Daily Archives: March 7, 2015

Jesus Gives Abundant Joy

 

Image result for pictures of people with joyImage result for pictures of people with joy

Image result for pictures of people with joyImage result for pictures of people with joy
Image result for pictures of people with joy

 John 15:11
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

 

The Source of Abundant Joy

From: Utmost.org

Paul was speaking here of the things that might seem likely to separate a saint from the love of God. But the remarkable thing is that nothing can come between the love of God and a saint. The things Paul mentioned in this passage can and do disrupt the close fellowship of our soul with God and separate our natural life from Him. But none of them is able to come between the love of God and the soul of a saint on the spiritual level. The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, limitless miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that “in all these things we are more than conquerors.” We are super-victors with a joy that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against— tribulation, suffering, and persecution— are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in all these things”; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4).

The undiminished radiance, which is the result of abundant joy, is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can change. And the experiences of life, whether they are everyday events or terrifying ones, are powerless to “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

The Problem With Self-Sufficiency

From: Getmorestrength

[Written by Joe Stowell for Our Daily Bread.]

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. —Revelation 3:15

The city of Laodicea had a water problem. One nearby town had fabulous hot springs and another had cold, clear water. Laodicea, however, was stuck with tepid, mineral-laden water that tasted like sulphur. Not hot. Not cold. Just gross.

Given those facts, the words of Jesus to the Laodicean believers in Revelation 3 must have stung. Jesus rebuked them for being “neither cold nor hot” (Rev. 3:15). And when He thought of them, He felt like vomiting (Rev. 3:16)—like the effect of their drinking water.

What was their problem? It was the sin of self-sufficiency. The Laodiceans had become so affluent that they had forgotten how much they needed Jesus (Rev. 3:17).

When we say we have everything we need, but Jesus isn’t at the top of the list, He is deeply offended. Self-sufficiency distracts us from pursuing the things we really need that only He can give. If you’d rather have cash than character, if your credit cards are maximized and your righteousness is minimized, if you’ve become smart but aren’t wise, then you’ve been shopping in all the wrong places. Jesus offers commodities that are far better (Rev. 3:18).

He’s knocking at your heart’s door (Rev. 3:20). Let Him in. He will give you all you really need!

We must be careful to avoid
All self-sufficiency;
If sinful pride gets in the way,
God’s hand we will not see. —Sper

We always have enough when God is our supply.

 

Struggles and Fears

From: Streams in the Desert

For even when we came into Macedonia, our body had no rest at all, but we were troubled in every way – struggles from the outside, fears from within (2 Cor 7:5)
Why should God have to lead us thus, and allow the pressure to be so hard and constant? Well, in the first place, it shows His all-sufficient strength and grace much better than if we were exempt from pressure and trial. “The treasure is in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
It makes us more conscious of our dependence upon Him. God is constantly trying to teach us our dependence, and to hold us absolutely in His hand and hanging upon His care.
This was the place where Jesus Himself stood and where He wants us to stand, not with self-constituted strength, but with a hand ever leaning upon His, and a trust that dare not take one step alone. It teaches us trust.
There is no way of learning faith except by trial. It is God’s school of faith, and it is far better for us to learn to trust God than to enjoy life.
The lesson of faith once learned, is an everlasting acquisition and an eternal fortune made; and without trust even riches will leave us poor.
—Days of Heaven upon Earth
“Why must I weep when others sing?
’To test the deeps of suffering.’ 
Why must I work while others rest?
’To spend my strength at God’s request.’ 
Why must I lose while others gain?
’To understand defeat’s sharp pain.’ 
Why must this lot of life be mine 
When that which fairer seems is thine?
’Because God knows what plans for me 
Shall blossom in eternity.’”

 

Human inability

From: Biblegateway

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” John 6:44

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Timothy 4:1-5

When man fell in the garden, manhood fell entirely; there was not one single pillar in the temple of manhood that stood erect. It is true, conscience was not destroyed. The pillar was not shattered; it fell, and it fell in one piece, and there it lies along, the mightiest remnant of God’s once perfect work in man. But that conscience is fallen, I am sure. Look at men. Who among them is the possessor of a “good conscience towards God,” but the regenerated man? Do you imagine that if men’s consciences always spoke loudly and clearly to them, they would live in the daily commission of acts, which are as opposed to the right as darkness is to light? No, beloved; conscience can tell me that I am a sinner, but conscience cannot make me feel that I am one. Conscience may tell me that such and such a thing is wrong, but how wrong it is conscience itself does not know. Did any man’s conscience, unenlightened by the Spirit, ever tell him that his sins deserved damnation? Or if conscience did do that, did it ever lead any man to feel an abhorrence of sin as sin? In fact, did conscience ever bring a man to such a self-renunciation, that he did totally abhor himself and all his works and come to Christ? No, conscience, although it is not dead, is ruined, its power is impaired, it has not that clearness of eye and that strength of hand, and that thunder of voice, which it had before the fall; but has ceased to a great degree, to exert its supremacy in the town of Mansoul. Then, beloved, it becomes necessary for this very reason, because conscience is depraved, that the Holy Spirit should step in, to show us our need of a Saviour, and draw us to the Lord Jesus Christ.

For meditation: Our consciences need to be cleansed by the blood of Christ, like every other part of our being (Titus 1:15; Hebrews 9:9,14; 10:22). The Christian now has the ability to seek to maintain a good conscience (Acts 24:16; 1 Timothy 1:5,19; 1 Peter 3:16).

Sermon no. 182
7 March (1858)

From: Biblegateway

‘Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ Revelation 22:17

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8–19

Some brethren have altogether forgotten one order of truths, and then, in the next place, they have gone too far with others. We have all one blind eye, and too often we are like Nelson in the battle, we put the telescope to that blind eye, and then protest that we cannot see. I heard of one man who said he had read the Bible through thirty-four times, but could not see a word about election in it—he put the telescope to the blind eye. Many of us do that; we do not want to see a truth, and therefore we say we cannot see it. On the other hand, there are others who push a truth too far. ‘This is good; this is precious!’ say they, and then they think it is good for everything; as if it were the only truth in the world. You know how often things are injured by over-praise; how a good medicine, which really was a great boon for a certain disease, comes to be despised utterly by the physician, because a certain quack has praised it up as being a universal cure; so puffery [exaggeration] in doctrine leads to its dishonour. Truth has thus suffered on all sides; on the one hand brethren would not see all the truth, and on the other hand they magnified out of proportion that which they did see. You have seen those mirrors, those globes that are sometimes hung up in gardens; you walk up to them and you see your head ten times as large as your body, or you walk away and put yourself in another position, and then your feet are monstrous and the rest of your body is small; this is an ingenious toy, but I am sorry to say that many go to work with God’s truth upon the model of this toy; they magnify one capital truth, till it becomes monstrous; they minimise and speak little of another truth till it becomes altogether forgotten.

For meditation: Are any Biblical doctrines your pet favourites? Are there some you love to hate? Doctrinal balance depends on us believing ‘all scripture’ (2 Timothy 3:16) and accepting ‘all the counsel of God’ (Acts 20:27) without picking and choosing as we like.

Sermon no. 442
7 March (Preached 30 March 1862)