Fit First: "And the servant of the Lord must not strive" (2 Timothy 2:24). Our one responsibility, that of concentrating upon the Lord Jesus, has a three-fold result: (1) fellowship with Him; (2) growth in His image; (3) ministry of life to others. "The love of the Lord culminates in this, that we should be with Him. He died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:10). I find the one who is set on usefulness (Martha) does not advance like the one set on personal affection to Him (Mary). The Lord give us to be more personally attached to Himself; then we shall be useful according to His good pleasure." "There is one thing that all can do--be 'meet for the Master's use' (2 Timothy 2:21); and this is the secret of usefulness. Usefulness is not activity; it is not merely being used, but it is fitness, cleanness, preparedness, and separation of heart, singleness of eye, the affections set on things above--all, in fact, that proceeds from the judgment and denial of self, and the manifestation of Christ in the life by faith." "All my ability to act for the Lord Jesus here depends on my conscious identification with Him where He is, not where He was for me; though as I receive power from Him I walk here even as He walked; His life is manifested in me. -J.B.S. "But be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient" (2 Timothy 2:24). KNOW TO GROW: "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3). The heartbreaking knowledge of self brings a life-giving compensation, which is knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The needs generated by the realization of the sin of self produce the necessary motivation and hunger which cause us to focus upon the Lord Jesus and become conformed to His image. "And we all, while with face unveiled we behold in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are ourselves transformed continually into the same likeness" (2 Corinthians 3:18, Cony.). "Many a new believer has obtained relief in his conscience from his sins, because of faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ; that is, he does not see further than Romans 3. He has faith in the work of Christ, but has not yet come in faith to Christ. He is like the woman who touched the hem of His garment, assured of His work but not yet acquainted with Himself." -J.B.S. "It is one thing to believe on the Lord Jesus, to be born again, to be saved. That is a glorious thing as a beginning, but it alone will not take you right through all you have to meet; and if you are really in the Lord's hands He will see to it that by virtue of need you are drawn into knowing more and more of His Son. It is the normal course of a true, Holy Spirit-governed Christian life that, in order to get through, an increase of Christ, a growing discovery of Christ, is necessary." -T. A-S. "That I may know Him" (Philippians 3:10). THE CROSS AND THE SPIRIT: "But God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14). The Lord Jesus carried out the work of the Cross as to our eternal position. The Holy Spirit carries out the work of the Cross as to our present condition. "He will take the things that are Mine and will transmit them to you" (John 16:15, Amp.). "We cannot separate the Cross from the Holy Spirit. We can have no Easter and no Pentecost, until we have first had a Good Friday. Through the Cross alone we are prepared for life in the fulness of God; only he who is crucified with Christ can be a vessel unto honor. Our 'old man' must be crucified with Christ, and in His resurrection we find the roots of our new life. Whosoever loses his life, shall find it. We must learn the lesson of the Cross, as condemned and rejected ones, who have been crucified with Christ. "Then the door will be open for a life of power and blessing. All that belongs to death must be turned over to the death of the Cross, even as the body is laid away in the earth, because it belongs to the earth. The Holy Spirit, the Eternal Spirit, is unchangeable. He brought Christ our Head to the Cross, and us His children with Him. For this work in us is twofold. On the one hand, it leads us to death; and on the other hand, to that life which God has placed within us and which leads from glory to glory." -A.M. "And all of us, with faces uncovered, because we continue to reflect like mirrors the splendor of the Lord, are being transformed into likeness to Him, from one degree of splendor to another, since it comes from the Lord who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18, Wms.).