but have everlasting life.”

We have to keep our spirit open to God’s creative purposes, and not muddle it with our own intentions.  If we do, God will have to set our intentions to one side.  The purpose for which the Christian is called is that he may be God’s servant, one in whom God is glorified.  When we realize that through the salvation of Jeshua the Anointed we are made perfectly fit for God, we shall understand why Jeshua is so insistent in His demands.  He requires absolute righteousness from His servants, because He has put into them the very nature of God.

Pray regularly, read and meditate on God’s Word, lest you forget Jehovah’s purpose for your life.34

 

 

December 26th—The Supernatural Call

Though I also preach the Good News; there is no pride in me, for the necessity is laid upon me; woe to me unless I preach the Good News!”  1 Corinthians 9:16

 

We can forget the supernatural touch of God.  Do you recall when you got the call of God?  The realization of it in a person’s life may come with a sudden thunder-clap or with a gradual dawning, but in whatever way it comes, it comes with the taste of the supernatural, something that cannot be put into words, it is always accompanied with a glow.  At any moment there may break into your mind this incalculable, supernatural, surprising call that has taken hold of your life—“I have chosen you.”

The call of God goes beyond salvation and sanctification.  If you are sanctified you are therefore called to share the Good News.  Paul describes it as a necessity laid upon him.  If you have been obliterating the great supernatural call of God in your life, take a review of your circumstances and see where God has not been given first place: look at your ideas of service, and your temperamental abilities.  Paul said—“Woe to me, unless I preach the good news!”  He had responded to the call of God, and there was no competitor for his attention.

If a man or woman is called by God, it does not matter how untoward the circumstances are, every force that has been at work will serve God’s purpose in the end.  If you agree with God’s purpose, He will bring not only your conscious life, but all the deeper regions of your life into harmony.

 

 

December 27th—Where the Battle’s Lost and Won

If you will return, O Israel,” says Jehovah, “return to Me; and if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, then you shall not be moved.”  Jeremiah 4:1

 

The battle is lost or won in the secret places of our will before God, never first in the external world.  The Spirit of God apprehends me and I am obliged to get alone with Jehovah and fight my battle before Him.  Until this is done, I will lose every time.  The battle may take a minute or a year; that depends on me, not on God; but it must be wrestled out alone before God.  I must resolutely go through the trial of a renunciation before God.  Nothing has any power over the man who has fought their battle before God and won with Him.

If I say, “I will wait until I get into the circumstances and then put God to the test,” I shall find I cannot win.  I must remove the thing in the secret places of my soul that is between myself and God, and then I can go forth with the certainty that the battle is won.  Leave it there, and calamity and disaster and upset are as sure as God’s decrees.  Sometimes the reason the battle is not won is because I try to win it in the external world first.  Get alone with God, sort yourself out before Him; settle the matter there once and for all.

In dealing with other people, the line to take is to push them to an issue of choice.  That is the way surrender begins.  Every now and again God brings us to a branch-point.  That is a Great Divide in our life; we can either go towards a more and more washed-out and useless type of Christian life, or we become more and more ablaze for the glory of God.

 

May your choice be “My Everything for My God.”

 

 

December 28th—Continuous Conversion

Truly, I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Matthew 18:3

 

These words of Our Lord are true of our initial conversion, but we have to be continuously converted all the days of our lives, continually turning to God as children.  Indeed, God says that we ‘have been saved’ (Eph 2:8), “are being given life” (1 Cor 1:18) and “will be saved” (Mark 13:13).35  Being saved is at the core of our entire Christian walk.

If we trust our wits instead of God, we produce consequences for which God will hold us responsible.  As soon as we are brought into new situations by the providence of God, we have to ensure that our life obeys the dictates of the Spirit of God.  We need to always remain diligent; just because we have done it once is not proof that we will do it again.

The relation of the natural to the spiritual is one of continuous conversion, and it is something we may object to.  In every setting in which we are put, the Spirit of God remains unchanged and His salvation unaltered, but we have to “put on the new man.”  God holds us responsible every time we refuse to convert ourselves.  Our reason for refusing is only stubborn obstinacy.  Our natural life must not rule; God must rule in us.

The hindrance in our spiritual life is that we will not be continually converted, there can be times of rebellion where our pride spits at the throne of God and says—‘I won’t.’  The world deifies independence and self-centeredness and calls them by the wrong name.  What God sees as obstinate weakness, the world calls strength.

There are whole areas of our lives which have not yet been brought into subjection, and it can only be done by this continuous conversion.  Slowly but surely we can claim the whole territory for the Spirit of God.  When the Holy Spirit leads, trust Him and follow!

 

 

December 29th—Disciple or Deserter?

Because of this saying, many of His disciples turned their backs and did not walk with Him.”  John 6:66

 

When God gives you a vision by His Spirit through His Word of what He wants, and your spirit and soul thrill to it; if you do not walk in the light of that vision, you will sink into destitution to a point of view which Our Lord never had.  Disobedience to the heavenly vision will lead to you turning your back to Jeshua the Anointed.

And what was Jeshua’s saying that so disgusted His disciples that many deserted Him and walked away?  “Whoever eats My body and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” (vs 56).  They likely said, “Why, he is insane.  It is against Jehovah’s Law for us to eat human flesh, and for us to drink any blood.  And how could He give us his body to eat anyway?  This is pagan nonsense!”  But Jeshua was talking to them symbolically, of how His body would have to be killed and His blood spilled for us to receive everlasting life.  But these disciples were not willing to trust Jeshua, to wait and see what what He meant and how He would fulfil His promise of everlasting life.

We also need to listen carefully to to what Jeshua says to us and to trust Him, to keep walking with Him even when we cannot understand how He can possibly do what He has told us.  When you find that your point of view clashes with the heavenly vision and you debate it with God, certain things may develop in you—a sense of intellectual property and a lust to be right.  He warned us against these things: “Beware of greediness, for life is not in the abundance of wealth.” (Luke 12:15).  This applies equally to intellectual greedthe need to always be right.

If we do not recognize this, it is because we are ignoring our Lord’s teaching.  If there is one Instruction in the Bible revealed by the light of God and you do not come up to it, and do not feel inclined to come up to it, that is the beginning of backsliding, because it means your conscience has stopped responding to the truth.  You can never be the same after the unveiling of a Truth.  That moment marks you for going on as a closer disciple of Lord Jeshua or for going back as a deserter.

 

 

December 30th—Sex, Marriage and Divorce

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  Genesis 2:24

 

The vital fact often forgotten in sexual counselling is that sexuality is part of God’s Creation.  He made sex pleasurable and decreed laws about how sex should be practised to prevent abuse and perversion.  And to start it off, Jehovah married Adam and Eve (Chavvah), as we see in Genesis.  And Paul gave us God’s instructions in 1 Cor 7:2-5 and Eph 5:22-25 as to how a husband and wife are to love each other, and declared sex within marriage honourable: “Marriage is honourable with all, and their bed is pure; but God will judge fornicators and adulterers.”  (Hebrews 13:4).  And this applies to His servants: “But an elder ought to be such that no faults are found in him, and be the husband of one wife, have a vigilant mind, be sober, of good behaviour, love strangers and be a teacher.” (1 Tim 3:2)  So anyone who declares that church leadership must be celibate is a demonic liar (1 Tim 4:1-3)

Fornication in the Bible refers to all sex outside of a marriage, including pre-marital and post-marital sex, adultery and all homosexuality and it is all banned as sin.  And incest, rape and pornography are also banned (Lev 18:6, Deu 22:23-29 & Mat 5:28).  In all of this, God is protecting the integrity and sanctity of us and our families.  Marriage is built on our relationship to God Himself and is likewise to be a bond for life.  That is why God only allows divorce when a spouse has been unfaithful (Mat 19:3-9)  And that is also why Jehovah does not allow remarriage while one’s former spouse is still alive: “Everyone who divorces his wife and takes another commits adultery; and everyone who takes a divorced person commits adultery.”  (Luke 16:18, also see 1 Cor 7:39).

Marriage and family are great gifts to us from God.  But they are not to be entered into casually.  They are life-long commitments that reflect our commitment to Jeshua.

 

 

December 31st—Yesterday to Tomorrow

“I am the Alap and the Tau,” says Jehovah God, “He who is and was and is coming, He who is Almighty.””  Revelation 1:8

 

Security from Yesterday:  “That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past.” (Ecc 3:15)  We turn with eagerness to all that Jehovah God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays.  Our present enjoyment of God’s grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders.  But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for the future.  God reminds us of the past lest we forget how He brought us to the present.

 

Blessings for Tomorrow:  “Blessed and holy are they who have their part in the first resurrection, and the second death has no authority over them, for they will be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for one thousand years.” (Rev 20:6)  This is a gracious revelation, that Jehovah will open our graves, transform us into spirit beings and give us everlasting life (1 Cor chap 15).  And if we have been faithful in this life, we will work by His side, as His priests, throughout the Millennium of Peace.

 

Security for Today:  “For you shall not go out with trepidation, nor go by flight; for Jehovah will go before you, and the God of Israel will gather you.” (Isa 52:12)  As we go forth into this new day, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, unremembering delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel is going before us.  Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future.  Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Messiah.  Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out to create the Irresistible Future with Him.

 

 

 

Some Other Resources Available from https://chcpublications.net/

Publications

The Holy Bible - CHCoG Version - This translation from the original Hebrew and Aramaic is accurate and readable, giving you a clear understanding of how the New and Old Covenants are interlocked and God’s message to you.

Everlasting Life is God’s Gift - Does the Bible teach that you have everlasting life?  If not, how can you receive God’s gift of immortality as His child?

Fifty Years in the Church of Rome - Charles Chiniquy, a famous Catholic priest for 25 years, recounts his experiences that led him to God’s Gift of Salvation.

Books of Moses - Fact or Fiction Series - Are the miracles recorded in Genesis and Exodus our true history?  Do the facts support Special Creation or the Big Bang & Evolution scenarios?  What about the Flood, Babel and the Exodus?

Free to Obey God - What changes does God make to our hearts when His Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside us?  What is the new Freedom that we receive as the Children of God?  If we love God, do we really need to obey Him?

The Ten Commandments - What are God’s Ten Commandments? How do they guide us in our relationships with God, our family and our neighbours?  Shows how obedience to Jehovah’s Instructions would result in true civilization.

God’s Calendar and the Sign of Jonah - Shows how God’s Calendar reveals that Jeshua truly kept the Sign of Jonah, His proof that He is the Messiah.

The Sabbath in Scripture - Has God’s Seventh-day Sabbath been ‘done away with’?  What does the Sabbath mean, and does God want us to keep it?

Sex, God and Families - Pamphlet exposing the dangers of sexual immorality and outlining the benefits of following God’s sexual principles.

Eastern Meditation and Jeshua the Messiah - Recounts the experiences of a CHCoG member who became a Christian while practising Eastern Meditation.

Jeshua the Messiah: Is He the Son of God or Part of a Trinity? - Explores the relationships between God the Father, our Lord Jeshua, the Holy Spirit and us.

Spirit, Soul and Body - Take a deeper look at the Bible’s teachings about the composition of human beings and the roles of our soul and spirit.

Radiocarbon Dating - Shows how changes in radioactive carbon levels can drastically alter radiocarbon dates.  Not heavily technical.

Rome’s Challenge: Why do Protestants Keep Sunday? - This Roman Catholic article proves there is no scriptural basis for changing the seventh-day Sabbath to Sunday, and shows that the Roman Catholic church made the change.

Software

Calculated Biblical Calendar - Calculates dates of Annual Holy Days, Crucifixion, Flood, Creation: allows you to test the new moon visibility locally.

Radiocarbon Dating - Calculates the effects that changes in the geomagnetic field and radiocarbon/carbon ratios, etc, on radioactive dating.

Free Library

We have a large range of Christian and Creationist literature, CDs and DVDs that are available for borrowing within Australia.  Please contact us for our list.

 

 

 

Endnotes

 

1 Jehovah יְהׂוָ֨ה is our God’s personal Name, which is used seven thousand times throughout the Bible in the original languages, though most English translations replace Jehovah with the titles “Lord” and “God’.  Jehovah means the “Eternal, Self-existing Creator”.

2 Jesus Christ is the English translation of the Greek.  As we believe the original New Covenant was written in Aramaic, we prefer to use the Aramaic equivalent, which is Jeshua יֵשֻׁוּע Messiah משׁׅיחׇא.  Jeshua means “Jah Saves” and Messiah means “The Anointed”.

3 Stake as used in the Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic manuscripts.  A cross is a different structure requiring two pieces of timber and it is not described in the original languages.

4 As translated from the Aramaic Peshitta.  Jah is an intimate and personal nickname for Jehovah God.

5 As in the original manuscripts, we translate this as impaled, not crucified.  “Crucifixion” is non-scriptural and is instead based on the pagan’s cross-like Tau.

6 Gehenna was a valley near Jerusalem where rubbish, including the bodies of criminals, was burnt in fires intensified with sulfur.  It is used in Scripture as a symbol of the Lake of Fire in Revelation.

7 Immerse is the literal translation from both the Greek (baptiso) and the Aramaic.

8 Sanctify means “to be made holy or free from sin”.  i.e., to become a saint.

9 At this point Oswald made the unscriptural claim that we are to become the bread and wine for the sheep until they learn to feed on Jeshua.  This is wrong.  We are NEVER to let people rely on us instead of our Messiah.  He misunderstood Jeshua’s interchange with Peter.  Peter was commissioned by Jeshua to work as a shepherd.  A shepherd leads his sheep to food; he does not become food for the sheep himself.  In this instance the food that the shepherd Peter was to lead the sheep to was their owner’s Son—Jeshua the Anointed Himself, as this passage from John clearly shows.

10 Passover was when Messiah was impaled.  It had been foreshadowed long before in the Passover of the Exodus, during which the Passover lambs died to save the lives of Israel’s first-born sons.  On the Passover of Wednesday 23 April, 31CE (Gregorian), God’s only begotten First-born Son died to save all of us by paying our death penalty for our sins (John 1:29).  Passover is followed immediately by the Days of Unleavened Bread, which symbolise our ongoing departure from our sinful natures after being set free by Christ’s death.  This was foreshadowed by the departure of the Israelites from Egypt during the Exodus.  Symbolic baptisms when they passed through the cloud and the Red Sea were also included (Exodus 12:1 to 15:26, Lev 23:5-8, Heb 11:24-29, 1 Cor 10:2).

11 This marks the day when Jeshua rose from the dead in the year He was impaled.  He rose on the Saturday Sabbath just before dusk, exactly three days and three nights after He was placed in the tomb (Mat 12:40—See God’s Calendar and the Sign of Jonah).

12 This day marks the Wave Sheaf Offering, the day on which the resurrected Jeshua the Anointed went to Heaven to present His blood before our Father’s throne and appeared to His disciples (Lev 23:9-14, John 19:40 to 20:18).  This premier sheaf (Jeshua) is the beginning of Jehovah’s harvest from earth.

13 This was the last day of Unleavened Bread in the year Jeshua was impaled.  Just as it was the day that Israel was set fully free from their slavery to Pharaoh and his army through the crossing of the Red Sea, so for Christians it symbolises the time at which we are fully freed from sin, from Satan and from his demons.

14 Much more on these topics can be found at creation.com and creationscience.com.

15 For much more on this fundamental topic, read Jeshua, Son of God at chcpublications.net.

16 Most of this topic is extracted from Jeshua—Son of God.

17 Pentecost, Greek for Fifty Days, is known in the Hebrew Scriptures as the Feast of Harvest or Firstfruits (Exodus 23:16, Lev 23:10-17).  This Holy Day marks the beginning of God’s Harvest from the earth.  This was the day that the Holy Spirit was first given to Christ’s disciples.  As it is one of God’s annual Holy Days, it has continued to be kept by God’s saints down through time, as Paul demonstrated (Acts 20:16).

18 Most of this section is new.  In the original, Oswald unscripturally claimed that is not necessary to obey authorities, and that Jeshua does not insist that we obey Him, contradicting himself as well as God.

19 Despite Jeshua saying that He is our Master and Lord, Oswald claimed here that He “does not insist on having authority”.  Though it is true that Jehovah does not force us to obey Him, there is no doubt that He does tell us to obey Him, as seen in Exodus 20:3, 9 and 10 where He says “You shall” and Exodus 20:4, 5, 7, 13,14,15,16 and 17 where He says “You shall not”.  He is our Law-giver as well as our Judge, and those who refuse to repent and obey Him will die in the Lake of Fire (Mat 10:28, Rev 20:14-15).  This also applies to Jeshua, who is returning to rule with a rod of iron (Rev 19:15).  And what is sin?  Disobeying God’s Instructions.

20 At this point Oswald made the absurd claim that if Jeshua “insisted on obedience He would become a taskmaster, and He would cease to have any authority.”  Does our government cease to have any authority because it enforces its laws?  No!  Indeed, the reverse is true: A government that does not enforce its laws ceases to have any authority.  The same applies to Our Lord.  Let us hear what Jeshua says: “Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations . . . and teach them to keep everything that I have commanded you.”  Mat 28:19-20.  This is a command from Jeshua to ALL of His disciples.  It does not make Jeshua merely a taskmaster.  Though He does not force us to obey, He does insist that we should obey Him (1 John 2:3-6), and there are always consequences for disobedience (Matt 7:21-24).  God is not weak, He enforces His Laws.

21 Here Oswald claimed “Obedience is only possible between equals.”  Though equals can choose to be obedient to each other, those under authority are required to obey those above them (Luke 7:8).  Jeshua’s own example in Luke 17:7 to 10 shows that the servant has to obey his master, and therefore He expects us to obey Himour Master and Lord.  Jeshua makes it clear that the servant is not equal to his Master.  Jeshua even denies equality with His Father: “My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28, also see John 13:16).

22 Sanctification means to be made holy or set apart as holy.

23 Note the beyond; Jeshua does not and will not negate His Father’s Laws (read Matt 5:17-28).

24 And thus foot-washing is part of the Last Supper Service we observe.

25 The Bible evidence indicates that Jeshua was born near the Day of Trumpets in 4 BC.  In that year Trumpets fell on 21 September.

26 Often referred to as an angel, but properly translated as representative.

27 In Rev 21:9, New Jerusalem is described as the Bride of the Lamb.  But as the New Jerusalem is to be filled with Jeshua’s glorified followers, it appears that it is their presence in the city that truly makes it Jeshua’s Bride.

28 This Biblical Holy Day is explained in more detail in our Holy Days for Christians article and our Holy Day Service Transcripts series.

29 This is true as long as we continue to walk in God’s Way (Hebrews 6:4 to 9).  May we never turn away from God.

30 Appeasement for sin.

31 Our freedom from sin is twofold: On the Stake, Messiah takes away all of the sins we commit.  When we come to God, He changes our nature, gives us His Spirit and writes His Law in our hearts and minds so we can begin learning how to obey Him and keep His Law (Hebrews 9:26 to 10:23).  To live in sin after coming to Messiah is lawlessness and dishonours Jeshua (Mat 7:23, Heb 6:4-6).

32 This was originally another sad ‘day’ in which Oswald attempted to deny that Jeshua actually commands us to obey Him, despite the fact that he opens this section with a clear message from Jeshua that by obeying Him we demonstrate that we truly love Him.

33 Islam denies that Jeshua the Anointed died as atonement for our sins.  Instead, they claim that Allah merely forgives the sins of some people without requiring the penalty for sin to be paid.  In this Allah shows partiality and reveals disdain for his own laws.

34 Jeshua’s birthday was likely in late September or early October.  Christmas is actually the rebadged pagan “Day of the Invincible Sun,” inserted into apostatising Christianity by Babylon the Great.

35 Developed from The Pleasures of God, by John Piper