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crsschk
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 Random Article strikes again!

4.) You may always have been a murmuring, complaining Christian. You sulk and feel sorry for your "sad, sweet self." But you need not do so. "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you," He will so quicken your poor mortal, murmuring frame that you will experience the power of the Cross to cancel the complaining. There is a point to be observed, however; the victory will not be automatic. It will be only: "If ye through the Spirit [note that you must co-operate] do mortify [make to die] the deeds of the body" (Rom. 8:13).

You are sensitive, "thin-skinned"? Why not call it sinful pride? The next time somebody reproves you, just say, "You don't know half the truth. If you knew me you would say much worse." This may help you into harmony with the Cross. It will at least be the truth.

The flesh reasons that if your circumstances were only different you could have victory. But circumstances only reveal what is inside. Our insistence here is this: that "the eternal substance of a thing never lies in the thing itself, but in the quality of our reaction toward it. If in hard times we are kept from resentment, held in silence and filled with inward sweetness, that is what matters. The event that distressed us will pass from memory as a wind that passes and is gone. But what we were while the wind was blowing upon us has eternal consequences" (Amy Carmichael).

You may be a zealous Christian. But have you gotten over a fleshly itch for a thrilling baptism of power? Do you demand signs and wonders before you will believe? The flesh seeks to glory in God's very presence. Those who make such imperious demands upon God keep alive the very fleshly, selfish principle which must go to the Cross. In Old Testament ceremony, the blood, representing death, always preceded the anointing with oil, representing the Spirit. Do we forget that the Spirit comes from the Crucified in Heaven? Five bleeding wounds He bears. They still proclaim that the flesh with its passions and lusts was crucified. Nadab and Abihu once offered strange fire before God--and died.


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 2004/9/5 11:03Profile
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 Random Article strikes again!

5.) Are you given to gossip? The principle of curiosity is like the troubled sea that cannot rest. Does your tongue cast up a world of mire and dirt? We know a true minister who sought to control his tongue by taking a red hot poker and searing it. But the trouble was deeper. It was a heart matter. However, his attitude was right. He was willing to burn his tongue if that would help. He later learned how "through the Spirit" to mortify the deeds of the tongue.
Word just comes of a native preacher, until recently a flaming evangelist. His wife was self-assertive. In a certain issue she was manifestly wrong. But the preacher took sides with his wife. He has compromised with the flesh. Now, peace in the home is a wonderful thing, but not at such a price. The Spirit has ceased to use this preacher. Moreover, God gives drastic directions concerning such things when He says, "If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods . . . Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him. But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God" (Deut. 13:6-10). This generation has been "graced" to spiritual softness and death. We do not "fear" as our forefathers did. We need the stiffening of Moses.

Has the reader noticed that when we ourselves are wrong we become very tender toward others who are wrong?--the reason being that we want tender handling. "But syrupy affection never yet led to spiritual integrity. And though it looks so like the charity which is greater than faith and hope, that it is 'admired of many,' it is not admirable. It is sin" (Amy Carmichael). Was the native preacher taken off his feet so easily because he was already unwatchful against the flesh? Did his wife only furnish the self-consideration for which he was already looking? The flesh gave "place to the devil." Satan is not divided against himself. Flesh always cliques up with flesh.


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 Re: Random Article strikes again!

6.) Why is there so little church discipline today? May one reason be that there would be so much tearful tenderness toward wrong-doers? Even the deacon says, "Don't mention my name in connection with this trouble." But he who stands not at the Cross cannot be standing in righteousness. At the Cross God put away sin. "Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person" (I Cor. 5:13).

One of the most manifest forms of flesh is family flesh. Passing by the flesh that bites and devours one another, let us notice its subtler form. It is here that 44 syrupy affection" betrays the best of parents. Their fleshly attachment refuses to lead their children by the way of the Cross. Is it because the parents have not gone that way themselves?

A personal friend of the writer passed away a few years ago. This lady had been brought up to believe that what she liked her system needed and must have--whether of food or raiment. She was not extravagant. Her life just centered in her likes and tastes and preferences. To these she daily bowed. She liked color, bright red especially. She liked fats, was very fond of sweets. She clung to these things "as a cat clings to its home." They were her life. But the Saviour said, "He that loveth his life shall lose it." That is more than theology. It is a great f act, a principle of life; it is inexorable law. And it obtains even in this world. The very things we lust after, hold to, and seek to save for ourselves, we lose--lose those very things, find them distasteful to us, and that sooner than we think. Some months before passing away, color became unbearable to this lady. The flesh had to have bright red covered up. Her whole being revolted at fats. As to sweets--well, the least sugar became sickening. These had been her life--now she loathed them. She had loved her life, had never lost it, refused to lose it-now she loathed it.


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 Random Article strikes again!

7.) The Saviour said: "Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life (preserve it alive is the thought) shall lose it." Had Lot's wife not left Sodom? Indeed she had. But her flesh still fed on Sodom's sweets, and so she had not left it, had not lost it. To, God, Sodom was only fit to be turned to a cinder; to Lot's wife it was still worth saving. She still sought to save her "life" from the falling fire--not her bodily life (for she was already outside the city),--but the things of her desire, the things of her world still back there in Sodom. She loved that life, longed for it, looked back and lost it-her life in Sodom, her bodily life, her all. There she stood, a pillar of salt, an eternal warning to those who live after the flesh.

My friend, the Lord is coming. What is your life? Is it lived in the Spirit? Oh the power of the Cross to, sever every relationship that would bind us to the flesh! We are debtors only to the Holy Spirit. Give the Cross full place in your life; abandon yourself recklessly to the Crucified, for over His crucified life the flesh has not one speck of power. Let the Cross seize upon you and sever you from that dominating thralldom to the flesh. "Every strong conviction ends by taking possession of us; it overcomes and absorbs us, and tears us ruthlessly from everything else." Has the Cross so seized upon your life? If it has, you can live for self nevermore. Rather, you will cry out with a determined saint of yore, "Oh my God, hear the cries of one on whom Thou hast had mercy, and prepare my heart to receive whatever Christ has purchased for me. Allow me not to rest short of it. Put a thorn in every enjoyment, a worm in every gourd, that would' either prevent my being wholly thing, or in any measure retard my progress in the divine life" (T. C. Upham).

We cannot better close this chapter than by quoting from that bed-ridden saint and soldier of India, Miss Amy Carmichael. She knew the pathway of suffering. She bore in her body the marks of the Lord Jesus.


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 Random Article strikes again!

8.) We who follow the Crucified are not here to make a pleasant thing of life; we are called to suffering for the sake of a suffering, sinful world. The Lord forgive us our shameful evasions and hesitations. His brow was crowned with thorns; do we seek rosebuds for our crowning? His hands were pierced with nails; are our hands ringed with jewels? His feet were bare and bound; do our feet walk delicately? What do we know of travail? of tears that scald before they fall? of heartbreak? of being scorned? God forgive us our love of case. God forgive us that so often we turn our faces from a life that is even remotely like His. Forgive us that we all but worship comfort, the delight of the presence of loved ones, possessions, treasure on earth. Far, far from our prayers too often is any thought of prayer for a love which will lead us to give one whom we love to follow our Lord to Gethsemane, to Calvary-perhaps because we have never been there ourselves.

Writing in this cold-war world, how can one tolerate the softness of the flesh, the love of ease, the self-pity and self-saving which has all but killed Christian testimony! Oh, the pain, the shame, the heartbreak of it all!


[i]Lord, when I am weary with toiling,
And burdensome seem Thy commands,
If my load should lead to complaining,
Lord, show me Thy Hands,--
Thy nail-pierced Hands, Thy cross-torn Hands,
My Saviour, show me Thy Hands.

Christ, if ever my footsteps should falter,
And I be prepared for retreat,
If desert or thorn cause lamenting,
Lord, show me Thy Feet-
Thy bleeding Feet, Thy nail-scarred Feet,-
My Jesus, show me Thy Feet.

O God, dare I show Thee
MY hands and MY feet.

-Brenton Thoburn Badley.[/i]

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=category&cid=26]L.E. Maxwell[/url]


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 Re: Random Article strikes again!

[b][u]Setting Our Minds On Things[/u][/b]

The notion that Christians should always be optimistic and congenial is heresy pure and simple. An ill-founded optimism may, under certain conditions, be extremely harmful. A Christian is not obliged to be either pessimistic or optimistic or glad or sad or positive or negative after a preconceived rule of philosophy. He should (and will if he is Spirit-taught) reflect the will of God in any given situation. His one concern is with God's will. His one question in any set of circumstances is, what does God think of this? To him nothing else matters. What the current popular attitude may be is of no importance to him. He will approve or disapprove altogether as the written Word and the indwelling Spirit indicate. Religious vogues, passing moods or popular notions will affect him not at all. His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

This rather rigid attitude will, in a world like ours, quite naturally work against the one who holds it and earn him a reputation as a pessimist. People like the man who agrees with them, even if a day later they change their minds and require him to change his, too. This inconsistency they laugh off as an amiable weakness, and why be so pious about it anyway?

Well, the sons and daughters of eternity care very little about this maypole dance of popular favor. Like the water bird on the shore of the lake at the approach of winter, they feel within them a strong instinct to migrate. They expect before long to take off on a journey and they're not coming back soon. So whether they leave behind them a reputation for pessimism or optimism is of little consequence to them. They are, however, eager to be remembered as children of God and followers of the Lamb. That's all that matters to them.

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=category&cid=2]A.W. Tozer[/url]


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 RASA

[u]He Ever Liveth To Intercede[/u]

John A. Broadus

[i]Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25[/i]

{1}

Years ago, in the city of Philadelphia, I went to hear an eminent musician. He played with genius and skill some magnificent music, but the pieces were nearly all new to me, and, as often happens in such cases, it required so much effort to comprehend the idea of the piece, that I could but partially enjoy its beauty. At length, upon being loudly applauded, the musician returned, and seating himself at the instrument, struck out in full tones the opening notes of "Home, Sweet Home." I shall never forget while I live the thrill that passed through the audience. I seemed to feel that it was approaching me, seemed to feel when it reached and embraced me. That was a theme all could comprehend, and rich for us all in a thousand delightful suggestions and associations; and, strangers as we were, the hearts of the vast assembly seemed melted into one as we listened to those swelling tones.

My brethren, I wish it might always be so with us when one begins to speak to us of Jesus. There is many a subject of public discourse that well deserves our attention. Especially the topics drawn from the Bible and usually presented from the pulpit are all important and should all be interesting. Whatever pertains to God and his province, to his gracious dealings with man in the past, and his purposes of mercy for the future, whatever to the condition and wants of our race as sinful and immortal, should awaken our minds and impress our hearts. Difficult and mysterious as some of these topics are, they are useful; and if we resist the temptation to wander into speculation or descend into secularity, they will give us pleasure and do us good. But Jesus-it is a theme which all alike can understand, in which all alike are profoundly concerned, a theme associated with all the sweetest recollections of our spiritual life, with all the brightest hopes of our immortal future. Ah! we are perishing and helpless sinners, and it ought to thrill through our very hearts, to link us in living sympathy, and kindle our souls into a glow of love and joy to hear of Jesus, our divine, our loving, our precious Saviour. It ought to be not mere poetry, but the true expression of genuine feeling, when we sing,

Jesus, I love thy charming name;
'Tis music to mine ear;
Fain would I sound it out so loud
That earth and heaven might hear.


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 RASA

{2}

And my text today treats of Jesus.

The Jewish Christians to whom this Epistle was addressed were strongly urged, both in the way of persecution and persuasion, to apostatize from Christianity, and return to Judaism. Among the arguments employed for this purpose, it was urged that Christianity had no priesthood, no sacrifice or temple, and so was really no religion at all. The inspired writer of this Epistle meets these arguments, and, in fact, turns them into proofs of the superiority of Christianity. Thus, in regard to the priesthood, he shows that Christianity has a priest, a great High Priest, immensely superior to the Levitical priesthood. His office is held forever. He has offered, once for all, the wonderful sacrifice of himself, which is forever sufficient. He has passed through the heavens into the true sanctuary, bearing his own precious, atoning blood. Then Christianity is superior in this, as in other respects, to Judaism, that is, to the Mosaic dispensation if regarded as complete in itself, and designed to be permanent; and so the sacred writer urges his brethren not to apostatize, interspersing everywhere throughout his arguments the most earnest exhortations to hold fast their profession, the most solemn warnings of the guilt and ruin of apostasy. For us as well as for them, grievous is the guilt and hopeless the ruin of abandoning the gospel of Christ, our sole hope of salvation.

One of the points he makes to prove this superiority of Christ and Christianity, is that from which the text is an inference. The Levitical priesthood was held by many persons in succession, "because that by death they were hindered from continuing"; but Jesus, "because he abideth forever, hath his priesthood unchangeable. Wherefore he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." The phrase translated "to the uttermost" signifies "perfectly," "completely"; he can save completely, can complete the salvation of them that come unto God through him. And the thought of the text is that he is able to complete their salvation, because he ever lives to intercede for them.


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 Re: RASA

{3}

Perhaps we are accustomed to look too exclusively to the Saviour's atoning death, not dwelling as we should upon the idea of his interceding life. See how the apostle speaks in Romans: "For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." And again: "Christ Jesus that died, yea rather that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." He who loved us and gave himself for us ever liveth to accomplish the objects for which he died; as the mediatorial priest, he is ever interceding for the salvation of them that come unto God through him; as the mediatorial king, having all authority given unto him in heaven and earth, he controls all things so as to carry forward to completion the work of their salvation.

My brethren, it is just such a Saviour that we need. From the first moment when we approach God through him, onward through life, and in a certain just sense onward without end, we continually need God's mercy and grace for the Saviour's sake. If we dwell on this, we shall be better prepared to rejoice that our great High Priest ever lives to intercede for us, and thus can complete our salvation.


1. We are tempted. And what hope have we of conquering temptation, save "through him that loved us"? Remember what our Lord said to his disciples, with regard to the sore temptations that would soon befall them: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat; but I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not." As Satan is described as seeking permission from that Sovereign Ruler, without whose permission all his might and his malice are powerless, to tempt Job with peculiar trials, in the hope that he could bring him to renounce the Lord, so here as to the disciples: "Satan asked to have you"-and the term, as well as the connection, shows that he was permitted to have them, "that he might sift you as wheat."

Jesus himself is represented by John the Baptist as engaged in a similar process: "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing-floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." But how different is the object in the two cases! Satan sifts with the hope of showing that all is really worthless, fit only for destruction. Jesus sifts in order to separate the precious from the vile, and preserve the pure wheat for the garner of heaven. And often what Satan meant as a sifting for evil is overruled by the stronger power so as to be for good.


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 Re:


{4}

How was it with Peter? The Saviour said: "But I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not"; and though his faith mournfully gave way, it did not utterly give out. I am not excusing Peter at all. We may be sure he never forgave himself. It was a sad and shameful fall; but Jesus had made supplication for him; and how different the result in his case from that of Judas. He, too, was one of those whom Satan obtained to sift them, and the result proved him to be all that Satan could wish. When he saw the consequences of his horrid crime, and had time to reflect upon it, he was sorry; but it was not the tender grief of a truly penitent heart which would have brought him back with humble submission-it was the sorrow of the world that worketh death-it was remorse that drove him headlong into self-destruction. But Peter, when the cock crowed after his third denial of his Lord and that injured one turned and looked upon him, Peter went out and wept bitterly, with the sorrow "that worketh repentance unto salvation," the sorrow of a deeply humble and really loving heart. There was a great change from that time in Peter, for the Lord had prayed for him, and divine grace not only preserved him from utter spiritual ruin, but overruled his own dreadful wickedness to his spiritual good.

Observe with what special emphasis the Saviour's intercession for the tempted is spoken of in this Epistle. The persons therein addressed were, as we have seen, peculiarly and sorely tempted-tempted even to forsake Christianity, through which alone they could find salvation; apart from which "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversary." The Jewish high priest, being taken from among men, "could bear gently with the ignorant and erring, for that he himself also was compassed with infirmity." So our great High Priest took upon him human nature partly for this very reason, that he might sympathize with the tempted, and that we might feel sure he does sympathize. "Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, as he is able to succor them that are tempted."

It is because of his atoning sacrifice and sympathizing intercession that we are urged to hold fast our profession as Christians, and encouraged to come to God with entire confidence. This is done in words that have been very dear to tempted hearts in every age since the holy man of God spake them as he was moved by the Holy Ghost. "Having, then, a great High Priest who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need."


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