Friday, July 18, 2014
Saturday, July 12, 2014
What was the secret that Jesus knew and that all Christians must know? Let's find out what we must do and how it will bless and protect our lives. Luke 22:31-34, 39-46
Pastors have written to me expressing their concern for parishioners who are giving up. “Good, honest Christians are so overwhelmed by guilt and condemnation that it causes despair. When they can’t live up to their own expectations, when they fall back into sin, they decide to give up.”
Growing numbers of Christians are at the breaking point. Few Christians would even dare to entertain thoughts of quitting on their love for Jesus, but in despair they consider giving up on themselves.
Some ministers today preach only a positive message. To hear them tell it, every Christian is getting instant answers to prayer and receiving miracles; everybody is feeling good, living well; and the whole world is bright and rosy. I like to hear that kind of preaching because I really desire all those good and healthy things for God’s people. But that is not the way things are for a great number of very honest, sincere Christians.
No wonder our young people give up in defeat. They can’t live up to the image created by the religion of a carefree, rich, successful, always positive-thinking Christian. Their world is not that ideal; they live with heartbreak, hour-by-hour crises, and family problems.
Paul talked about trouble: “We were pressed out of [burdened beyond] measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8).
Positive thinking will not make these problems go away, and “confessing” that these problems do not exist does not change a thing. What is the cure? Here are two absolutes that have brought me great comfort and help:
God loves me. He is a loving Father wanting only to lift us out of our weakness.
It is my faith that pleases Him most. He wants me to trust Him.
“I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies” (Psalm 18:1-3).
Saturday, May 24, 2014
In order to be a good soldier in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ, it not enough to just be saved. There is much more for you: You need to be baptized with the Holy Ghost!
In Paul’s time, some believers didn’t even know there was a Holy Ghost. “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since you believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost” (Acts 19:2). These people were saved, but it is clear they were not filled with the Holy Ghost.
I believe we are saved through the power and ministry of the Holy Ghost. But Scripture tells us that in addition to this, there is also a baptizing, an infilling that the Holy Ghost does.
Jesus did not send His disciples into the world until they had been baptized with the Holy Ghost. The disciples had pure hearts and faith to heal the sick and they were witnesses to His resurrection. They were even willing to die for Jesus, so what more could there be?
Clearly there was more! “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Do you really want the Holy Ghost? You have to be convinced this is for you. You must come to the place where you know you are nothing, have nothing, and can do nothing without the power and leading of the Holy Ghost.
Every hour of the day, multitudes worldwide have read of this promise in the Bible or have heard it preached. So they have cried out in prayer and been baptized with the Holy Ghost.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh . . . I will pour out in those days of My Spirit” (Acts 2:17-18). He is yours for the asking: “How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).
Saturday, April 12, 2014
If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other people do things which He will not let you do.
Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful, may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it, and if you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.
Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.
Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.
The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious He may let
others get credit for the work which you have done, and thus make YOUR REWARD TEN TIMES GREATER when JESUS COMES.
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your time, which other Christians never feel distressed over. So make up your mind that God is an Infinitely Sovereign Being, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in His dealings with you, but if you absolutely sell yourself to be His love slave, He will wrap you up in Jealous Love, and bestow upon you many blessings which come only to those who are in the inner circle.
Settle it forever, then that you are to DEAL DIRECTLY WITH the HOLY SPIRIT, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this PECULIAR, PERSONAL, PRIVATE, JEALOUS GUARDIANSHIP and MANAGEMENT OF the HOLY SPIRIT OVER YOUR LIFE, then you will have found the vestibule of Heaven.
SOURCE: Faith, Prayer, & Tract League,
Tract #76; Grand Rapids, MI 49504.