November

Dag 1

THE WINGS OF A DOVE – J.B. Stoney

The first stage of the believer’s life is to desire the sincere milk of the Word that he may grow thereby; and as he grows, he is conscious of a new ability, and that is to fly. When you fly you enter on the second stage of spiritual development. Here you acquire for yourself, you can discriminate. “A spiritual man judges all things” (1 Cor. 2:15). In the first stage, someone else had to discriminate for you. Now you provide for yourself suitably. Flying is now the mode of your nature, you always move above the earthly; you seek the things above, you set your affection on things above, and not on things on the earth. “He being full of the Holy Spirit looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God and Jesus” (Acts 7:55). Then comes the singing! I believe no bird sings until he can fly. I am sure that no believer sings his true note until he can rise up in the Spirit of God to the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. This stage then is when the senses are exercised to discern good and evil; and there is singing, which is expressing, in true and full tones, the deep and overflowing satisfaction which the heart enjoys in His presence where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. The final stage is the believer having found everything in the Lord Jesus for himself, can now in true devotedness of heart serve Him — manifest Him in this scene, and be a blessing to others. “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.” All the love and care rendered to the bird in its formative days, it now renders to the objects of its care. As it has received so it bestows. It does nothing but as it has received, and this is true service. Now this stage requires a very peculiar manner and way, entirely different from any hitherto known. The bird that flies selects its own food and sings. It testifies of the goodness and favor conferred. When she builds her nest, where she may lay her young, her character and habits undergo a very marked change. She surrenders none of her former power, but instead of contenting herself with her personal blessing, she now devotes herself to objects outside herself, though they are a part of herself — and because of all her interest, burden, and toil about them, dear to her as her own life. You had your stage of individual blessing and enjoyment; once known, it is yours forever; but now you are to grow in another direction. You must not, when others try and oppose you, retire into the sanctuary of your own heart and home, there to delight yourself in your possession. No! You are now to build a nest for the object, or objects, of your care. There may be but one egg in your nest at first. Until one is able to be a giver to every one and a receiver in a begging way from none, one is not safe from expectancy here; that is, there will still be a possibility of reviving links to this fallen earth. But when one is so satisfied in the Lord Jesus, as to be free from the old man and his demands, and able to build a nest for others, such a sense of the superiority of the Lord Jesus is acquired that nothing here can captivate the heart; and all the trials and slights only extract more consideration for others. It is only when the heart is dead to this world, and alive with Christ in heaven, that it is proof [safe] against reviving, and then it is free to be occupied with His interests here.

Dag 2

THE HEAVENS OPENED – Austin Sparks

I have pointed this out with Nathanael… “the heaven opened”. Oh, what a wonderful thing it is for you and for me, dear friends, that through Calvary heaven is opened to us! I don’t mean that we are going to heaven. That is quite all right and true, but now, here in this place, we have an open heaven. There is a way through. The communication is going on in Christ because He is here, the great Ladder – if I may say so – between heaven and earth, between God and us, the communication of the Spirit is going on with us in this very place. We can be here all night under an opened heaven, with the blessed communications of the Spirit to our hearts, because heaven is no longer closed against us. Calvary has rent the heaven for us. Just as the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom when Jesus died, so the way is opened into the Most Holy for us now. I repeat: We say these things, but what an immensity there is in a simple thing said to Nathanael! Something that you did not quite understand, but you come into spiritual life and you know what it means to have an opened heaven… Do you? Do you know what personal communication from heaven into your heart means? Do you know what personal communication direct with heaven from your heart means? Why, that is the birthright of the child of God! That is why it is the first thing in the Gospel by John, for an opened heaven is the first thing that a child of God comes into. And that heaven, as in Christ, is for us, because of the rent heaven. But you want all the rest of the New Testament to explain that, and that is what it does.

Dag 3

HE WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS – Chip Brogden

“The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” JOHN 14:26

The Holy Spirit is the vessel – the Person, the instrument, the agency, the method and the means – through Whom God accomplishes His purpose of increasing Christ in all things. Jesus said this Helper, this Counselor, this Comforter, this Teacher will abide with us forever and will help us as we walk the Difficult Path towards the full knowledge of Christ.

To the extent that we allow ourselves to come under the government of the Holy Spirit, to that extent will Christ be increased. Since the Holy Spirit is responsible for the increase of Christ, spiritual growth is impossible apart from the Spirit. There will be no measurable advancement, no real apprehension of spiritual things, and no recovery of the Heavenly Order apart from the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Dag 4

GOD ACCEPTS ONLY ONE PERSON – Bill Freeman

“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me . . .” Galatians 1:15-16

Brothers and sisters, we are all on the same level, so we can all echo the familiar song, “Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me . . . O Lamb of God, I come, I come.” This is exactly how we should relate to the Lord—always coming to Him just as we are. If you are thinking that you have to repair yourself or that you have to reach a point where you are stronger in yourself to be accepted by God, then you have it all wrong. There is nothing in ourselves that can stand before God (Rom. 7:18). In fact, if we would seek to clean ourselves up on our own and come to Him with some merit in ourselves, His analysis would be that all our righteousnesses are nothing but filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). God only accepts one Person—His only begotten Son.

When Christ is revealed in me (Gal. 1:16), I have a new relationship with everything. I no longer come from the source of my self. I am no longer trying to be the savior of my life. Christ Himself is my Savior. I no longer interact with matters and things apart from Him, as though I was on my own. As a man in Christ, I am in the realm of the new creation, where “all things are out of God” (2 Cor. 5:17-18). The new creation means that Christ is the center and spring of my life. Because of this, I now have a new relationship with all things.

Dag 5

COULD THIS BE TRUE OF ME? – Oswald Chambers

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself.” 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 be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God. But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God 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 Jesus Christ, 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 fulfill 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 abandonment to God, because practical work is based on this argument – Remember how ‘’useful you are here, or – Think how much value you would be in that particular type of work.” That attitude does not put Jesus Christ as the Guide as to where we should go, but our judgment as to where we are of most use. Never consider whether you are of use; but ever consider that you are not your own but His.

Dag 6

A NEW SPIRIT, AND GOD’S SPIRIT – Andrew Murray

A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. And I will put my Spirit within you. Ezekiel 36:26-27.

Let us unite with all who are pleading that God in power may grant mighty Spirit workings in His Church, that each child of God may prove that in him the double promise is fulfilled: I will give a new spirit within you, and I will give my Spirit within you. Let us pray that we may so apprehend the wonderful blessing of the Indwelling Spirit, as to turn inward and have our whole inmost being opened up for this, the full revelation of the Father’s love and the grace of Jesus. ‘Within you ! ‘ Within you ! This twice-repeated word of our text is one of the keywords of the ‘New Covenant. ‘ I will put my law in their inward parts, ‘and in their heart will I write it.’ I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.’ God created man’s heart for His dwelling. Sin entered, and defiled it. Four thousand years God’s Spirit strove and wrought to regain possession. In the Incarnation and Atonement of Christ the Redemption was accomplished, and the kingdom of God established. Jesus could say, ‘The kingdom of God is come unto you;’ ‘the kingdom of God is within you.’ It is within we must look for the fulfilment of the New Covenant, the Covenant not of ordinances but of life: in the power of an endless life the law and the fear of God are to be given in our heart: the Spirit of Christ Himself is to be within us as the power of our life. Not only on Calvary, or in the resurrection, or on the throne, is the glory of Christ the Conqueror to be seen,-but in our heart: within us, within us is to be the true display of the reality and the glory of His Redemption. Within us, in our inmost parts, is the hidden sanctuary where is the ark of the Covenant, sprinkled with the Blood, and containing the Law written in an ever-living writing by the Indwelling Spirit, and where, through the Spirit, the Father and the Son now come to dwell. 0 my God! I do thank Thee for this double blessing. I thank Thee for that wonderful holy temple Thou hast built up in me for Thyself-a new spirit given within me. And I thank Thee for that still more wonderful Holy Presence, Thine Own Spirit, to dwell within me, and there reveal the Father and the Son. 0 my God! I do pray Thee to open mine eyes for this the mystery of Thy love. Let Thy words, within you,’ bow me low in trembling fear before Thy condescension, and may my one desire be to have my spirit indeed the worthy dwelling of Thy Spirit. Let them lift me up in holy trust and expectation, to look for and claim all that Thy promise means.

Dag 7

THE MARKS OF THE LORD JESUS – A.B. Simpson

Our prayers must often have the mark of the cross upon them. We ask and we receive the promise and assurance of the answer; and then we must often see that answer apparently buried and forgotten, and long after come forth, to our amazement and surprise, multiplied with blessings that have grown out of the very delay and seeming denial.

So the life of our body which we may claim from Him must be marked with the cross. It is only after the strength of nature fails us that the strength of God can come in. Even then the answer is sometimes not given until we have first surrendered it to Him and have been willing to give up even life itself and have learned to seek the Blesser rather than the blessing. Then God often reveals Himself to us as a Healer, as He could not do until we were wholly abandoned to His will.

Our religious experiences must have the mark of the cross upon them. We must not cling even to our peace and joy and spiritual comfort. Sometimes, the flower must fade that the fruit may be more abundant and that we may learn to walk by faith and not by sight.

Our service for God often must be buried before it can bring forth much fruit. And so God sometimes calls us to a work and makes it appear to fail in its early stages, until we cry in discouragement, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nought.” Then it comes forth phoenixlike from the flames and blossoms and buds until it fills the face of the world with fruit. So God writes the mark of the cross on everything, until, by and by, the very grave may be the passport to a better resurrection and death will be swallowed up in victory. In fact, we believe that the universe itself has yet to pass through its dissolution and come forth in the glory of a final resurrection so that the marks of the Lord Jesus may, at last, be written upon the very earth and heaven, and so that the universe to its furthest bound may reecho the great redemption song: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.”

Beloved, have you the marks of the Lord Jesus? These sacrifices to which He sometimes calls us are just great investments that He is asking us to make and that He will refund to us with accumulated interest in the age to come.

Dag 8

TWO SOURCES – Bill Freeman

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6

When we are born again, a new source is established within our being. The verse above reveals that there are two sources for our being, two places we can “come from” in the way we interact with things. We can come from the flesh, or we can come from the spirit. The flesh is the living out of our fallen self. In fact, if you drop the “h” in the word “flesh” and reverse the order of the letters, you have the word SELF. Both of these words, the flesh and the self, refer to another source for man’s being other than the spirit.

The two sources that man can live by are revealed at the beginning of the Bible. In Genesis 2:8-9 God put man in a garden in front of two trees: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These two trees show that man can live by one of two sources. The tree of life represents dependence upon God in the realm of the spirit. To live by the tree of life is to live by God as our source. It is to take God Himself as our life, living in fellowship with Him and relying upon Him moment by moment. It is a life of believing and trusting in the Lord. It is a life of learning to draw from God as our supply and then following the impulses of that supply. It is a life that can be described as “living out of God.” It is a life of not making our own decisions anymore or leaning on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6). It is a life of filtering everything through the divine life. It is a life of not making a move or doing anything apart from compatibility with our inner sense of abiding in the Lord. It is a life in which we can do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5).

Dag 9

PENTECOST FOR DESPISED OUTCASTS – Arthur Booth-Clibborn

An early pioneer of the Pentecostal movement of 100 years ago, Arthur Booth-Clibborn wrote:-

“Any cheapening of the price of Pentecost would be a disaster of untold magnitude. The company in the upper room, upon whom Pentecost fell, had paid for it the highest price. In this they approached as near as possible to Him who had paid the supreme price in order to send it.

Do we ever really adequately realize how utterly lost to this world, how completely despised, rejected and outcast was that company? Their master and leader had just passed, so to speak, through the ‘hangman’s rope,’ at the hands of the highest civilization of the day. Their Calvary was complete, and so a complete Pentecost came to match it. The latter will resemble the former in completeness.

We may, therefore, each of us say to ourselves: As thy cross, so will thy Pentecost be. God’s way to Pentecost was via Calvary. Individually it must be so today also. The purity and fullness of the individual Pentecost must depend upon the completeness of the individual Calvary. This is an unalterable principle.”

Dag 10

GROWTH ON THE BASIS OF LOVE – Austin Sparks

If I am going to grow spiritually, I shall only do so on the basis of love. I shall never grow because I get a lot more teaching. You do not grow by teaching. That is the tragedy of attending conferences – that you may attend them for years and years and still be of the same spiritual measure afterward, and never grow: still making no greater contribution to the measure of Christ in the Church, still not counting any more than you did years ago in the spiritual battle. No, all the teaching does not necessarily mean that you grow. It is necessary as a background, but we grow by love. Do not let anybody think we can dispense with the teaching and have the love and get on all right. That would be a contradiction of the Word altogether. The teaching has its place, it is absolutely necessary; but though I have everything and have not love, I am nothing (1 Cor. 13). So all is based on this.

THE LOVE OF GOD, NOT NATURAL LOVE

But lest you should inadvertently misapprehend what I am saying, I must emphasize that I am talking about the love of God. You must not think I am talking about a generous disposition, a magnanimous temperament, of the kind of people who are made that way, and who cannot bear to be across someone else, even if there is a tremendous spiritual issue at stake. Such never “truth it in love” (Eph. 4:15) for fear of anything unpleasant. That is not the love I am talking about. This love is not temperamental love. The people who may be of that kindly, magnanimous, large-hearted disposition may find that they have to have that smashed up and broken by coming up against a spiritual situation for which no natural temperament is sufficient. They may have to be provoked to get on their feet. People who have never been angry may have to be stirred to anger. People who are always compromising rather than have unpleasantness may have to make a clean cut. The love of God may demand something like that. On the other hand, those who may not be at all of that generous, magnanimous disposition, by the love of God and an altogether new heart and nature become what they are now temperamentally. This of which we speak is not on a natural ground at all – what we are or what we are not.

Dag 11

RECONCILIATION – Oswald Chambers

“For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God. The Christian religion bases everything on the positive, radical nature of sin. Other religions deal with sins; the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ faced in men was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the Gospel that the message of the Gospel has lost its sting and its blasting power. The revelation of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took upon Himself our fleshly sins, but that He took upon Himself the heredity of sin which no man can touch. God made His own Son to be sin that He might make the sinner a saint. All through the Bible it is revealed that Our Lord bore the sin of the world by identification, not by sympathy. He deliberately took upon His own shoulders, and bore in His own Person, the whole massed sin of the human race – “He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin,” and by so doing He put the whole human race on the basis of Redemption. Jesus Christ rehabilitated the human race; He put it back to where God designed it to be, and anyone can enter into union with God on the ground of what Our Lord has done on the Cross. A man cannot redeem himself; Redemption is God’s “bit,” it is absolutely finished and complete; its reference to individual men is a question of their individual action. A distinction must always be made between the revelation of Redemption and the conscious experience of salvation in a man’s life.

Dag 12

THE CROSS MARKS OF THE CHRISTIAN
By A.B. Simpson

“No servant is greater than his master” (John 13:16). The tests of the Master must be applied to His followers. We may not preach a crucified Savior without being also crucified men and women. It is not enough to wear an ornamental cross as a pretty decoration. The cross that Paul speaks about was burned into his very flesh, was branded into his being, and only the Holy Spirit can burn the true cross into our innermost life.

We are saved by identification with Christ in His death. We are justified because we have already died with Him and have thus been made free from sin. God does not whitewash people when He saves them. He has really visited their sins upon their great Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer was counted as in Him when He died, and so His death is our death. It puts us in the same position before the law of the supreme Judge as if we had already been executed and punished for our own guilt, as if the judgment for us was already past. Therefore, it is true of every believer, “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (5:24). The cross, therefore, is the very standpoint of the believer’s salvation, and we shall never cease to echo the song of heaven: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive… honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12).

Dag 13

GOD HAS ASSUMED THE RESPONSIBILITY – Austin Sparks

My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 ESV)

God has assumed the responsibility of a Father, and has taken up those responsibilities to meet them in and through His Son. The enlargement of that in Christian utterance is found in Philippians 4:19. This means Christ recognized, Christ known, God in Christ, and that on the ground of our utter separation unto Him. But note: it is God’s gift. He says that it was not Moses that gave the manna in the wilderness, but His Father. Then it is not the result of man’s labors, it is the issue of God’s grace. Are you laboring for spiritual growth? How we have striven and strained to increase our spiritual measure and our spiritual stature. What a burden we have taken upon us in relation to the maintenance of our own spiritual life! We have almost assumed the whole responsibility for our spiritual life, and made it as though it depended upon our labors in prayer, our labors in the Word of God, our labors in the Lord’s service, our effort, our stress.

No one will think that we have made little of prayer or the Word. No one will think that we have said you must have no care whatever for your spiritual life, but there is such a difference between assuming responsibility for ourselves and recognizing that God has assumed that responsibility. And because God has assumed the responsibility we should cooperate with God. There is all the difference between trying to work for our justification, and working because we are justified; between trying to work for our perfection, and working because our perfection is secured in Christ. The difference is not merely technical, it is practical, and of immense value. Sometimes it is necessary for the Lord to say to us: “Look here, you are making far too much of your own praying, far too much of your own business in the Scriptures, you are unconsciously coming to think that everything depends upon how much and how fervently you pray.” And then you go out and talk to other people about your prayer life as a kind of setting up against their own. You do not mean it, but the implication is that this is what accounts for your growth, and it is going to count for other people’s growth. That must not be a cause but a result. ‘The cause, the secret, the spring of everything is Myself, and sometimes you will just have to cease straining, and rest back in Me, in loving trust. Learn to do that a little more, and then you will pray better, and I shall be able to do something more!’

Dag 14

BECOMING A CHRISTIAN ONLY BY REVELATION – Watchman Nee

Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of Man is? 14 And they said, some, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 He said to them, But you, who do you say that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in the heavens. Matthew 16:13-17

This [vv. above] shows us clearly that a Christian must be one who has received a revelation from God. If you want to be a Christian, you must have this revelation and knowledge. If you say that you admire the life of Jesus, this will not make you a Christian. If you say that Jesus’ teaching contains some very deep philosophy, this will not make you a Christian either. You may not agree with this word. You may argue: I admire Jesus and honor Him; I am favorably inclined towards Christianity. Does that not make me a Christian?? No, it does not. Being a Christian is not a question of admiring or not admiring; it is not a question of being favorably or ill inclined towards Christianity. Some considered the Lord Jesus to be John the Baptist, Elijah, or Jeremiah. Was not John the Baptist good? Was not Elijah good? Was not Jeremiah good? Yet these were all man’s views and man’s opinions. Christianity is absolutely not from man. Therefore, human views and human opinions cannot replace Christianity. Christianity is a religion of revelation. Only those who have received a revelation from God and who know the Lord Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, are blessed by the Lord.

Once a man receives a revelation, he touches the Lord Jesus in the Holy Spirit, and he comes face to face with the Lord Jesus. He has a direct relationship with Him and has made contact with the Lord. Let me give a little illustration. Once an electrical power line in a brother’s home became worn out. It was easy to receive an electric shock from the wire. The brother was not careful enough and touched the line. Immediately he withdrew his hand and shouted, What a shock! What a shock! His young son saw how his hand stretched out and pulled back, and he imitated his father and pretended that he had been shocked also. He stretched out his little hand and pulled it back shouting, What a shock! What a shock!? But we know that the son was acting in an outward way; he was imitating. The father was genuinely shocked by the electricity; he tasted the reality of the experience. Brothers and sisters, outward imitations do not count; it is the real taste that counts. You must touch Christ like the brother who touched the electrical current. Do you know that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God today? It is not what men say, but what you say within yourself that counts.

Dag 15

ALL HAVE SINNED – Paul Washer

One of the greatest problems with gospel preaching today is we are not wounding men. We are not wounding men. Why do men not seek a Savior? Because for the most part in much preaching men are pretty much ok. They just need to be tweaked here and there. They have got everything they need. They just need one thing to make their perfect life a little more perfect and that is Jesus on top and they don’t understand that all men are born in sin, wretched and defiled and God-hating with a dark and dead heart. There is no man who seeks him. When we go to preach the gospel in the mission field we must realize that our job is an absolute catastrophe and will be in failure upon failure apart from the power of God resurrecting dead men, not only dead men, but dead men who with whatever power is in them, whatever animation, hate God. We must in our preaching convince men, work to tell men, use the Scriptures with all our might to scream out, “All have sinned.” If I jangled some keys here tonight it would not fill your heart with joy and do you want to know why? Because you are not locked away in a dungeon somewhere. If you were locked away in a dungeon then the sound of keys would cause joy to spring up in your heart. Much of gospel preaching today has so little power. It is not very difficult to get men saved. The problem is getting them lost. A lot of popular preachers are gaining a lot of popularity today because they make it their purpose not to speak about sin. But they go against the work of our Lord who in preaching preached sin. They go against the work of the apostles who worked with all their intellectual might, moved by the Holy Spirit to reveal the sin of men. And most of all, I can assure you, that a preacher or a missionary that does not make much of sin does not have the work of the Holy Spirit in their life because it is one of the great tasks of the Holy Spirit to convict men of sin. And when you don’t believe that you are working against the Holy Spirit. If we look in the book of Romans just here we see the apostle Paul laying out for us the closest thing we get to a systematic theology and yet he takes his first three chapters and he works with all his might to do one thing, to shut men off from every fleshly hope, to close them in, to lock the doors, to provide them nothing of relief in the flesh so that they will cry out to God and mercy. Think about that for a moment. Do you know why the people do not tremble about sin? Because they don’t understand God, because the God in America today looks more like Santa Claus than he does Yahweh of the Bible. It is as if on the day of creation God stands there and he commands the stars to put themselves in space and they all bow and worship and obey him. He tells planets to set themselves in orbit and to move at his decree and they all bow and obey him. He tells mountains to be lifted up and valleys to be cast down and they all obey him. And then he looks at the brave sea and he says, “You will come to this point and you will come no further,” and the sea bows and worships. And then he looks at man and he says, “Come,” And man goes, “No!” The heinous nature of sin, the revelation of that truth is the work of the Holy Spirit and as ministers of the gospel we are to be kind, we are to be loving, we are to be gentle, but we are to make much of sin.

Dag 16

HE IS FAITHFUL – John Henry Jowett

1 KINGS 8:54-61.
“There has not failed one word of all His good promise.” Supposing one word had failed, how then? If one golden promise had turned out to be counterfeit, how then? If the ground had yielded anywhere we should have been fearful and suspicious at every part of the road. If the bell of God’s fidelity had been broken anywhere the music would have been destroyed. But not one word has failed. The road has never given way in time of flood. Every bell of heaven is perfectly sound, and the music is full and glorious. “God is faithful, who also will do it.”

“God is love,” and “love never fails.” The lamp will not die out at the midnight. The fountain will not fail us in the wilderness. The consolations will not be wanting in the hour of our distresses. Love will have “all things ready.” “He has promised, and shall He not do it?” All the powers of heaven are pledged to the fulfilment of the smallest word of grace. We can never be deserted! “God cannot deny Himself.” Every word of His will unburden its treasure at the appointed hour, and I shall be rich with the strength of my God.

Dag 17

THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD JESUS – Andrew Murray

That is the secret of the Christian’s strength and joy. You know that when He was upon earth, He was present in bodily form with his disciples. They walked about together all day, and at night they went into the same house, and sometimes slept together and ate and drank together. They were continually together. It was the presence of Jesus that was the training school of His disciples. They were bound to Him by that wonderful intercourse of love during three long years, and in that intercourse they learned to know Christ, and Christ instructed and corrected them, and prepared them for what they were afterward to receive. And now when He is going away, He says to them: “Lo, behold, I am with you always—all the days—even unto the end of the world.”

What a promise! And just as really as Christ was with Peter in the boat, just as Christ sat with John at the table, as really can I have Christ with me. And more really, for they had their Christ in the body and He was to them a man, an individual separate from them, but I may have the glorified Christ in the power of the throne of God, the omnipotent Christ, the omnipresent Christ.

What a promise! You ask me, How can that be? And my answer is, Because Christ is God, and because Christ after having been made man, went up into the throne and the Life of God. And now that blessed Christ Jesus, with His loving, pierced heart; that blessed Jesus Christ, who lived upon earth; that same Christ glorified into the glory of God, can be in me and can be with me all the days [of my life].

Dag 18

HIMSELF
A hymn written by A.B. Simpson

Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.

All in all forever,
Only Christ I’ll sing;
Everything is in Christ,
And Christ is everything.
Once ’twas painful trying, Now ’tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once ’twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once ’twas constant drifting, Now my anchor’s cast.

Once ’twas busy planning, Now ’tis trustful prayer;
Once ’twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once ’twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once ’twas constant asking, Now ’tis ceaseless praise.

Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.

Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He’s mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the veil.

Dag 19

WHOLE LIFE PRAYER – A.W. Tozer

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing…. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:5,7

Prayer at its best is the expression of the total life….

All things else being equal, our prayers are only as powerful as our lives. In the long pull we pray only as well as we live….

Most of us in moments of stress have wished that we had lived so that prayer would not be so unnatural to us and have regretted that we had not cultivated prayer to the point where it would be as easy and as natural as breathing….

Undoubtedly the redemption in Christ Jesus has sufficient moral power to enable us to live in a state of purity and love where our whole life will be a prayer. Individual acts of prayer that spring out of that kind of total living will have about them a wondrous power not known to the careless or the worldly Christian.

Dag 20

APPLYING THE CROSS – Bill Freeman and Albert Theron

The new covenant message is very simply relationship with the living Christ who is with us and in us all the time. To live by the Spirit is to continually be conscious of our union with Christ and His presence with us and to speak to Him about everything. This is a life of faith and its goal is the manifestation of Christ through us in attitudes and acts of love (1 Tim. 1:5). Yet, this life in union with Christ cannot grow and become strong if we do not understand and apply the cross. Under the new covenant God deals with everything through the cross. The old creation has been condemned at the cross and all the negative elements from that realm that would seek to keep us from enjoying resurrection life in union with Christ must be ”cut off” by faith.

APPLYING THE CROSS

A spiritual mind is a mind that applies the process of death and resurrection to all things by the Spirit:

1 Cor. 15:1-5; Rom. 8:11-13 and Gal. 5:24-25

‘By the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the body’. We need a sword in our hands to cut off the flesh, the distractions of the temporal life and the enemy’s influence. This sword is the cross (1 Cor. 1:18). Without this sword Christians are in trouble and will fail, because the two realms (old and new creation) will remain mingled in their experience. We have to take up this sword by faith and confession (2 Cor. 4:13) and apply it to all situations. This is the ONLY way we can consistently conquer the distractions of this life in order to remain in God’s rest and enjoy sweet communion with the Father and the Son (1 Jn. 1:1-4). The alternative is a multitude of crossless ‘Christian’ teachings endeavouring to spiritualise or renovate the natural (old Adamic) life instead of consigning it to death by the cross.

Here are some areas to which we must apply the process of death and resurrection:

1. To sin – Rom. 6:1-11

2. To the Law and the Old Covenant / Religion – Rom. 7:1-6; 2 Cor. 3; Col. 2:16-23

3. To the natural life – John 12:24-26

4. To the flesh – 1 Pet. 4:1-2

5. To the body – Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 9:27; 1 Cor. 15:35-38

6. To our environment – 2 Cor. 1:8-10

7. To becoming a life-supplying member in the Body of Christ – 2 Cor. 4:8-12

8. To our relationships in the new creation – 2 Cor. 5:14-17

9. To our weaknesses – 2 Cor. 13:3-4

10. To our self – Gal. 2:19-20

11. To the world – Gal. 6:14-15

12. To ordinances and division – Eph. 2:13-16

13. To our own righteousness – Phil. 3:8-15

14. To our religious practices – Col. 2:10-15, 20-23

15. To our moral life and family life – Col. 3:1-21; Eph. 5:17-6:4

16. To our receiving reward at the judgment seat – 2 Tim. 2:1-12

17. To all kinds of sufferings – Heb. 11:33-39

18. To our being dealt with by God – Heb. 12:2-11

19. To the accusation and condemnation of the enemy – Rom. 3:20-31; 8v31-39; Heb. 10:1-22; 1 Jn. 1:5-11; Rev. 12:11

20. To selfish ambition and pride – Phil. 2:1-8; 3:4-7 (behold the cross and ”pour contempt on your pride”)

21. To worldly wisdom and eloquence – 1 Cor. 1:17-31; Jas. 3:13-18

22. To all kinds of tests and trials – Jas. 1:1:17; 1 Pet. 1:1-9

23. To spiritual warfare – Eph. 6:10-18; 2 Cor. 10:1-5

24. To the church life – Phil. 2:1-8; Eph.4:1-16; 1 Cor. 13; 1 Pet. 4:8-11

25. To suffering for the sake of righteousness and the gospel – Mt. 5:10-16; 1 Pet. 2:19-23, 3:13-18, 4:12-16

Dag 21

HOW WERE MEN SAVED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT? – Watchman Nee

If the blood of bulls and goats was not able to remove sin, as we mentioned earlier, how then were those in the Old Testament saved? It was by the cross. Man had sinned. Hence, only a man could accomplish the redemption of sin. Although the animals were innocent, and although they were without blemish, they could not redeem man from his sins. Why then did God promise in Leviticus 17 that the blood of creatures was able to redeem one from sin? There must be some very profound meaning here. The things of the law “are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ” (Col. 2:17). Hence, the sacrifices and the offerings in the Old Testament all refer to Christ. Although Christ had not yet died at the time of the first covenant, God intended that all the sacrifices offered at that time be a type of Christ. Their death was taken as the death of Christ. Through the blood of many animals, God saw the blood of His beloved Son. Through many bulls and goats, He saw “the Lamb of God.” Through the many sacrifices, He saw the substitutional death of Christ. When He accepted those offerings, it was as if He was accepting the merit of the death of His Son. Because of this, man was redeemed from his sins. He reckoned the innocent bulls and goats as His dear Son. Hence, He could forgive the sinners based upon the sacrifices they offered. Every time the offerings were slaughtered, they spoke of the coming sacrifice of the Son of God as the sin offering on Golgotha and of His accomplishment of the eternal work of salvation. Because the Lord is a man, He is able to redeem man from sin. Because He is God, He is able to redeem all men, past and present, from their sins.

Those who offered the sacrifices in the Old Testament, consciously or unconsciously, believed in a coming crucified Savior. All their sacrifices were to turn them to the coming Savior. Although the Lord Jesus was not yet born at that time, faith did not look at what could be seen. Rather, it looked at what could not be seen. Faith saw a vicarious Savior from afar and trusted in Him. When the time came, the Son of God came and died for men. What had only been a matter of faith then became a fact.

Dag 22

HOW ARE MEN SAVED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT? – Watchman Nee

We know that we are in the new testament age. How are we saved in this age? Christ has died and salvation is accomplished. If we believe in the Lord Jesus, which means that by faith we receive Him as the Savior, we will be saved. Some have a hard time understanding how Christ could have died for them before they were even born. Indeed this presents a problem to the physical senses. Yet to faith, this is a glorious truth.

First, we must realize that time cannot restrict God. To us mortals, a few decades are a long time. But our God is an eternal God. To Him, even a thousand years do not mean much. Although time can restrict us, it cannot restrict Him. Hence, even though we believe in a Lord who died once for us many years ago, we are saved.

The Bible says that the Lord Jesus offered up Himself once and accomplished the work of redemption (Heb. 7:27). He is God. This is why He can transcend time to redeem those who were thousands of years before Him as well as those who are thousands of years after Him. Not only can He redeem those thousands of years after Him; if, unfortunately, the world goes on for millions of years more, His redemption will still be effective. Once He finished His work, it was accomplished forever. If a sinner desires to be saved now, the Lord does not need to die for him again. This one only needs to accept the merit of the Lord’s one offering, and he will be saved. Our faith is not restricted by time either. Faith can lead one into the reality of eternity. As men in the Old Testament looked to a coming Savior and were saved, in the same way we look to a past Savior and are saved. The fact that the matter is past does not mean that it is over. Rather, it means that it is done. The men in the Old Testament looked forward. We at the present time look backward. Faith caused those in the Old Testament to accept a coming Savior. Will not our faith cause us to accept a past Savior?

In reading Hebrews 9:12-15 it would be very meaningful if we link together the three “eternals” in these verses. What the Lord accomplished was an eternal redemption. Hence, whenever men believe in Him, they receive this redemption. We ought to realize that the worth of the cross was not determined by man. Rather, it was determined by God. God considers the redemption of the cross as eternal. Therefore, we sinners who have no righteousness of our own should acknowledge God’s word as true and should act according to His word and believe in the cross of His Son and be saved.

Dag 23

JUDGMENT ON THE ABYSS OF LOVE – Oswald Chambers

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” 1 Peter 4:17

The Christian worker must never forget that salvation is God’s thought, not man’s; therefore it is an unfathomable abyss. Salvation is the great thought of God, not an experience. Experience is only a gateway by which salvation comes into our conscious life. Never preach the experience; preach the great thought of God behind. When we preach we are not proclaiming how man can be saved from hell and be made moral and pure; we are conveying good news about God.

In the teachings of Jesus Christ 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, God is not to blame. It is not for us to find out the reason why it is difficult, but so to present the truth of God that the Spirit of God will show what is wrong. The great sterling test in preaching is that it brings everyone to judgment. The Spirit of God locates each one to himself.

If Jesus ever gave us a command He could not enable us to fulfill, He would be a liar; and if we make our inability a barrier to obedience, it means we are telling God there is something He has not taken into account. Every element of self-reliance must be slain by the power of God. Complete weakness and dependence will always be the occasion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power.

Dag 24

WORKING FOR OR WORKING BECAUSE? – Austin Sparks

My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 ESV)

God has assumed the responsibility of a Father, and has taken up those responsibilities to meet them in and through His Son. The enlargement of that in Christian utterance is found in Philippians 4:19. This means Christ recognized, Christ known, God in Christ, and that on the ground of our utter separation unto Him. But note: it is God’s gift. He says that it was not Moses that gave the manna in the wilderness, but His Father. Then it is not the result of man’s labors, it is the issue of God’s grace. Are you laboring for spiritual growth? How we have striven and strained to increase our spiritual measure and our spiritual stature. What a burden we have taken upon us in relation to the maintenance of our own spiritual life! We have almost assumed the whole responsibility for our spiritual life, and made it as though it depended upon our labors in prayer, our labors in the Word of God, our labors in the Lord’s service, our effort, our stress.

No one will think that we have made little of prayer or the Word. No one will think that we have said you must have no care whatever for your spiritual life, but there is such a difference between assuming responsibility for ourselves and recognizing that God has assumed that responsibility. And because God has assumed the responsibility we should cooperate with God. There is all the difference between trying to work for our justification, and working because we are justified; between trying to work for our perfection, and working because our perfection is secured in Christ. The difference is not merely technical, it is practical, and of immense value. Sometimes it is necessary for the Lord to say to us: “Look here, you are making far too much of your own praying, far too much of your own business in the Scriptures, you are unconsciously coming to think that everything depends upon how much and how fervently you pray.” And then you go out and talk to other people about your prayer life as a kind of setting up against their own. You do not mean it, but the implication is that this is what accounts for your growth, and it is going to count for other people’s growth. That must not be a cause but a result. ‘The cause, the secret, the spring of everything is Myself, and sometimes you will just have to cease straining, and rest back in Me, in loving trust. Learn to do that a little more, and then you will pray better, and I shall be able to do something more!’

Dag 25

THAT PRECIOUS BLOOD – austin Sparks

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 12:11)

There are so many of the Lord’s people today over whom Satan is lording it; lording it along the line of accusation, bringing them under a sense of condemnation and judgment, robbing them of their peace, of their assurance, rest, hope; and you will find these people are everlastingly talking about their own short-comings, their sinfulness; they are forever circling round themselves, all that they are that they would not be, all that they are not that they would be. Their deliverance from Satan is that they should have a fresh apprehension of the absolute satisfaction of the Father in His Son on their behalf, and that they find their standing before the Father in acceptance. That is the way of deliverance, the way of the Adversary’s casting out. This is the way of overcoming him as the Accuser. Yes, the ground of the Blood is sufficient for this full-orbed, many-sided, all-round victory. “They overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb,& quot; and the first and supreme factor in the virtue of that Blood in all these directions, is its untainted sinlessness, the nature of the Lord Jesus. There has never been another who was such.

Oh, I am so glad that it was God that came in Christ, GOD that came in Christ. Can you charge God with sin? Can you lay sin to God’s charge, to God’s account? It was God in Christ, the absolutely and altogether holy One in whom there was no sin, who came in incarnation; and in virtue of that Divine nature in its perfection Satan in his authority is defeated – on that ground. Blessed be God! We receive by faith the virtue of that precious Blood; that is, the perfection of the Lord Jesus can be put to our account. That is grace – the wonder of the Gospel. If we were to begin to analyze ourselves and take stock of ourselves, that would be a terrible business, a wretched business, and it would be endless – think of it, beloved, with all that we know of ourselves, all that God knows about us – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart. I try the reins….” Though all that be a fact, you and I can stand now in the presence of God as sinlessly perfect, not in ourselves, but in Christ, as having absolute sinless perfection put to our account by God.

Dag 26

IF I HAVE NOT LOVE – James Stewart

When Paul composed his great Hymn of Praise to Love, he began by distinguishing between the vital religion of Jesus Christ, as it has gripped his own experience, and certain more or less imperfect and unbalanced forms of religion, which from that day to his have sheltered themselves under the name of Christianity. Gifts and graces which God intended to be the adornment of the Christian community may cease to be its adornment, and become its snare.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels” — that is religion as ecstatic emotionalism.

“Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge” — that is religion as gnosis, intellectualism, speculation.

“Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains” — that is religion as a working energy.

“Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor” — that is religion as humanitarianism.

“Though I give my body to be burned” — that is religion as asceticism.

All these one-sided and patently inadequate representations of the Gospel, Paul expressly repudiates. Yet history, which has been unjust to many of its greatest men, has given us from time to time, by a strange irony of fate, a Paul who is himself the type and the embodiment of the very things against which he strove with might and main. We have had Paul the ecstatic visionary, Paul the speculative theologian, Paul the organiser and ecclesiastic, Paul the humanitarian moralist, Paul the ascetic. Of these portraits which have appeared at different times in the course of Pauline study, by far the most unfortunate in its results has been the second – Paul the dogmatist, the doctrinaire thinker, the creator of a philosophy of religion, the constructor of a system. This is history’s greatest injustice to its greatest saint. It is the blunder which has ruined Paul for thousands. Sometimes a man’s worst enemy is himself; unconsciously he damages his own influence. But Paul’s worst enemy down the centuries has not been Paul: it has been Paulinism. How much this great lover of Christ has suffered by the elaborate speculative systems into which his successors have forced his glowing message, how much his influence has been harmed and his popular appeal reduced by the forbidding structure of theory and dogma beneath which his interpreters have so often buried his words of flame, it would be hard to tell.

Dag 27

THE POWER OF HARMONIOUS PRAYER – Chip Brogden

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10

The chief objective of prayer is to bring us into cooperation with the Father so that we are harmonious with Him – with respect to our love relationship as well as our working relationship. Much time and effort in prayer is spent trying to get God involved with OUR agenda, with OUR plans, with OUR goals, with OUR cause, with OUR needs, real or imagined. But after all, who is the Master? Who is the servant? Whose will are we seeking anyway: ours, or His?

If our agenda is not harmonious with His then our agenda has to go. Most of our prayers are simply too small, too narrow-minded, and too constricted. We do not see anything beyond our present surroundings. We have not seen the big picture. We do not have a heavenly perspective. So to begin with we must empty ourselves of all preconceived ideas and seek the Lord’s Will and the Lord’s Kingdom when we pray, for this truly honors the Father.

Dag 28

THE DEEPER LIFE – A.W. Tozer

The deeper life has also been called the “victorious life,” but I do not like that term. It appears to me that it focuses attention exclusively upon one feature of the Christian life, that of personal victory over sin, when actually this is just one aspect of the deeper life—an important one, to be sure, but only one. That life in the Spirit that is denoted by the term “deeper life” is far wider and richer than mere victory over sin, however vital that victory may be. It also includes the thought of the indwelling of Christ, acute God-consciousness, rapturous worship, separation from the world, the joyous surrender of everything to God, internal union with the Trinity, the practice of the presence of God, the communion of saints and prayer without ceasing.

To enter upon such a life, seekers must be ready to accept without question the New Testament as the one final authority on spiritual matters. They must be willing to make Christ the one supreme Lord and ruler in their lives. They must surrender their whole being to the destructive power of the cross, to die not only to their sins but to their righteousness as well as to everything in which they formerly prided themselves.

If this should seem like a heavy sacrifice for anyone to make, let it be remembered that Christ is Lord and can make any demands upon us that He chooses, even to the point of requiring that we deny ourselves and bear the cross daily. The mighty anointing of the Holy Spirit that follows will restore to the soul infinitely more than has been taken away. It is a hard way, but a glorious one. Those who have known the sweetness of it will never complain about what they have lost. They will be too well pleased with what they have gained.

Dag 29

BORNE BY CHRIST – James S. Stewart

The evangel of an ethical example is a devastating thing. It makes religion the most grievous of burdens. Perhaps this is the real reason why, even among professing Christians, there are so many strained faces and weary hearts and captive, unreleased spirits. They have listened to Jesus’ teaching, they have meditated on Jesus’ character; and then they have risen up, and tried to drive their own lives along Jesus’ royal way. Disappointment heaped on bitter disappointment has been the result. The great example has been a dead-weight beating them down, bearing them to the ground, bowing their hopeless souls in the dust.

One of the vital distinctions between true religion and false is that, whereas the latter is a dead burden for the soul to carry, the former is a living power to carry the soul. Paul’s mysticism grows lyrical with precisely this great discovery. “Christ in me” means something quite different from the weight of an impossible ideal, something far more glorious than the oppression of a pattern for ever beyond all imitation. “Christ in me” means Christ bearing me along from within, Christ the motive-power that carries me on, Christ giving my whole life a wonderful poise and lift, and turning every burden into wings. All this is in it when the apostle speaks of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

Compared with this, the religion which bases everything on example is pitifully rudimentary. This, and this alone, is the true Christian religion. To be “in Christ,” to have Christ within, to realize your creed not as something you have to bear but as something by which you are borne, this is Christianity. It is more: it is release and liberty, life with an endless song at its heart. It means feeling within you, as long as life here last, the carrying power of Love Almighty; and underneath you, when you come to die, the touch of everlasting arms.

Dag 30

HIDDEN FAULTS – Ray Stedman

Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression (Psalm 19:12b-13).

“Forgive my hidden faults.” Is that your prayer? Do you know what will happen when you pray that way? You might think that God will take a sponge and wipe around inside you so you will not even know what those hidden faults were. But God does not do that. His way of dealing with hidden faults is either to send somebody to point them out to you or to bring them out through some circumstance in which you are suddenly confronted with what you have done or said and you find that it is ugly and you do not like it. That is the way God cleanses us from hidden faults. He opens up the secret places.

Usually he does it through other people because, as God well knows, we cannot see ourselves, but other people can see us. These faults are hidden to us but not to others. They see them very plainly. And we can see their hidden faults better than they can. You know that you can see the faults of somebody you are thinking about right now better than that person can. You say, I don’t see how that person can be so blind.Someone is thinking that very same way about you. That is why it is always proper to say, “Lord, cleanse me from hidden faults. Help me to see myself through the eyes of a friend who loves me enough to tell me the truth.”