Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me

Monday, June 29, 2015

Of Beaten Work

Now you know what that means, simply the thing is hammered out; the thing is wrought into the very substance.

It means that there is a very real and deep and thorough-going experience in the matter with which we have to speak.

The LORD does not just commit to us something to say.

The LORD works the thing into us before He allows us to say it if we are really going to be His messengers.

He takes pains to see that the pattern of the thing is hammered into our very being.

We have got to know what redemption means in a deep way.

And that sometimes does mean that there's a good deal of cutting into us by the hammer and chisel; it's beaten work, it's wrought work, it's something that is very real.

Dear friends, these things, according to GOD'S mind, are to characterize every one who would be a messenger of GOD to others.

The thing has got to be wrought into you.

And may I say, that while it is not conveyed here, this matter is a continuous process.

We shall only really express GOD, convey GOD to others, be able to speak of GOD and for GOD, be able to give to others GOD'S thoughts and GOD'S mind insofar as the thing is wrought into us.

You've only got a little bit and you've only let the LORD take you so far; that is just the measure of your witness, of your testimony, of your real ability to convey what GOD wants conveyed.

We've got to let GOD do this thing in us very thoroughly. 

And I do feel that, simple as it is, elementary as it is, it's a very important thing to say.

There may be here tonight those who have really come to the LORD, who could say that they are saved, they've given their hearts to the LORD, they've let the LORD into their hearts... however you might put it, there is that initial transaction with the LORD by which you have come to be His. That has taken place...

But you've only gone just so far and there are still things which have not come into the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

The redemption has only gone so far, it hasn't touched some things in your life, you still have some associations, you still have some pleasures, some interests, you still have some idols of some kind.

You're a Christian, yes, but you've only gone just so far and now you haven't gone any farther and you're not going any farther, you've just stopped.

You've stopped, and all that great fullness that GOD has for you is suspended because, well, you've gone so far...

You are the LORD'S, but you're not letting the LORD work the fullness of redemption into your life.

Because redemption is a very comprehensive thing.

Redemption does not begin and end with our just being saved from judgment and hell and being assured of heaven, forgiveness of our sin, and the coming of the LORD.

Oh, that is a mere fragment...a large fragment and an important and valuable fragment...but after all in the light of all the redemption that is in Christ Jesus it is only a very little thing.

So much more...and this redemption has got to apply to and touch everything until we are wholly on the ground of redemption and everything is on that ground.

Take an illustration from the life of Israel. You remember when they were redeemed by GOD from their bondage in Egypt, the LORD so worked, so thoroughly worked, so drastically worked, that He was not going to have, as it is put, "the hoof of one ox left in Egypt."

Yes, He applied this matter of redemption to the last hoof of the last animal to leave Egypt.

His idea is a very thorough-going redemption with nothing left outside, it's got to cover all that we are and all that we have.

And it was because that generation of Israelite's did not allow the principle to be wrought into them,

The principle which GOD had established in that objective way, they did not allow it to be wrought into them that they did not come into the full purpose of redemption and occupy the great land of promise.

Now, that's all illustration, it was true in history, but it is an illustration of the spiritual life that this thing has got to be wrought... 

Beaten work, wrought into us thoroughly and exhaustively if we are going to come into all the good of redemption.

So that while we can in a certain sense say, "I am redeemed", we have got to be able to say: I am continually being redeemed.

I'm going on in redemption, it is applying everywhere."

Now the point is this: that only in so far as the thing is wrought into us as the LORD'S people have we a testimony.

You can't go in testimony, speaking to others, beyond that which is true in our own being.

So it is a beaten work, it is inwrought.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Friday, June 26, 2015

It Will Not Be Long

James 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

The last word in the Canticle of love is, "Make haste, my beloved," and among the last words of the Apocalypse we read, The Spirit and the Bride say, Come; to which the heavenly Bridegroom answers, "Surely I come quickly."

Love longs for the glorious appearing of the LORD and enjoys this sweet promise - "The coming of the LORD draweth nigh." 

This stays our minds as to the future. We look out with hope through this window.

This sacred "window of agate" lets in a flood of light upon the present and puts us into fine condition for immediate work or suffering.

Are we tired? Then the nearness of our joy whispers patience. 

Are we growing weary because we do not see the harvest of our seed-sowing?

Again this glorious truth cries to us, "Be patient." 

Do our multiplied temptations cause us in the least to waver? 

Then the assurance that before long the LORD will be here preaches to us from this text, "Stablish your hearts."

Be firm, be stable, be constant, "stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the LORD."

Soon will you hear the silver trumpet which announces the coming of your King.

Be not in the least afraid. Hold the fort, for He is coming; yea, He may appear this very day. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Keep Going On

One of the greatest safeguards for spiritual power is to keep going on.

One of the most disastrous things is to hesitate about something which has been made known by the Holy Spirit as the Will of GOD.

In just one matter, we may stop going on with the LORD.

We fail to obey Him; the enemy is watching...

And immediately in our walk with the LORD we come to something upon which the LORD'S Finger is placed, and we do not take that step... 

The enemy rushes in with something else as an alternative, or a preoccupation, or an insinuation of some deadly force which postpones that issue.

And later on it is ten times harder to take that step because something positive has come in. 

The enemy does not believe in gaps, and the LORD does not believe in gaps.

If Israel had gone on and not compromised with the Jebusites or any of the other "ites", the book of Judges would never have been written.

The book of Judges is the great declaration of the fact that the people of GOD did not go on into the fulness that was theirs in GOD.

That is a very solemn word for us.

It shows why there is such an insistence in the New Testament about going on into full growth, pressing on...

For if you do not go on, the danger is that you will be occupied with something that was Never in the Will of GOD...

Taken up with something religious and miss all that He intended, and the enemy will make havoc and entirely rob you of Spiritual Power.

Spiritual power is in going on, and keeping going on; compromising with nothing.

You notice the illustration here is the house of Joseph, and they went to take Bethel. They sent spies.

Why send spies when the Lord told them He had given it?

You need not send spies when the Lord tells you He has given it to you.

And they found a man of Bethel and said to him, "You show us the way into the city and we will deal kindly with you", and the man, to save his own skin, showed them the way in and they let him off, with the result that the man ran away and founded another city, and called it Bethel. 

The tribe of Joseph came down to the level of the flesh and then asked this poor ruffian to show them the way when he should have been killed on the spot.

Talking naturally, they spared him on the ground of compromise.

They said, "In fact, the Lord cannot do it, we must get our information from this fellow, a man which belonged to that thing which God said must be destroyed".

They dealt kindly with him, let him go, and he ran off and founded another city.

If you do not do the thing that God tells you, you liberate a force that sets up an imitation of the real.

You release something that sets up what is not true - a false thing - and the enemy all over the place is setting up these caricatures. 

You will get something false in your life immediately.

Have done with that compromise.

If you spare a little bit in order to get something more easy, you are going to set up something that is mere imitation.

It is not worthwhile.

I know it is costly, I know the conflict, but do you want the Lord's testimony to be really established?

Is it really not yourself, but for the Glory of GOD that you want Spiritual Power?

The Lord wants Spiritual Power recovered in His people for His own testimony's sake.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Nature Of The Testimony of Jesus

Now the testimony of Jesus is not just a declaration of the facts which are true in His case, but these lampstands on the earth, here and there and there, are the vessels, the very embodiment of that in a living way.

That is why the lamp was never to be allowed to go out in the sanctuary, but was to be trimmed night and morning that its flame might be kept clear and triumphant.

Therein is typified the embodiment of those facts which are facts in Him, and their being livingly, glowingly expressed here in the Church.

That is the testimony, and there is one word which embraces all that.

You want to know what the vanquishing of Satan is, the overcoming of the world, and the destroying of death?

There is one word which goes right to the heart of it, and it is this, life.

Life is the sum total of all Christ's being and of His work. He is the life.

He comes into the world as the life.

He is the offset in His very person to that condition which is universal, namely, death, spiritual death.

He is life. His presence is life. Everything about the Lord Jesus now is life; there is no death in Him.

In Him death is swallowed up in its entirety.

In His very person He is the fullness of that life of God which has nothing in it whatsoever that can be touched by death.

His work is that. All the work of the Lord Jesus is related to one thing, and one thing only, and that is life.

In Him life and incorruptibility have been brought to light - marvelous revelation of a thought of God!

Incorruptibility! What a world, what a universe it will be, when that is the reigning law in everything, everywhere!

Incorruptibility! Think of it!

Consider how easy it is to corrupt people nowadays, and to corrupt things, and to corrupt procedure. Consider too the result of it.

But there is coming a world, a creation, a new heaven and a new earth in which will dwell righteousness which is incorruptible. 

Incorruptible life will be the reigning law of God's new universe.

That is the effect of Christ's work. It is life; just as the sum of all Satan's being and work is death.

The presence of Satan is death. The very person of Satan is death. He is death.

I do not mean that he is an abstract thing, but he is the very embodiment and personification of death and the effect of all his work is death. 

He has brought in death. Everything that Satan touches dies. He carried with him the very breath of death.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Sound Heart

Psa 119:80  Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

We may regard this inspired prayer as containing within itself the assurance that those who keep close to the Word of GOD shall never have cause to be ashamed of doing so.

See, the prayer is for soundness of heart. A sound creed is good, a sound judgment concerning it is better, but a sound heart toward the truth is best of all. 

We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth, otherwise we are not truly sound in God's statutes.

Are there many in these evil days who are sound? Oh, that the writer and the reader may be two of this sort!

Many will be ashamed in the last great day, when all disputes will be decided.

Then they will see the folly of their inventions and be filled with remorse because of their proud infidelity and willful defiance of the LORD;

But he who believed what the LORD taught and did what the LORD commanded will stand forth justified in what he did. 

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun. Men much slandered and abused shall find their shame turned into glory in that day.

Let us pray the prayer of our text, and we may be sure that its promise will be fulfilled to us. 

If the LORD makes us sound, He will keep us safe.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Our Field of Battle

Deu 20:4  For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

We have no enemies but the enemies of GOD. Our fights are not against men but against spiritual wickednesses. 

We war with the devil and the blasphemy and error and despair which he brings into the field of battle.

We fight with all the armies of sin -- impurity, drunkenness, oppression, infidelity, and ungodliness. With these we contend earnestly, but not with sword or spear; the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.

Jehovah, our GOD, abhors everything which is evil, and, therefore, He goeth with us to fight for us in this crusade.

He will save us, and He will give us grace to war a good warfare and win the victory. 

We may depend upon it that if we are on GOD'S side GOD is on our side.

With such an august ally the conflict is never in the least degree doubtful.

It is not that Truth is Mighty and must prevail but that Might lies with the Father who is Almighty, with Jesus who has All Power in heaven and in earth, and with the Holy Spirit who worketh His will among men.

Soldiers of Christ, gird on your armor. Strike home in the name of the GOD of holiness, and by faith grasp His salvation.  

Let not this day pass without striking a blow for Jesus and holiness.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sit Still

Isa 52:12  For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.

I do not believe that we have begun to understand the marvelous power there is in stillness.

We are in such a hurry--we must be doing--so that we are in danger of not giving God a chance to work.

You may depend upon it, God never says to us, "Stand still," or "Sit still," or "Be still," unless He is going to do something.
This is our trouble in regard to our Christian life; we want to do something to be Christians when we need to let Him work in us.

Do you know how still you have to be when your likeness is being taken?
Now God has one eternal purpose concerning us, and that is that we should be like His Son; and in order that this may be so, we must be passive.

We hear so much about activity, may be we need to know what it is to be quiet.

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor deem these days--these waiting days--as ill!
The One who loves thee best, who plans thy way,
Hath not forgotten thy great need today!

And, if He waits, 'tis sure He waits to prove To thee, His tender child, His heart's deep love.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!

Thou longest much to know thy dear Lord's will!

While anxious thoughts would almost steal their way Corrodingly within, because of His delay

Persuade thyself in simple faith to rest That He, who knows and loves, will do the best.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!

Nor move one step, not even one, until His way hath opened.

Then, ah then, how sweet! How glad thy heart, and then how swift thy feet
Thy inner being then, ah then, how strong! And waiting days not counted then too long.

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!

What higher service could'st thou for Him fill?
Tis hard! ah yes! But choicest things must cost!

For lack of losing all how much is lost!

Tis hard, 'tis true! But then--He giveth grace
To count the hardest spot the sweetest place.

~J. D. Smith~

Thursday, June 11, 2015

We Shall Not Be Ashamed!

We shall not be ashamed of our faith. Carping critics may assail the Scriptures upon which we ground our belief, but every year the LORD will make it more and more clear that in His Book there is no error, no excess, and no omission.

It is no discredit to be a simple believer; the faith which looks alone to Jesus is a crown of honor on any man's head and better than a star on his breast.

We shall not be ashamed of our hope. It shall be even as the LORD has said. We shall be fed, led, blest, and rested.

Our LORD will come, and then the days of our mourning shall be ended.

How we shall glory in the LORD who first gave us lively hope and then gave us that which we hoped for!

We shall not be ashamed of our love. Jesus is to us the altogether lovely, and never, never, shall we have to blush because we have yielded our hearts to Him.

The sight of our glorious Well-beloved will justify the most enthusiastic attachment to Him.

When the enemies of Christ are clothed with everlasting contempt, the lovers of Jesus shall find themselves honored by all holy beings, because they chose the reproach of Christ rather than the treasures of Egypt. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Unshaken In Christ

Psa 46:2  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Psa 46:3  Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Psa 46:4  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

Psa 46:5  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early 

Shall not be moved - what an inspiring declaration!

Can it be possible that we, who are so easily moved by the things of earth, can arrive at a place where nothing can upset us or disturb our calm?

Yes, it is possible; and the Apostle Paul knew it. When he was on his way to Jerusalem where he foresaw that "bonds and afflictions" awaited him, he could say triumphantly, "But none of these things move me." 

Everything in Paul's life and experience that could be shaken had been shaken, and he no longer counted his life, or any of life's possessions, dear to him.

And we, if we will but let God have His way with us, may come to the same place, so that neither the fret and tear of little things of life, nor the great and heavy trials, can have power to move us from the peace that passeth understanding, which is declared to be the portion of those who have learned to rest only on God.

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God; and he shall go no more out.

To be as immovable as a pillar in the house of our God, is an end for which one would gladly endure all the shakings that may be necessary to bring us there!

~Hannah Whitall Smith~

When God is in the midst of a kingdom or city He makes it as firm as Mount Zion, that cannot be removed.

When He is in the midst of a soul, though calamities throng about it on all hands, and roar like the billows of the sea, yet there is a constant calm within, such a peace as the world can neither give nor take away.

What is it but want of lodging God in the soul, and that in His stead the world is in men's hearts, that makes them shake like leaves at every blast of danger?

~Archbishop Leighton~

They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever.

There is a quaint old Scottish version that puts iron into our blood:

Who sticketh to God in stable trust As Zion's mount he stands full just, Which moveth no whit, nor yet doth reel, But standeth forever as stiff as steel!"

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Necessity For Faith

Heb 3:18  And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

We have no right to go to the unsaved and bid them come to Christ and find rest until and unless we ourselves know that rest.

Our testimony and our ministry is jeopardized, weakened, limited and discredited if we are not ourselves in rest;

And this is the object of the enemy's activity in this discredit us by taking from us that very birthright of our union with Him Who is never perturbed, never anxious, never in doubt as to the issue, the One Who reigns.

You see, rest is the practical outworking of our belief that He is LORD, and the Very LORDSHIP of Christ is struck at by the unrest of the people of GOD....

Do not think that it is necessarily such-and-such things that account for our condition.

These may be contributing factors, they may be very testing, may bear upon us very heavily. 

Physical matters - yes, they do press, they do make the situation exceedingly difficult, they do make a difference.

Circumstances in which we have to live our lives, they do make a lot of difference, they make the situation exceedingly difficult.

We say, "If only the LORD would deal with this physical matter or these circumstances or this something else! It is all due to that, that is the cause of it, the reason for it."

That is our way of reasoning, but it is not the LORD'S thought at all.

The thing is deeper down than that, and it is simply a matter of Believing GOD; Resolute Faith, Confidence in GOD.

The LORD is trying to get us out of our variable and varying soul life where we are at the mercy of all our Feelings, Thoughts and Reasonings and all that kind of thing, into a realm where, in spirit, we are Steadfast.

That is the point upon which it is all fixed in the Psalm. "Their heart Was Not Steadfast with Him" (Psa. 78:37), and around that the whole of their forty years is gathered.

The Key to this is Spiritual; tested by every other line, every other means, it is a Spiritual matter ultimately.

To be Strengthened with Might by His Spirit in the Inward man (Eph. 3:16) is the Answer to it all.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Evidence Of His Love

Gen 8:9  But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

Gen 8:10  And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;

Gen 8:11  And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

God knows just when to withhold from us any visible sign of encouragement, and when to grant us such a sign.

How good it is that we may trust Him anyway! When all visible evidences that He is remembering us are withheld, that is best; 

He wants us to realize that His Word, His promise of remembrance, is more substantial and dependable than any evidence of our senses.

When He sends the visible evidence, that is well also; we appreciate it all the more after we have trusted Him without it.

Those who are readiest to trust God without other evidence than His Word always receive the greatest number of visible evidences of His love.

~C. G. Trumbull~

Believing Him; if storm-clouds gather darkly 'round, And even if the heaven seem brass, without a sound? He hears each prayer and even notes the sparrow's fall.

And praising Him; when sorrow, grief, and pain are near, And even when we lose the thing that seems most dear? Our loss is gain. Praise Him; in Him we have our All.

Our hand in His; e'en though the path seems long and drear We scarcely see a step ahead, and almost fear? He guides aright. He has it thus to keep us near.

And satisfied; when every path is blocked and bare, And worldly things are gone and dead which were so fair? Believe and rest and trust in Him, He comes to stay. 

Delays are not refusals; many a prayer is registered, and underneath it the words: "My time is not yet come.

God has a set time as well as a set purpose, and He who orders the bounds of our habitation orders also the time of our deliverance.