Apart from our union with Christ every effort to imitate Christ, no matter how noble and inspired at the outset, inevitably leads to legalism and spiritual defeat.
“As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinner, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.’”
The eternal God is your dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27)
You may be going through things right now that are painfully preparing you for some precious service to Jesus and to his people. When a person strikes rock bottom with a sense of nothingness or helplessness, he may find that he has struck the Rock of Ages.
I remember a delicious sentence from Psalm 138 that we read at our breakfast devotions last Saturday: “Though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly.”
You cannot sink so low in despairing of your own resources that God does not see and care. In fact, he is at the bottom waiting to catch you. As Moses says, “The eternal God is your dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Yes, he sees you trembling and slipping. He could (and often did) grab you before you hit bottom. But this time he has some new lessons to teach.
The psalmist said in Psalm 119:71, “It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” He does not say it was easy or fun or pleasant. In retrospect, he simply says, “It was good for me.”
Last week I was reading a book by a Scottish minister named James Stewart. He said, “In love’s service, only the wounded soldiers can serve.” That’s why I believe some of you are being prepared right now for some precious service of love. Because you are being wounded.
Do not think that your wound has come to you apart from God’s gracious design. Remember his word: “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me… . . I wound and I heal” (Deuteronomy 32:39).
May God grant a special grace to you who are groaning under some burden. Look eagerly for the new tenderness of love God is imparting to you even now.
Faith starts with mental assent, but if this mental assent does not lead to obedience, it is not yet ‘faith.’
For those in Christ, this is the confidence we have before God. we don’t hope we are forgiven, we know it, because our standing before God has nothing to do with our worthiness, but the worthiness of the Advocate [see 1 John 2:1-2] who now stands in our place.
Quote with 3 notes
It is only through assurance of love that we find the strength to endure all manner of opposition, doubt, and trial.
Passion 2013 #7 (Lecrae + Chris Tomlin + John Piper)
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