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I Corinthians 13:13. But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (RV)
II Peter 1:3. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue...
When we put in air conditioning into this church, we had to have a specially powerful connection made—power line. And here, the Holy Ghost shows us what lines the Holy Ghost has laid to supply us with “all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” He says our perfection doesn’t consist in having these gifts. You may have the gift of faith, you may speak in tongues, you may prophesy, and all these things that we boast of. But unless this power line has been laid that is permanent, that supplies you with life: “the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe” is only received by this power line. And here it is expressed: “Now abideth faith, hope, love.”
I’m glad we say “love” and not “charity.” One of our little boys said, “the greatest of these is cherry tree,” and he smiled. But it’s “faith, hope, and love.” And whether you ever prophesy or speak in tongues, or whether you ever carry any of these gifts, these are the power lines that God supplies you with—“to us-ward who believe.”
“After I heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and love unto all the saints,” now you’re ready for the gifts, now the power flows, and now God can give you what He wants to, to make you an effective minister. But until that power flows in its full voltage, you’re no good; there will never be the outflow of the life of God. And I’m so glad that God wants me to believe all the time, to live by faith—to “live by the faith of the Son of God,” because He’s always within me, and without Him I can do nothing. And that ought to call my attention to Jesus. “Delight thyself also in the Lord”—not in my self, not in my gifts, not in my ministry, not in my success, nor my fruitfulness, but in this Lord who is Lord, who is Himself, who is “All and in all.” And only as I believe all the time is He honored all the time.
As I keep my eyes steadfastly upon Him, and refuse to look at anything—refuse to look at the works of the devil, or my own works, my whole body will be full of light. That’s what faith does. And faith is only faith when it connects me with Jesus, and connects Him with me…
Moment by moment, I get out of the way, that Christ may come forth. And now whatever He does is His business… “The exceeding greatness of His power” doesn’t mean that it makes me powerful. Quite the opposite: “I glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” I’m happy when I know that I’m nothing that He might be “All and in all.”
Faith is always that stream of life that flows from the throne of God and brings life wherever it’s allowed to flow. And it must be allowed to flow in my life.
Faith is not triumphant until you’ve met the enemy. Glory to God! And then you realize that you’re lost and you’re licked. And then you realize that God fights your battles for you: “This battle is the Lord’s.” Oh this faith! This wonderful faith is faith in the Son of God, is faith in the finished work of Christ, is faith in the King, faith in His fullness: “Out of His fulness have all we received grace upon grace.”
“And he that believeth in Me, as the scripture hath said…” What did the scripture say? Well, read the Old Testament, and all the promises are yours in Jesus Christ.
“Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find—” Scrapping with one another? Hitting each other over the head? Bragging about themselves? No: “watching.” Watching. “The crown of righteousness” is awaiting those who love “His appearing.” I need that hope. Beloved, I need something very real, something that will lift me above the fogs and the clouds of sin and flesh and worldliness and apostasy and backsliding. And this hope is as real as Christ Himself. He keeps it alive in my soul. He is the Bridegroom. I’m in love with Him, and He’s in love with me.
If we’re very wise… we’re going to “mediate therein day and night…” A group of Pentecostal people recently said, “Oh, we don’t need the Bible anymore. We have prophecy now.” Look at Joshua. He had gifts of faith by which he was able to make the sun stand still. You try that! What faith he had! ...As a foundation for his gifts, he was commanded to “not let this word depart out of his mouth, but to meditate therein day and night.” You cannot carry gifts, you cannot carry powers, you cannot walk with God unless you have this roadmap before you day and night.
Following faith and hope likened to aircraft navigation by following a radio beam. (from 11:18)
An illustration of spiritual carelessness. “The people that lived in the house wouldn’t bother to go to meeting… We were talking about the dangers of television in the home. They threw them out. Our people buy them!” (from 17:20)
A story of God’s dealings with Martha Wing Robinson about loving an antagonist. (from 22:52)
German at 4:18:
Ich habe dich. Was will ich mehr? From the old German hymn, Ich Habe Dich: “I have You. What more could I want?”
Psalm 73:25. Wenn ich nur dich habe, [so frage ich nichts nach Himmel und Erde.]
In the King James Version, Psalm 73:25 says, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” Martin Luther’s German says, literally, “If I only have You, I ask nothing of heaven and earth.” The meaning here is, “When I possess Jesus, I do not care about heaven nor about earth. All things in heaven and earth will be best for me, just the way He ordained them.”