Hungry Heart Daily Devotional Anthology -mjs

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by netchaplain, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. When the motive for learning God’s Word is to allow the Spirit to apply it experientially in our lives, we will find that our fellowship “with Christ in God” (Col 3:3) is always precedential. This is developed in only one way; to “know Him” (Phil 3:10), and the prerequisite for this is first, to know His Word, then to understand it.

    As we maintain exposure to the written Word it provides more possibility for us to learn that “which the Holy Spirit teaches”, which will be commensurate with our motives for the use of this knowledge, in whether or not it is to “puff up” (1 Cor 8:1), which results “in words which man's wisdom teaches” (1 Cor 2:13).

    In our zeal to serve the Lord Jesus we can easily encounter situations which occasionally distract our learning of Him, only to find ourselves remembering the need to refocus on His person in our serving Him. This is best exemplified in His visit with the two sisters Martha and Mary. Luke wrote (10:39-42) that “Mary sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word” while “Martha was distracted with much serving” and when Martha complained to Him that her “sister has left me to serve alone”, He told her “one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part.”

    Our present fellowship with Christ is best understood and maximized when we realize God “has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). This means we have an unbroken continuity with Him (through His Spirit) where He is now and it is as we also are in the Father’s presence, “because as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

    As we continue to behold Him in this glory, we can rest in the assurance of living in His promise, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb 13:5); which was His promise to Joshua (Deu 13:6; Josh 1:5) and is extended to all who are His (Deu 4:31; 1Chro 28:20).
    - NC

    THE LIVING TRUTH

    "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

    We must be truth-centered if we are to be Christ-centered.

    "With an increase of knowledge and apprehension of the truth, there is a constant sense that we are not practically up to what we have received; and hence the measure of our strength is not the enjoyment of a truth, but the extent to which we maintain what we believe in spite of every obstacle. It is the way in which we surmount the difficulties in our path, and not the enjoyment of the truth, which defines our position." -J.B.S.

    "We will not learn truth aright excepting in the deepening knowledge of the Lord Jesus. It is the lack of this which is the cause of weakness among us: bare doctrine is not connected with Him. When the flower is separated from that which is its source, its sustenance and support, it is henceforth doomed to decay. We have that which is lovely and full of blessing in the Lord Jesus; but if we are to know it as such, to prove its truth, to enjoy it practically, it must be in taking these things as connected with Him." -W.K.

    "The Lord Jesus Himself, and not even truth about Him, must be filling our hearts if we are to grow. This is no unnecessary admonition in a day when knowledge of the most sacred truths may be intellectually attained by so small an effort. It is a happy and necessary thing to understand the Word of God, but, with that Word treasured, the aim of the believer's affections should be, 'That I may know Him.' Desires after the Lord Jesus, desires to live with Him in heaven now, and to manifest Him on earth, make the growing believer separate from the world, and separate him unto the glorified Lord." -H.F.W.

    "That I may know Him" (Phil 3:10).

    WithChrist.org
     
  2. SPIRIT SPIRITUALITY

    "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17).

    Concerning the Holy Spirit, hidden as He is, faith is required above all else.

    "Certainly the Holy Spirit directs in the countless details of daily life. Those who have faith, and are dependent upon His direction, will not be disappointed. But the Spirit leads according to Scriptural directions; hence that which is called the leading of the Spirit, and which has not the truth of the Word for its line of thought and action, is necessarily false." -H.F.W.

    "The principle of walking in dependence upon the Holy Spirit must never be abandoned, however we may fail to carry it out. We must steer by divinely given principles, even if winds and waves at times do throw us off course. To give up the Father's principles because of opposing elements is to court shipwreck." -H.F.W.

    "Being led by the Holy Spirit is the principle by which the Father deals in grace with believers. Outside the circle of the Spirit, men are led by the flesh; under the law His people were in bondage and under the schoolmaster. Now, in Christian privilege, the Spirit leads: 'if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law' (Galatians 5:18). -H.F.W.

    "The Lord Jesus in glory is the standard of perfection, and the Savior on earth is the pattern for our walk. No one's walk is perfect, but the Spirit of Christ who dwells in us is perfect, and as the believer yields to the Father as one alive from the dead, the desires of the flesh are not fulfilled, and the Spirit brings forth His fruit in him." -H.F.W.

    "Walk in (dependence upon) the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).

    WithChrist.org
     
  3. There is more profitability in store for the believer to go through a trial with Christ than to go around one without Him. It is a “glory” (2 Cor 12:9) for a believer to “endure hardness” (2 Tim 2:3) because “as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation” (2 Cor 1:7).

    We rested in God’s grace for our salvation and we must continue to rest in His grace for everything else, because He has made no other provision for our “sufficiency” (2 Cor 12:9). Basing our support on anything other than His grace is failure, thus delaying His teaching in our learning progression.

    We can “patiently wait” (1 Pet 2:20) the trial out by just letting it “pass over” (Ex 12:23). Even if it is a self-incurred adversity due to a mistake, from which many a lessons will derive, we can be assured that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom 8:28). Whether we go through kicking and screaming or patiently trusting, the outcome will be the same, “deliverance”! The obvious difference for the former is just a lesson yet to learn.

    A cruise ship was caught in a storm at sea, when a frightful women restlessly made her way to the helm to ask the captain what they were going to do. He took her to the port side and said “if you look near the center you’ll notice a plank flapping and if it dislodges we’ll go down. If you look at the smoke stack you’ll notice it is billowing full stream, so if the boiler blows we’ll go up. But unless either occurs, we’re going through!! (Fictional)
    - NC


    SUPPORT, NOT RELIEF

    "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
    Relief from pressure may seem merciful, but support in the pressure produces growth and maturity.

    "There is a greater blessing for us than relief; there is the Father's support, for it imparts to you an acquaintance with Himself which relief does not. Relief makes one more satisfied with things here. I have known some who could tell you of a long list of mercies, most touching, truly proof of the tenderness of God.

    "Thank God, we all know something of His tenderness. But then there is a greater blessing, namely, that He does not remove the pressure, but raises you above it, so that, though you are not relieved, you are better off than if you were merely relieved, because you know His heart who supports you in the pressure. You have made a deep acquaintance with your Father, and your heart is more attached to Him." -J.B.S.

    "It is not getting away from our circumstances, our environment, our associations, that we need, but the Lord Jesus' likeness where we are. The Father placed us there, permitted the trials for a purpose, and He stands ready to bring us out into a life of liberty, if we will stand with Him in trust and endurance while He works it out."

    "Have you asked to be made like your Lord; that it might be 'not I, but Christ'? Have you longed for the fruit of the Spirit, and have you prayed for patience and love? Then fear not the stormy tempest that is at this moment sweeping through your life. A blessing is in the storm, and there will be a rich fruitage in the 'afterward.'"

    "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27).

    WithChrist.com
     
  4. ACCUSATION

    "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

    There will be no standing against the enemy's accusations until we are firmly assured of, and settled on, the fact that our Father is at peace with us because of our living union with His Beloved Son. And this alone will give us peace with our Father.

    "We thought we were being more Christian by striving more, praying more, reading our Bible more, and confessing our sins more. But all that brought no relief. The awful gnawing in our vitals continues. The sense of guilt increases. We need not a Nathan to say, 'Thou art the man!' A thousand voices are forever ringing in our ears giving the lie to what we long with infinite yearning might be an altogether convincing testimony of a truly Christian walk.

    "Now the way out is to be found in a clear-cut recognition of the fact that, as Paul says in Romans 8:1, 'There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.' Let appearances, voices and feelings to the contrary be what they may, still this is a fact. The reason, of course, is found not in ourselves, but in Another." -F.J.H.

    "It is a wonderful thing to have the consciousness that we are in living union with the Lord Jesus in heavenly glory, knowing our position in that risen sphere, participating in all that constitutes His life in the blessed circle of love and rest where He lives unto the Father. If we apprehend this we shall not be deceived by what goes on upon the earth." -C.A.C.

    "Stand fast, then, in the freedom which Christ has given us" (Galatians 5:1, Wey.).

    WithChrist.org
     
  5. THE EXCELLENT GLORY

    "We all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord. . . " (2 Corinthians 3:18a).

    During the first half of your Christian life you are concerned about your doing; in the second half you will be burdened about your being.

    "The more simply devoted you are to the Lord Jesus, who is worthy of all devotion, the more fragrance there will be in all your ways; for it will be manifested that you are not seeking yourself, not wincing because your rights are invaded, or that you are not as much cared for as you are entitled to be. Rather, there is only one governing thought of your life about everything, and that is, how you may distinguish Him who fills every need in your heart, and lights it up with unfading joy."-J.B.S.

    "Nothing can be so divinely beautiful on earth as a believer so transformed by the Spirit of God, that he is in heavenly manners here on earth; so that he does not in any of his ways deny the Lord Jesus Christ; but in the most trying hour of his history upon earth the Lord can say of him, 'thou hast a little power, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My Name.'" -J.B.S.

    "In creation God planted a man in the garden in innocence; in redemption He has planted a Man in heaven, in glory. There is a glory that excelleth. The glory in redemption leaves the glory that was once in creation as nothing." -J.G.B.

    "For every believer who actually crosses over into the Promised Land there are far too many who stand for awhile and look longingly across the river, and then turn sadly back to the comparative safety of the sandy wastes of the self-life."

    ". . . are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord " (2 Corinthians 3:18b).

    WithChrist.org
     
  6. GROUNDWORK

    "Ye have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).

    When we rely upon and cater to the old man, that ground produces "the works of the flesh" (Galatians 5:19-21). But as we abide in the risen Lord Jesus, that new ground of our position, His life will be manifested in "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22,23).

    "God's Word declares that we are 'dead indeed unto sin,' but nowhere does it say that we are dead in ourselves. We shall look in vain within to find death there. We have died to sin; not in ourselves, but 'in Christ,' and our death with Him is as sure as His death, and since we died with Him it is impossible for His death to be certain and ours uncertain.

    "We were crucified with Him because we were in Him (Galatians 2:20). We are raised in Him (Ephesians 2:6); we are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10); we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Him (Ephesians 1:3); the entire work regarding us is not done in us but in the Lord Jesus–the Father has done all in His Son. If you stand on the ground of what the Lord Jesus is (abide), you will find in your growth that all that is true of Him is becoming true of you; but if you remain on the ground of what you are in yourself, you will find that all that is true of the old man is true of you in life and walk."

    "The purpose of Paul, in Romans Six, is to show how completely the believer is identified with the Lord Jesus when 'He died unto sin.' To enter fully into the meaning of that death is to see that He has emancipated us from any further dealings with our old master, sin. The believer is privileged thus to take his position in the risen Lord Jesus, who is now 'alive unto God.' From that ground he is henceforth to regard sin." -E.H.

    "Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free" (Galatians 5:1).

    WithChrist.org
     
  7. TRUE LOVE

    "If (since) ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above" (Colossians 3:1).
    Our Father may cripple our earthly standing in order to strengthen our spiritual state, but He will never detract from our spiritual state in order to enhance our worldly standing. Never. "The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14).

    "It is not only that the Lord Jesus is the object of my heart, but I find that the One I love has made me the object of His heart! A great day for the soul. People are ready to say how they love Him, but how far can they say that they are conscious of His love for them; that they so prize it, that it is the greatest secret of their heart?

    "When the Lord Jesus' love is before you, you find this love is drawing you from darkness to light. He begins by showing His desire for your spiritual advancement, and not by advancing you in earthly position. It is beautiful to see that the work of true love is to set aside darkness, or whatever would interfere with association; and therefore it is not esteemed as it ought to be, because we are looking for something on earth, and the tendency is to judge of His love by earthly gifts and favors down here." -J.B.S.

    "Most growing believers rightly maintain that all must come from the Lord; but instead of taking their actual position of being dwellers in heaven, and coming from there to earth, they only look up to heaven for help as to their walk on earth; and their thoughts and labors are always influenced and dictated by the state and order of things on earth, and instead of seeking the mind of the Lord as learned in heaven, they are occupied with the blessings of man on earth." -J.B.S.

    "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God " (Colossians 3:2,3).

    WithChrist.org
     
  8. Hey Dude!

    I see you are still working hard getting out the Word of God to the world!

    Good job and keep up the good work!!!!
     
  9. Hi Brother and thanks for your greeting. Since 2010 I've been retired and have the privilege of devoting most of my time to sharing the Word and growth teachings of those from the last few centuries which I believe are most accurate and applicable.

    God's blessings to Your Family!
    Bob
     
  10. Our heavenly Father desires us to “leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ” and “go on unto completion.”(Heb 6:1). This is our lives being “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29) by appropriating what God has made available to us which concerns “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3). It is only through the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit that this is being done in all who are His and so our spiritual growth is increased by that “which the Holy Ghost teaches”.

    He never works outside of the Scriptures because His way is “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor 2:13), instead of men “measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves” (2 Cor 10:12). Thus, the only growth source is the Word of God and the Spirit will teach us through it as we continue to study it while asking that the “Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Tim 2:7).
    -NC

    In the overall development of the Church, it would seem that we are at the dawn of the Father's spreading of the Growth truths before His own. We are not only to share the Gospel truths with the lost, but also the Growth truths with the saved.

    The Psalms was the only book of Scripture fully translated into Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman, and Old English, with the exception of Bede, who, with his dying breath, completed his translation of John.

    Our fathers had to wait eight and a half centuries, from Caedmon to Tyndale, before the Epistles of Paul were translated into the common tongue, and thus they could have the full truth revealed by Paul in his proclamation of the Cross.
    How readily we take for granted what the Father has given us, to give.

    "Wherefore, also, we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 1:11,12).
    -Miles J. Stanford; May 1985

    PERFECT PROVISION

    "For when for a time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food" (Hebrews 5:12).

    It is a great comfort, during our growing up in the Lord Jesus, to know that He is our perfect provision, and that He provides the perfect processing.

    "When the queen bee lays an egg, there is deposited in the cell with it the food on which the larva is to feed during its development. Similarly, when the Father placed us 'in Christ,' He also made provision in Him for our whole life. Christ is made unto us wisdom to enable us to walk aright in a perplexing world, righteousness to replace our sinfulness, sanctification to impart the growth we so greatly need, and redemption of the body to consummate the whole."

    "As with the seed that is buried once for all, but then disintegrates through a gradual process that sets free the new life, even so does the Father deal with our old man by delivering it to death with the Lord Jesus once for all, and then bringing about its mortification in detail through the circumstances of life, until the power of the flesh has lost its hold." -L.T.

    "Our Father is faithful and wise as well as a gracious and patient Teacher. He will not permit us to pass cursorily over our lessons. Sometimes, perhaps, we think we have mastered a lesson, and we attempt to move on to another; but our wise Teacher knows better, and He sees the need of deeper ploughing. He will not have us mere theorists or smatterers: He will keep us, if need be, year after year at our scales until we learn to sing."-C.H.M.

    "Solid food belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14).

    WithChrist.org
     
  11. The practical “Condition” of the believer includes the infirmities encountered in the physical body and also in the thoughts of the mind, along with the joys of Heaven now and later. The “Position” of the believer includes not only God’s present “mercy and grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16) but also our place before the Father. Being fully identified with Christ we presently have a position with Him and are now, “made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). Because of being “sealed” with or “given” (synonymous) the Holy Spirit, we are “guaranteed” (1 Cor 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:13, 14) an “inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven” (1 Pet 1:4).
    - NC


    PERMANENT POSITION

    "Alive unto God in Jesus Christ, our Lord" (Romans 6:11).

    Until the believer's faith is firmly established in the fact of his position in the risen Lord Jesus, he will not be able to rest in Him during the process of his position becoming his condition. One must be sure of the Source before he can trust for the growth.

    "The standing of the believer is settled, perfect, eternal. His state is imperfect and fluctuating. He is partaker of the new life which cannot sin; but he bears about within him the old man which can do nothing else but sin. Now his standing is in the new and not the old. He is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Romans 8:9). He is not under law, but under grace. This is his perfect and unalterable position; his sins are gone before God; his person is accepted by God–all complete in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    "His practical condition can never touch his position. It can very seriously affect his fellowship, his worship, his testimony, his usefulness, his spiritual enjoyment, the glory of the Lord Jesus as involved in his practical career. These are great consequences in the estimation of every sensitive conscience and well-regulated mind; but the position of the true believer remains intact and unalterable. The feeblest member of the family of God has this place of security, and is perfect in Christ. To deny this is to remove the true basis of self-judgment and practical growth." -C.H.M.

    "We are spiritually both in the wilderness and in Canaan; we are partakers on earth of the heavenly calling, and we are seated in Christ in the heavenly places. The enjoyment of the favors of the Father to us, in the heavenly places in Christ, enhances the sense of His favors to us in the wilderness." -H.F.W.

    "We are identified in union with Him who stands as really for us in the glory of the heavens as once for us He hung upon the Cross."

    "For to me to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).

    WithChrist.org
     
  12. It is understandably so, that early on in the believer’s walk there is a desire to serve Christ, but serving Him out of pure gratitude and working for His blessings are entirely at variance. The former puts Himself in center view; the latter puts what He provides in center view and can engender legalistic-covenantism, which is unbelief because it falsely assumes there is a requirement of a greater “supply” (Phil 4:19) than what God provides.

    It is bereft of limited trust in the work of Christ, not accepting that His atonement was “sufficient” (2 Cor 12:9) and thereby presuming to need man’s assistance. This is the Israelite-error which was manifested first in their deliverance from Egypt after a four-hundred and thirty year captivity (Ex 12:41), then in the wilderness and finally at the offering of Christ’s ”New Covenant” (Luk 22:20 - Israel’s salvation will come later).

    God provided everything Israel needed for deliverance from Egypt and in the wilderness, but their unbelief evidenced mistrust during their exodus (Ex 14:11, 12) and in their wilderness-wandering (Ex 16:3). The same problem continues not only with the generality of Israel but also among the Gentile Christian’s, presuming man must somehow repay God for salvation or at least offer self in service to retain it; of which neither can suffice, but only manifests the ominous Israelite-error extant in contemporary Christendom.
    - NC


    BOLD BELIEF

    "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the Blood of Jesus" (Hebrews 10:19).

    We enter our Father's presence when we believe He has already positioned us there in His Son.

    "The Lord Jesus' work on the Cross gave us present entrance into the Holiest of All. What removed our sins rent the veil; and those who believe are positioned in the innermost sanctuary even now. Boldness to enter there on any pretension of our love or holiness, of nature or even divine ordinance, would be shameless presumption. In Hebrews Ten it is calmly claimed for believers, who are exhorted in the strongest terms to approach by faith the Father's presence without a doubt or a cloud, now.

    "Boldness to enter the Father's presence is due to the shed Blood of the Savior. Only unbelief hinders. It is a new and living way which He dedicated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh; we honor Him by abiding there in the fullest confidence that pleases the Father. Being born of the Father we are abidingly His children. As such we have the right to take our place before Him. It is our privilege to think of ourselves according to what we are as being one spirit with the Lord Jesus; and this is ever maintained by Him.

    "What we are by grace, as in Him before the Father, is unchangeable, and our interests are in His hands. Beloved, do our failures, our sins, in anywise alter what He is there before the face of our Father? What He is there is what we are, not of course in ourselves, but as being in the Lord Jesus who is our Life." -C.A.C.

    "There are two basic things that the believer has to learn. One is, you are not to have the man here and the place where he is, the other is, you do have another Man, and the place where He is."

    "By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us" (Hebrews 10:20).

    WithChrist.org

     
  13. We are saved not only from something (sin) but also for something (fellowship). Scripture is occasionally repetitious concerning many truths for our learning and reassurance. It seems to me that our dealings with the “old man” (sinful nature) is predominant because this is the only avenue by which any opposition can approach us in our “new man”. How fervent our desire is for the Spirit’s teaching and leading will be evident in our desire for the Word with His guidance; along with how much we desire to live without the control of our “old man” (Rom 6:12, 14).
    - NC

    DETHRONEMENT

    "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty" (Galatians 5:13).

    Our "No" to the old will be absolutely ineffective unless we are standing upon the facts of the new.

    "At the Cross the old man was crucified and buried. When I plant my feet on that fact and say, 'No, as for me, I stand in the Lord Jesus as my life,' its governing power is broken. It is not annihilated or eradicated, but it has lost its throne. It is a greater testimony to the power of the Father to let that thing be in us and give us dominion over it, than to eradicate it to begin with. We want to get clear in our minds that the Father does not mean to improve the old man on the one hand, nor to remove it on the other. The fact that it does not go away or get better does not mean that we are not growing." -N.D.

    "Our having been crucified with the Lord Jesus was to make the body of sin of none effect while we live by faith, but the old man can become active and dominant in the walk of the believer when faith becomes dormant and inactive. It is not the Father's will that sin should have dominion over any child of His; all died with the Lord Jesus, all were united with Him in crucifixion, but few enter into the joy of the freedom of the sons of God, because they do not believe His Word.

    "Will you not now bow before your Father and thank Him regardless of feeling? It may take a day or a month, I do not know how long, but I do know that when any child of God will believe and begin to express that faith in thanksgiving, day by day thanking Him for the fact which one may not yet have experienced, the Holy Spirit will lead that one into a glorious personal realization of his identification with the Lord Jesus in His death, burial, resurrection and ascension." -L.L.L.

    "They who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17).

    WithChrist.org
     
  14. I wanted to share this special note for those who spend time in the Bible concerning Scriptural-verse-studying. I realize many, if not most have not made it a practice to utilize a Bible Commentary, but I want to encourage you to attempt to do so for reasons I believe you would soon realize.

    Apostle John wrote, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets (and teachers) have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). It should not need emphasized to realize this is no less applicable concerning our truth-searching in every way we may conceive; otherwise we may be unknowingly limiting useful avenues by which the Holy Spirit teaches Scripture.

    I realize there are some who might be hesitant to compare their beliefs with other sources due to concerns that it may negatively affect their present beliefs, but limiting the comparing of them to other Christian’s beliefs also limits the “testing” of yours.

    Until you may or may not find this to become a useful means, I would like to recommend John Gill’s Bible commentary (not an attempt to propagate him) because in my experiences with commentaries his seems, to me, to be the most inclusive and studious. As we already know, the Holy Spirit is the teacher to all Christians who seek Biblical truths and this includes many (not all) who are commentators who have spent the majority of their lives being used of the Spirit to share insight that one would not otherwise have opportunity to compare with.

    I would greatly appreciate those who would share their opinion (in this thread) concerning this issue, especially if you try this and find it helpful. God’s blessings to your Families and God be blessed!
    Bob (NC)


    MERCIFUL DEATH

    "Set your affection on things above. . . for ye died and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:2, 3).

    The spiritual recession that occurs after the early joys of the new birth is not necessarily backsliding at all. The discovery of the sinful old man is the first and foremost step in the discovery of the righteous Christ-life.

    "We are more disposed to be occupied in telling the Father what we are in ourselves, than to allow Him to tell us what we are in the Lord Jesus Christ. So often the believer is more taken up with his own self-consciousness than with the Father's scriptural revelation of Himself. His revelation is one thing; my self-consciousness is quite another "

    "It gladdens the heart to hear the new convert speak of the blessings he has received, and of his new-found joy in those blessings; but we can often see very distinctly that he is wrapping all these benefits of grace round himself, and we feel pretty sure that he will have to learn some lessons presently that will take the shine out of him. He will have to learn what a poor wretched thing he is, as in the flesh, that his heart may be transferred to a new center altogether.

    "Nothing can be more distasteful to a spiritual mind than to hear people professedly giving a Christian testimony which begins and ends with themselves. It is for the effectual displacement of all this, and to transfer the heart to an entirely new center, that the revelation of the old man is divinely necessary for our souls. The Father has to come in and detach us from that which is our natural center, that He may link our affections with another Person–even with the glorified Lord Jesus Christ–and make Him everything to our hearts, so that our association with Him may be known, and may become the deep, abiding joy of our souls." -C.A.C.

    "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor and glory, and blessing" (Rev. 5:12).
     
  15. Even though the ”Protestant Reformation” has brought much religious freedom to the generality of Christendom, it did not address the “identification” truths of our “new man” in Christ and our “old man” in Adam; which is constantly addressed by Paul. Our part concerning this dichotomy-of-natures involves a follow-up of how to each will be yielded; “whether of sin leading to death” (not born-again) or of obedience leading to righteousness” (born-again—Rom 6:16)? This involves the “putting off” of the old and the “putting on” of the new (Eph 4:22-24); and God will ensure the latter for those born-again, “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

    Though these natures are not entities such as beings, they no less contain a power or “law” (Rom 7) which determines what an entity (person or angel) is. The “enmity” (Rom 8:7) between the two does not present a situation as to which will win or lose, that has already been settled (Rom 6:6), which ultimately evidences the regenerate and Spirit-controlled life, “so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal 5:17). Therefore everyone born-again will eventually evidence the Spirit-controlled life at their individual progressions, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom 11:29 NKJV).
    - NC

    ME, MYSELF, AND I

    "Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24).

    While both are essential, it is far more difficult to get to know the old man than it is to know the Lord Jesus. Many who know something of Him, know little or nothing of themselves.

    "There is not a more difficult lesson in the Christian life than to come to a true knowledge of what the flesh is. Its terrible power, its secret and universal rule, and the blinding it exerts in keeping us from the knowledge of what it is, are the cause of all our sin and evil. Hence it comes that so few really believe in their absolute inability to obey God or to believe in His love. And there is nothing that can deliver us from it but that entire willingness to die to the old man, which comes when by faith we understand that we have died in Christ Jesus." -A.M.

    "It seems that God's Spirit has to take every growing believer through a drastic process of self-exposure. That fleshly principle lurking within has to be looked in the face. Its presumptuous claim to be a sufficient source of wisdom and ability has to be exposed in its big lie. Its save-yourself attitude has to be recognized and rejected. And such knowledge can only come through failure, humiliation and despair." -N.G.

    "If you come to feel, through ever-recurring misery and defeat, that unless Another shall lead you into the land of fruitful obedience your whole Christian career will be a spiritual and moral chaos, then perhaps you are ready to venture your all upon your union with the Lord Jesus in His death and resurrection."

    "There is no joy like that of realizing our nothingness, while at the same time reposing upon the Father's all-sufficiency."

    "I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord" (Romans 7:25).

    WithChrist.org
     
  16. For those concerned about the “NBTHH” devotionals, I’m letting you know that the WithChrist.org web site has received a request from the current copyright owner of Miles Stanford’s publications to discontinue presentation of his materials on the internet through their web site and I am now waiting for permission as to whether or not I can continue sharing the materials in my capacity (using materials purchased over the years from their book site).

    In the last thirteen years of my thirty-six year Christian walk I have been studying dispensation doctrines from theologians of the last few centuries and have found them to be as applicable to spiritual growth in Christ and as faithful, accurate and sincere to the truths of Scripture that can be expected. It has recently come to my attention that many earnest truth-seeking Christians have been unaware of the spiritual-growth teachings available within dispensation doctrine.

    One prime example of concern is that there is a significant number of Christians opposing the Scriptural truth related to receiving salvation pertaining to the essential doctrine of “Justification by Faith Alone, in Christ Alone.” To understand this is pertinent to spiritual growth, as Scripture teaches that the receiving of salvation is a monolithic work of God, apart from any interjections of man. Scripture also teaches that regeneration will eventually manifest itself by “good works” (Mat 5:16; Jam 2:18). Even though true works will follow the believer, we must be clear they have no effect as to the retention of salvation, considering this can only be maintained in the same manner it is received—by Grace (Jude 1:24).

    It is acceptable to have differing beliefs concerning non-essential-for-receiving-salvation doctrine, but there should not be variances concerning essential-for-receiving-salvation doctrine. The entirety of Scripture is clear in revealing that salvation comes by “Faith Alone, in Christ Alone.” This is due by “Grace” alone; therefore any alteration of this truism will only consign one to the un-restful taskmaster of “Legalistic Covetanism”, which is salvation by works (salvation evidenced by works is accurate - Jam 2:18) and is a one-eighty degree comparison to salvation by grace (Eph 2:8, 9).

    “By Grace—Through Faith” is Scripture's sole proponent when revealing the method of entering Salvation; thus, transposing this order of terms (i.e. by faith instead of "by grace") is failure to understand and faithfully represent Scripture, leaving one to the destitution of his own interpretation. Since receiving salvation is “not by works” (Eph 2:9) it mandates the categorizing of “faith” as a gift of God. Concerning works and justification, Strong’s dictionary defines justification (G1344) in two categories (below); each containing a variant definition which, of course, is in accordance with contextual usage. Justification in reference to man’s work designs the concept of an outward manifestation of an inward, simultaneous work of grace. The crux of the matter is not to attempt to desire any personal credit because, "in all things He has the preeminence" (Col 1:18).

    Justification:
    1. To render righteous (“justified by His blood” Rom 5:9). This is prior to any work of man (other than reception) and is simultaneous with salvation, because the believer cannot produce the righteousness of God, but rather Christ is, “made unto us . . . righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30).

    2. To show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous. (“by works a man is justified” Jam 2:24). This is God working through man, to be seen by man—after receiving salvation; “that they may see your good works” (Mat 5:16). The phrase “your good works” are actually still God’s works being evident to others by Him using us.
     

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