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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The Indwelling of God - by Andrew Murray

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BranchinVINE
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 The Indwelling of God - by Andrew Murray


What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.-2 COR.vi.16.

We have here an answer to the question, How is God going to be my God? Am I to regard Him as a great and Almighty and distant God, outside of me and separate from me in the heaven above, from whom I am from time to time to have a little help? That is what many Christians think, and it is owing to this thought of God that they experience so little of His real presence and power. No, this thought of God is only the beginning of true faith in Him. As we learn to know Scripture better, and the deep need of our heart, and the wonderful love of God that longs to enter completely into us, we learn that there is something better. The question, How is God going to be my God? finds its answer in the words I have just read. “God hath said, I will dwell in them, and I will be their God.” That is God’s answer to your question.

And what a wonderful answer it is. You know what a difference there is between the things that surround us and force themselves on our notice and occupy us, but which we never give place in our heart, and others that enter into us and take possession of our very life. A mother has a place for the child in her heart - it lives there. The gold of a miser has his heart, with all its love and hope. How little we think that our heart was actually created that God might dwell there, that He might show forth His life and love there, and that there our love and joy might be in Him alone. How little we know that just as naturally we have the love of parents or children filling our heart and making us happy, we can have the living God, for whom the heart was made, dwelling there and filling it with His own goodness and blessedness. This is my message this evening: God wants your heart; if you give it Him, He will dwell in it.

You heard what was said this afternoon about God, and what He was to the Psalmist, in Ps.xlii. and xliii., as he calls Him, “the end of my life, the God of my strength, end of my exceeding joy, and my end.” But how is God to be the strength of my life and my God? In no other way but by coming into my life with His divine life, and so filling it with His Almighty strength- then He is the strength of my life. With His holy life and love. He comes into my heart, the very seat and centre of my life, and acts within me as my God, working out my life for me. He makes divinely and blessedly true what is written here: “God hath said, I will dwell in them, and so I will be their God.”

Do you think it would make a wonderful difference in our life if we really believe this, and in believing received the blessing it speaks of? What a holy awe there would be in us. And what tender fear lest we should hurt or grieve this holy, loving God. What a longing would be awakened- I want to know how to walk with this God and have full communion with Him. And what a bright confidence: now my God has come to dwell in me, I need fear no more that I shall not have His presence, or that He will not do for me and in all that I need.

I want to speak to you very simply about this wonderful indwelling, and to give a few thoughts that may help you to see how it is the very essence of true Christianity the very thing man as a sinner needed to have restored to him, and the very thing Christ Jesus came to give.

And let me say in the first place, that it was for nothing less, and nothing else, than this indwelling that man was created by God. Have you ever wondered why God created man at all? The reason was this. God brought creatures into existence that He might show forth and impart His own divine goodness and glory to them in a creaturely fashion, so that they, as far as they were capable of it, might share with Him His divine perfections and blessings. And He specially created man in His own image and likeness, that in him He might show how the Life of God could dwell in the human creature, and gradually fit him and lift him up for dwelling with God and in God through eternity. God’s love said: in his measure, I want man to be as holy and as good and as blessed as I am. I cannot give him the holiness or blessedness apart from Myself, but I can and will dwell in him, in the inmost depths of his life, and be to him his goodness and his strength. Yes, this was the glory of the divine creating love -–God wanted to give man all He had Himself – God gave Himself to be his life and joy.

In no other possible way could God do this but by dwelling in him. Just as an oil lamp has its light inside, and through the globe gives light all around, so the God of love created man that He might be within him the light of his life. This was to be man’s dignity and his blessedness, that in and through him all the glories of the blessed God should ever be shining out before the universe. Our whole nature, will and affections, and powers, were all to be the vessel to receive and hold and overflow with the blessed fulness of the life of God in us. And it was to be man’s high perogative and privilege just to offer and yield himself to God in the consciousness of this holy partnership. What God was in Himself in heaven, living out His own life there, that He was to be on earth in and through man, living out His own life and truly in heaven. Oh! the glory and the bliss of being a man! Glory to God for our creation.

But now, look next in the light of this blessed truth, I will dwell in them, at what sin has done. God had made man to be His home, His temple, where His presence, His will would be all in all. It is of this indwelling that sin has robbed both God and us. The temptation with which Satan came to man in Paradise really meant this – would he with his whole heart yield to God as Father and doing His will alone? Or would he not do his own will, and let self rule as master in his own house? Alas! that fatal choice. God was dethroned and cast out of His temple, and self sat upon the throne. Just as really as in later days the image of an idol was set up in the very home that God had caused to be built for us Himself, so self was enthroned in the seat of God. The description of the man of sin, when he is fully revealed come to full maturity, “who opposeth and exalteth himself about all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God and showeth himself that he is God,” is the true self at every stage and in every state: self sits in the temple of God as God. All the sin of heathendom - and how awful it is – and all the sin of Christendom – no less terrible! - is but the outgrowth of that one root – God dethroned, self enthroned, in the heart of man. All the sin and sorrow of the life of each one of us has been nothing but this: you were not what you were created to be – you had not God dwelling in your heart to fill it with His life and peace and love. I can with confidence ask any man here, Would you be content to have all filthy reptiles and animals occupy your houses along with yourselves? Would you allow other people to be masters of your home you dwell in? You never would. And yet, alas! you allow so much else to occupy the heart and have the place God alone is meant to have. And so many are quite unconscious of it. We come to-night with the message: let there be an end of all this desecration of God’s temple. God asks your whole heart for Himself – oh! let it be given to Him.

A third thought is, in the light of this indwelling of God, look at Christ’s work of redemption. What was the object of Christ’s coming from Heaven? It was to show us the possibility and blessedness of being a man with God living His life in Him. We teach children by means of pictures and models. When God’s Son became man, He lived a perfect human life – “made like us in all things” – and told us it was by the power of the Father dwelling in Him. “I do nothing of Myself – the Father in Me doeth the work.” Here is no question of abstract thought or deep theology – here is a true man, sleeping, hungering, wearied, tempted, weeping, suffering like ourselves, telling us that the Father dwells in Him, and that this is the secret of His perfect blessed life. He felt it all just as we feel it, but He could do and bear all because the Father was in Him. He showed us how a man can live, and how He would enable us to live.

When He had done this in His life, He died that He might deliver us from the power of sin, and open up the way for us to return to God. On the cross He proved that a man in whom God dwells will be ready to suffer anything and to give his life even to the death, that he may enter into the fulness of the life of God. When sin entered, man lost the life of God dwelling in him, and became dead to it. There was no way for man to be freed from the life of sin but by dying to it. Christ died to sin, that He might take up into His fellowship and that we too might be dead to sin, and live unto God and His own life. And so He won back for us the life man had been created for, with God dwelling in him, by giving to us His life, the very life He had lived. As He spake, “As Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they may be one with us.”

Oh! my beloved fellow Christians, this is the salvation Christ has won for us: a deliverance from self by a death to it in the death of the cross; a restoration to the life we were created for, with our heart a home for God.

And how now are we to become partakers of this salvation? Look once again in the light of this blessed truth of the divine indwelling at Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Have you realised what the meaning is of God’s sending the Holy Spirit into our hearts? It is nothing less than this – Christ who had been with the disciples on earth, but not in them, came back to them in the Spirit, now to dwell in them just as He had before dwelt with them. All that we read of the wonderous change that came over the disciples – their selfishness changed into love, their pride into humility, their fear of suffering into boldness and joy, their unbelief into fulness of faith, their feebleness into power – as owing to this one thing – the glorified Christ had come to dwell within them as their life. That was the joy of Pentecost in heaven: God regained possession of His temple, and could now again dwell in men as He had meant of which Christ had said that it should be broken down, was the temple of His body, in its connection with our sin laid upon Him. The temple He was to build in three days was His resurrection body, with its holy, heavenly life. In union with it we are now the temple of the living God. The Holy Spirit takes possession in the name of the Three-One God; and the Father and the Son come to make abode with us.

When we look at the great promise – “I will dwell in them” – and its fulfilment at Pentecost, we are reminded of the great difference between the preparatory working of the Spirit in conversion and regeneration, and His Pentecostal indwelling. The former every Christian must have: without that there is no life. The life may be feeble and sickly, still where there is life, it is the Spirit’s working. But that is only to prepare the temple. Pentecost is the glory of God filling the temple, God coming to abide. Let us believe that the promise can and will be fulfilled.

One more thought. In the light of our text look at the state of the Church of Christ. How many believers there are of whom one would never say that their hearts are a temple that God has cleansed, and where He dwells. How much there is of coldness and worldliness, and selfishness and sin, and inconsistency of profession, that makes one sometimes doubt whether there are Christians at all. The state of Christ’s Church is sad indeed. How little zeal for God’s honour, delight in His fellowship, devotion to His service and kingdom, how little of a life in the power of the Holy Spirit. It surely manifests that promise “I will dwell in them” has never been understood, or believed, or claimed by a large majority of Christians.

Let me ask, Have you claimed it? Do you seek to live it out? If not, the one great object of our Convention is to set before you this blessed life to which God has redeemed you, to urge and to help you to enter upon it and walk in it.

Need I tell you what the way is. Begin by confessing how little you have even sought to live as God’s temple. Think of how it must have grieved the love of your Father, that after all He had done through His Son and the Spirit to get His abode again, you have cared so little to know about it or seek for it. Confess, too, your helplessness. You have tried to be better than you are, and you have failed. You must fail, until you receive His word that nothing less is needed, nothing less is offered, than that God Himself become the strength of your life.

Set your heart upon the blessing. You know how desire is the great moving power of the world. Fix your desire upon this divine, this wonderous grace: “I will dwell in them.” Let no thought of your unworthiness or feebleness discourage you. Here is something that is impossible with man: but with God it is possible. He can and will fulfil His promise. Let it become the one desire of your heart. Understand that this is the salvation the Holy Spirit brings you as soon as you are ready to give up all for it. As soon as the heart is ready to lose all, to be emptied of all, to be cleansed of all that is of self or nature, the promise will surely be fulfilled – “I will dwell in them, and I will be their God.”

“Wherefore,” hear now the words that follow immediately on my text: “Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.” Come out from all that is of the world and a worldly religion, from all that is inconsistent with the holy privilege of being God’s holy temple and dwelling. Come out and be separate, take your stand as one who is going to live a life different from the crowd around you, be separate unto God and His will. “And touch not the unclean thing” – be as a cleansed temple where nothing that defiles in the very least may enter – be wholly for God and holy to God – and He will make His word good: “I will dwell in you.” He Himself will reveal and impart and maintain within you all that the promise means.

Believer! will you accept of this full salvation? Will you do it now? I pray you, reject not this wonderful love. Oh! let your God have you, to satisfy His love and yours by dwelling in you. This moment accept it, and you can trust Him to work it in you. Amen.


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Jade

 2019/5/27 0:09Profile
BranchinVINE
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 Re: The Indwelling of God - by Andrew Murray



CALCULATED TO REVOLUTIONIZE –

Excellent sermon by Major Ian Thomas that is in line with Andrew Murray’s message on the indwelling of God.

http://followthelamb.net/27/SID27654.mp3


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Jade

 2019/5/29 23:34Profile
BranchinVINE
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 Jesus Christ in You -- by Andrew Murray


The words from which I wish to speak to you this evening, will take us back to the subject that we had last night. It is one of such deep importance – the indwelling of God – one to which believers are in many cases so unaccustomed, and one which, even when its truth is accepted, cannot be apprehended in its fulness all at once, that it may be well to come back to it again. My text is 2 Cor. Xiii. 5: “Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

Every thoughtful Bible-reader knows that the state of the Corinthian Church was a very sad one. There were terrible sins among them, and both epistles are full of sorrow and reproof. At the close of the second epistle, Paul sums up all his pleadings in this one question! Do you not know? I fear you do not, or you would live differently; do you not know that if you are not entirely reprobate, Jesus Christ is in you? Even as the text of last night, the words teach us that the great truth that will lift a Christian out of sin and sloth is the promise of God’s indwelling, the consciousness that Jesus Christ is in us.

Know ye not your own selves? Every Christian needs to know himself. Not only his own sinfulness and helplessness, but much more, the divine miracle that has taken place within him and made him the temple and dwelling of the three-one God. Do learn above everything to know your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you. There are in every Christian community numbers who are living a low and feeble life, without joy or power over sin, or influence to bless others. To all such the message of [the apostle] Paul comes; pause and listen, and take in the wonderous thought, that will be to you both the motive and the power to an entirely new life: Christ is in you. If you but learn to believe this, and to give away to it, and to yield yourself to Him, He will do His mighty saving work in you.

You see how we here get at once to the two great questions that occupy us at a Convention like this. The one is, How is it that so many Christians fail? To this the answer comes: They do not know aright that Jesus Christ is in them. Not one of us could live a worldly life, could give way to pride and selfishness and temper, could so grieve the Holy Spirit of God, if he knew, indeed, that Jesus Christ was in him. The effect of this knowledge would be simply wonderful. On the one hand, it would solemnise and humble, and draw man to say: I cannot bear the thought of grieving the Christ within me. On the other hand, it would encourage and strengthen him to say: Praise God I have Jesus Christ within me, He will live my life for me. May God bring us to the confession of how much we have lost because we lacked this faith, and teach us to pray much that from moment to moment our life may be: Jesus Christ in us.

Then comes the other question. If I find that I have not known and lived this life, am I ready to say to-night: Henceforth, by the grace of God, I will. I can rest content with nothing less than the full experience, Jesus Christ is in me? Let us but come in deep poverty and emptiness: He who did the work for us so perfectly on Calvary undertakes to do it in our hearts too. May God by the Holy Spirit, reveal to each of us all the He means us to enjoy. I noticed in our meeting this afternoon many young people: I want to speak as simply as possible, so as to help the very youngest Christian to some right apprehension of this blessed life that God has prepared for us. I want to answer some of the questions that may have suggested themselves last night to those to whom this indwelling of God appears something too high and strange. Let us listen in the faith that God Himself will teach us.

Let me say, in the first place, if you would know the power of this life: Believe in and accept the indwelling Christ. Let me ask you the question: Do you fully and truly believer in the indwelling Christ? You do believe in an incarnate Christ. When the name of Christ is mentioned, you at once think of One who was born a little babe at Bethlehem, who took our nature upon Him and lived as a man upon the earth. That thought is inseparable from your faith in Him. You believe, too, in the crucified Christ, dying on Calvary for our sins. You believe, too, in the risen Saviour, one who lives for evermore. And you believe in the glorified Lord, now sitting on the throne of heaven. But do you believe as definitely – as naturally – in the indwelling Christ? Have you made that one of the articles of your faith, as really as you believe in Christ incarnate or Christ crucified? It is only as the truth is accepted and held that the others can really profit. The experience of the love and the saving power of our incarnate, crucified, glorified Lord depends entirely upon His indwelling in us to reveal His presence and to do His work. If you find you life feeble or sickly, you may be assured that it is because you do not know that Jesus Christ is in you. Do come to-night and begin at once to say: I want with my whole heart to get possessed of this wonderful knowledge, not as a doctrine, but as an experience; Jesus Christ is in me. Begin to believe it at once. Accept of Him, even now, as an indwelling Saviour. Day by day be content with nothing less than the blessed consciousness of His indwelling presence. He loves to reveal Himself.

I said last night, speaking of God’s indwelling, that a man always, to some extent, makes his home the expression of his tastes and character. Even so the Lord Jesus brings the heart which accepts and trusts Him to dwell within, into sympathy and harmony with Himself. And if you ask what the influence is He will exert, the answer is not difficult: He becomes your life, all your thoughts and tempers and dispositions and actions, will have His life and spirit breathing in them. Oh, Christians who have never yet known yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, believe in Him, accept Him even now as the indwelling Christ.

A second thought: When you accept Christ to dwell in you, be sure and accept the whole Christ. There are some people who long for the indwelling Christ, but think of Him chiefly as one who comes to comfort and make glad, to bring peace and joy, but who do not accept of him in all his characters and offices. Beware of being content with only half of Christ; see to it that you have the whole Christ. There are people who accept of Christ as a priest to atone for their sins, but do not yield to His rule as king; they never think of giving up their own will wholly and entirely to Him. They come to Christ for happiness but not for holiness. They trust in the work He has done for them; they do not surrender themselves to Him for the work He is to do in them. They speak of the forgiveness of sins, but of the cleansing from all unrighteousness they know little. They have not accepted a whole Christ, the Saviour from the power as much as from the guilt of sin.

Let me urge you to make a study of this. As you read of the life of Christ on earth, take every trait of that holy character, as the will of God concerning you. Study His holy humility and meekness, and say, this is the Christ who dwells in me. Look upon His deep dependence upon the Father, and the perfect surrender of His will to do only what pleased the Father, and say, I have yielded myself that my indwelling Lord may work this in me too. As you gaze upon Him as the crucified One, think not only of the Cross in its atonement, as the means of propitiation for your sin, but of its fellowship, as the means of victory over sin. Beware of only saying, Christ crucified for me, ever; say too, I am crucified with Christ. The one thing for which He lives in you is to breathe His own likeness into your nature, to impart to you His own crucifixion spirit, that blessed disposition that made His sacrifice so well pleasing to the Father. Do accept the whole Christ as dwelling in you.

Especially, do not forget that the Christ who is in you is the loving One, the Servant and the Saviour of the lost. This is the chief mark and glory of the Son of God: that He lived and died, not for Himself, but for others. When He comes to dwell in you, He cannot change His nature; it is the crucified, redeeming Love of God has taken possession of you. Yield yourself to Him that He may breathe into you His own love for souls, His own willingness to give up all, that they may be saved, His own faith in God’s almighty conquering grace. Do accept a whole Christ, a Saviour from all sin and selfishness, a Saviour, not only for yourself, but for all around you.

My third thought. If you accept the whole Christ accept Him with the whole heart. Nothing less than this can satisfy God, can secure Christ’s full indwelling, can give our heart rest. This was what even the Old Testament demanded: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy strength.” To it alone the promise is given, Blessed are they which seek Him with their whole heart. The old saints made confession: I have sought Thee with my whole heart. How can we think that this wonderous New Testament blessing, Jesus Christ, the whole Christ, in us, can be known in power, unless the whole heart be given Him.

With the whole heart – what does that mean? First of all, the heart means love and affection. Our relationship to Christ must not only be that of trust in His help and devotion to His service, but one of intense personal attachment. His heart toward us is all love; His work was and is nothing but the revelation of infinite love and tenderness; and nothing but love on our part can be the proof that we have really accepted and known His love. When Peter had denied Christ, his restoration to Christ’s favour and to his place as the shepherd of Christ’s flock, all hinged on his answer to the thrice-repeated question, Lovest thou Me? Do not let us think that it is only for women and children, or for mystics and saints, to speak the language of tender, fervent love to the Saviour. If we accept him with the whole heart, let us cultivate an intense personal love. Let us not hesitate to say often, Thou knowest that I love Thee. The heart means love, and the whole heart means love with all our strength.

Then the heart also means the will. Accept Christ with the whole heart – that is to say, give up your will entirely and absolutely to Him. Say to yourself that it is a settled thing that never in anything are you to seek your own will. In things great and small, in decisions of supreme importance, in the most apparently insignificant questions of daily life, live as one who only exists that the will of God and of Christ may be carried out in him. It was to do God’s will that Christ came from heaven. It is to do God’s will in you that He has entered you heart. Beware of hindering or grieving Him in this His blessed work. People sometimes ask: Did not God give us a will for us to use? Is it not this man’s nobility that he has a will? How can you ask us to give up that will so entirely and absolutely to God? What misunderstanding the question implies. God gave us a will that with it we might intelligently will what He wills. It is no degradation to a child to give up his will to be guided by that of a wise and loving father. So it is man’s highest dignity to find out and accept and delight in the perfect will of God. Accept Christ with the whole heart and a perfect will; count it your true and only blessedness to let Him breathe and work all God’s will in you. The whole heart means the whole will given up. Never my own will in anything; let that be the decision with which you bow to let His will rule. And let every sense of difficulty and feebleness only urge you afresh to believe that there is but one way of having your desire fulfilled – accepting Jesus Christ within you as an indwelling Saviour, the living, inspiring power that breathes through all your will. You can have just as much of Christ as you give of yourself to Him: the whole heart can have the whole Christ.

At a meeting of the speakers this afternoon the conversation and prayer, we were asking what is needed to make our Convention a blessing. One said that there seldom was much blessing until there had first come a great breaking down and Christians had been brought to feel how much there is wanting in their life. In England, at Keswick, last year, I heard tell of Conventions where Christians were so convicted of the evil and the shame of their Christian life, that as they left the meeting they hardly dared to speak, and felt driven to go to God and make confession. This is what we need; what we cannot give ourselves; what God can work in us. When once we begin to see that, just as it is a matter of shame and humiliation when a wife has been unfaithful to the husband to whom she had pledged her whole heart, the thought that we have been guilty of withholding from God that undivided love to which, as the all-glorious One, our Creator, and our Redeemer, He had such perfect right, ought to bow us in the very dust, then the sense of not having given the whole heart to Christ will become unbearable. As we make confession that we have not given God His glory, that we have sought our own will and honour and pleasure, that we have given self and the world a place in the heart where Christ wanted to dwell alone, God’s Holy Spirit can so show us the sinfulness of our Christian life, as to leave us no rest until we have said with full purpose, and the assurance of divine approval: I accept the whole Christ with my whole heart.

Now comes the fourth thought: Count upon the indwelling Christ to do all in your heart that needs to be done. In a verse just preceding our text, Paul says: “Ye seek for a proof of Christ speaking in me.” It was not only Christ living in him, but Christ acting and speaking through him, they looked for. The Corinthians were justified in that expectation. And so when Christ comes in to take possession, He will by His Spirit, do within us what we cannot do. He will make you what God would have you be – conformable to the image of His Son. It is utterly vain for us to think of following Christ’s steps or imitating His example, or copying His life, by any effort of ours. Jesus lived upon earth a human life that He might show us what the life is we are to live. But what folly for us to think now we are Christians, that we can or shall approach to anything like His life. It is impossible. We are, indeed, called to it. It is our first duty. But it can only be if we let Himself live that life in us. The life of Christ is altogether too high and too divine for us to reproduce. It is His own life, and only His. But He will live it out in us. You would fain be humble, or patient or gentle. How often have you prayed and struggled, but all in vain. You sought for a humility here on earth, in yourself, something like that which He, as God, brought from heaven. What folly. Oh, learn to cease from self and its efforts. Turn inwards; let faith be occupied with and rest in the Almighty indwelling One, who has become your life, for the very purpose of filling it with His own. Count upon Him who dwells within you to do the work He has undertaken. When He was upon earth, He began His life as a little babe, unknown and very feeble. He grew up in seclusion, and no one thought that this was the Redeemer of men. When He began His public ministry He lifted not up his voice in the streets; He was despised and rejected of men; they knew not that He was the Lord of Glory. Even so within thy heart, His appearance will be low and feeble and scarce to be observed. Then comes the time to heed His command: only believe. Trust in Him with an unmeasured confidence, that He will do His work within you in His own way and time. However slow and hidden and all unlikely things seem to be within, hold fast your confidence that He is there, and that He is working, and that in due time He will reveal Himself.

Dear Christians, when you believe in the incarnate or the crucified Christ, it means that you believe that He did the work perfectly, for which He came to live and die upon earth. When you believe in the risen and glorified Lord, it means that you have no shadow of doubt but that He is now living and reigning at God’s right hand, in divine power. Let your faith in the indwelling One be as simple and clear. The work for which He entered your heart, the great work of possessing and renewing and glorifying your whole inner life, He will do in wondrous power and love. Trust Him for it; the Christ of Bethlehem, the Christ of Calvary, the Christ of the Throne in heaven, is the Christ in you. Do begin to believe: Jesus Christ is in me; Jesus Christ will do the work perfectly in me. Just listen to that wonderful promise in Hebrews: “The God of peace perfect you in every good work, that ye may do His will, working in you that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ.” Yes, through Jesus Christ! If it is through Jesus Christ that God Himself works in you, how can this be in any other way but Jesus Christ Himself being in you? God fits you to do His will through Jesus Christ dwelling in you. Doubt no longer, but rejoice. Know your own selves that Jesus Christ is in you.

More than one is doubtless asking: Can this really be? Oh, that I knew what is needed to have Christ Himself dwelling in me. You find the answer in the simple, well-known words: “My son, give Me thine heart.” Have you in every deed done that? I do not ask. Are you believers? Are you sure that your sins are pardoned? Are you seeking to live a Christian life? But have you given your heart to Christ to possess, to rule, to renew, to dwell in all alone, to fill with the will of God? Have you given it away, out of your power into His? Your self-confidence, your self-contentment, your self-pleasing, your self-will, has it all been laid at Christ’s feet? so that He can cast it out, and fill the heart with Himself. If not, let nothing keep you back from giving what belongs to God, and what Christ came to win back for Him. Your heart was made for God. A man has the wondrous power of in one moment setting his heart upon some object that strongly attracts him, or that has won his affection – of giving away his heart. At this moment bow in penitence and shame that you have so little known that Jesus Christ is in you, and have so little, day by day, yielded up the whole being to Him. Bow in lowly confession, and offer Him even now this sin-stained and unworthy heart, and believe that He takes possession. What I give, God takes; what God takes He will hold and keep through Jesus Christ. Blessed Lord! even now we give ourselves, and know Thou dost accept, that Thou art within, and that Thou wilt fill us with Thyself.


----- Andrew Murray, 1897



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Jade

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Yes, in me, in me He dwelleth –
I in Him and He in me!
And my empty soul He filleth
Now and through eternity.

--- H. Bonar



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Jade

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 The Exchanged Life -- by Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) was the founder of the China Inland Mission (now OMF) which undertook the difficult and perilous work of bringing the gospel to unreached regions in the interior of China.

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THE EXCHANGED LIFE

A letter by J. Hudson Taylor, Chinkiang, October 17th, 1869,
to his sister Amelia (Mrs. Broomhall), in England

My own dear Sister—

So many thanks for your long, dear letter... I do not think you have written me such a letter since we have been in China. I know it is with you as with me—you cannot, not you will not. Mind and body will not bear more than a certain amount of strain, or do more than a certain amount of work. As to work, mine was never so plentiful, so responsible, or so difficult; but the weight and strain are all gone. The last month or more has been perhaps, the happiest of my life; and I long to tell you a little of what the Lord has done for my soul. I do not know how far I may be able to make myself intelligible about it, for there is nothing new or strange or wonderful—and yet, all is new! In a word, "Whereas once I was blind, now I see."

Perhaps I shall make myself more clear if I go back a little. Well, dearie, my mind has been greatly exercised for six or eight months past, feeling the need personally, and for our Mission, of more holiness, life, power in our souls. But personal need stood first and was the greatest. I felt the ingratitude, the danger, the sin of not living nearer to God. I prayed, agonised, fasted, strove, made resolutions, read the Word more diligently, sought more time for retirement and meditation—but all was without effect. Every day, almost every hour, the consciousness of sin oppressed me. I knew that if I could only abide in Christ all would be well, but I could not. I began the day with prayer, determined not to take my eye from Him for a moment; but pressure of duties, sometimes very trying, constant interruptions apt to be so wearing, often caused me to forget Him. Then one's nerves get so fretted in this climate that temptations to irritability, hard thoughts, and sometimes unkind words are all the more difficult to control. Each day brought its register of sin and failure, of lack of power. To will was indeed present with me, but how to perform I found not.

Then came the question, "Is there no rescue? Must it be thus to the end—constant conflict and, instead of victory, too often defeat?" How, too, could I preach with sincerity that to those who receive Jesus, "to them gave He power to become the sons of God" (i.e. God-like) when it was not so in my own experience? Instead of growing stronger, I seemed to be getting weaker and to have less power against sin; and no wonder, for faith and even hope were getting very low. I hated myself; I hated my sin; and yet I gained no strength against it. I felt I was a child of God: His Spirit in my heart would cry, in spite of all, "Abba, Father": but to rise to my privileges as a child, I was utterly powerless. I thought that holiness, practical holiness, was to be gradually attained by a diligent use of the means of grace. I felt that there was nothing I so much desired in this world, nothing I so much needed. But so far from in any measure attaining it, the more I pursued and strove after it, the more it eluded my grasp; till hope itself almost died out, and I began to think that, perhaps to make heaven the sweeter, God would not give it down here. I do not think I was striving to attain it in my own strength. I knew I was powerless. I told the Lord so, and asked Him to give me help and strength; and sometimes I almost believed He would keep and uphold me. But on looking back in the evening, alas! there was but sin and failure to confess and mourn before God.

I would not give you the impression that this was the daily experience of all those long, weary months. It was a too frequent state of soul; that toward which I was tending, and which almost ended in despair. And yet never did Christ seem more precious—a Saviour who could and would save such a sinner! ... And sometimes there were seasons not only of peace but of joy in the Lord. But they were transitory, and at best there was a sad lack of power. Oh, how good the Lord was in bringing this conflict to an end!

All the time I felt assured that there was in Christ all I needed, but the practical question was how to get it out. He was rich, truly, but I was poor; He strong, but I weak. I knew full well that there was in the root, the stem, abundant fatness; but how to get it into my puny little branch was the question. As gradually the light was dawning on me, I saw that faith was the only prerequisite, was the hand to lay hold on His fulness and make it my own. But I had not this faith. I strove for it, but it would not come; tried to exercise it, but in vain. Seeing more and more the wondrous supply of grace laid up in Jesus, the fulness of our precious Saviour—my helplessness and guilt seemed to increase. Sins committed appeared but as trifles compared with the sin of unbelief which was their cause, which could not or would not take God at His word, but rather made Him a liar! Unbelief was, I felt, the damning sin of the world—yet I indulged in it. I prayed for faith, but it came not. What was I to do?

When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in a letter from dear McCarthy [John McCarthy, in Hangchow] was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never known it before. McCarthy, who had been much exercised by the same sense of failure, but saw the light before I did, wrote (I quote from memory):

"But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One."

As I read I saw it all! "If we believe not, He abideth faithful." I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that He had said, "I will never leave you." "Ah, there is rest!" I thought. "I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me—never to leave me, never to fail me?" And, dearie, He never will!

But this was not all He showed me, nor one half. As I thought of the Vine and the branches, what light the blessed Spirit poured direct into my soul! How great seemed my mistake in having wished to get the sap, the fulness out of Him. I saw not only that Jesus would never leave me, but that I was a member of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. The vine now I see, is not the root merely, but all—root, stem, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruit: and Jesus is not only that: He is soil and sunshine, air and showers, and ten thousand times more than we have ever dreamed, wished for, or needed. Oh, the joy of seeing this truth! I do pray that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened, that you may know and enjoy the riches freely given us in Christ.

Oh, my dear sister, it is a wonderful thing to be really one with a risen and exalted Saviour; to be a member of Christ! Think what it involves. Can Christ be rich and I poor? Can your right hand be rich and the left poor? or your head be well fed while your body starves? Again, think of its bearing on prayer. Could a bank clerk say to a customer, "It was only your hand wrote that cheque, not you," or, "I cannot pay this sum to your hand, but only to yourself"? No more can your prayers, or mine, be discredited if offered in the Name of Jesus (i.e. not in our own name, or for the sake of Jesus merely, but on the ground that we are His, His members) so long as we keep within the extent of Christ's credit—a tolerably wide limit! If we ask anything unscriptural or not in accordance with the will of God, Christ Himself could not do that; but, "If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us, and...we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him."

The sweetest part, if one may speak of one part being sweeter than another, is the rest which full identification with Christ brings. I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realise this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient. It little matters to my servant whether I send him to buy a few cash worth of things, or the most expensive articles. In either case he looks to me for the money, and brings me his purchases. So, if God place me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance; in positions of great difficulty, much grace; in circumstances of great pressure and trial, much strength? No fear that His resources will be unequal to the emergency! And His resources are mine, for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me. All this springs from the believer's oneness with Christ. And since Christ has thus dwelt in my heart by faith, how happy I have been! I wish I could tell you, instead of writing about it.

I am no better than before (may I not say, in a sense, I do not wish to be, nor am I striving to be); but I am dead and buried with Christ—aye, and risen too and ascended; and now Christ lives in me, and "the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me." I now believe I am dead to sin. God reckons me so, and tells me to reckon myself so. He knows best. All my past experience may have shown that it was not so; but I dare not say it is not now, when He says it is. I feel and know that old things have passed away. I am as capable of sinning as ever, but Christ is realised as present as never before. He cannot sin; and He can keep me from sinning. I cannot say (I am sorry to have to confess it) that since I have seen this light I have not sinned; but I do feel there was no need to have done so. And further—walking more in the light, my conscience has been more tender; sin has been instantly seen, confessed, pardoned; and peace and joy (with humility) instantly restored: with one exception, when for several hours peace and joy did not return—from want, as I had to learn, of full confession, and from some attempt to justify self.

Faith, I now see, is " the substance of things hoped for," and not mere shadow. It is not less than sight, but more. Sight only shows the outward forms of things; faith gives the substance. You can rest on substance, feed on substance. Christ dwelling in the heart by faith (i.e. His Word of Promise credited) is power indeed, is life indeed. And Christ and sin will not dwell together; nor can we have His presence with love of the world, or carefulness about many things."

And now I must close. I have not said half I would, nor as I would had I more time. May God give you to lay hold on these blessed truths. Do not let us continue to say, in effect, "Who shall ascend into heaven, that is to bring Christ down from above." In other words, do not let us consider Him as afar off, when God has made us one with Him, members of His very body. Nor should we look upon this experience, these truths, as for the few. They are the birthright of every child of God, and no one can dispense with them without dishonour to our Lord. The only power for deliverance from sin or for true service is CHRIST.

Your own affectionate brother,
J. Hudson Taylor


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Jade

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 Re:


“His truth, not mine, the resting place;
His love, not mine, the tie.”


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Jade

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 Re: The Exchanged Life -- by Hudson Taylor

Hudson wrote

"But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One."

As I read I saw it all! "If we believe not, He abideth faithful." I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that He had said, "I will never leave you." "Ah, there is rest!" I thought. "I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me—never to leave me, never to fail me?" And, dearie, He never will."
-----------------

So simple a child can do it.


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Vern

 2019/6/3 6:00Profile
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 Re: Hudson Taylor

Hymn – Jesus I am Resting, Resting

Modern Version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjDWhaq0zIg

Original Hymn Music:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ0TpIx-hb4

Lyrics:
1 Jesus, I am resting, resting
in the joy of what thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
of thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon thee,
as thy beauty fills my soul,
for by thy transforming power,
thou hast made me whole.

Refrain:
Jesus, I am resting, resting
in the joy of what thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
of thy loving heart.

2 O how great thy loving-kindness,
vaster, broader than the sea!
O how marvelous thy goodness
lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in thee, Beloved,
know what wealth of grace is thine,
know thy certainty of promise
and have made it mine. [Refrain]

3 Simply trusting thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold thee as thou art,
and thy love, so pure, so changeless,
satisfies my heart;
satisfies its deepest longings,
meets, supplies its ev'ry need,
compasseth me round with blessings:
thine is love indeed. [Refrain]

4 Ever lift thy face upon me
as I work and wait for thee;
resting 'neath thy smile, Lord Jesus,
earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory,
sunshine of my Father's face,
keep me ever trusting, resting,
fill me with thy grace. [Refrain]

Written in 1876 by Jean Sophia Piggot.


This hymn was said to be Hudson Taylor’s favourite hymn and that it gave him great comfort during the Boxer Rebellion in China.

In the summer of 1900, in the attempt to drive all foreigners out of China, Boxers across North China attacked mission compounds killing foreign missionaries and Chinese Christians. The China Inland Mission lost 58 adults and 21 of their children. Jean Sophia Piggot’s brother, Thomas, a missionary in China, was also killed.

During this time, a white-haired native pastor said to a party of foreigners who were preparing to make the desperate journey of a thousand miles through a country teeming with Boxers to the nearest place of safety:

"Kingdoms may perish; but the Church can never be destroyed."

The rebellion was quelled, and mission work continued.



Hudson Taylor directed the China Inland Mission from its establishment in 1865 to 1900. During this period, the CIM sent out 750 missionaries and had an income of no less than less than 4 million dollars which were “unasked save of God”.

" We cannot do much, but we can do a little, and God can do a great deal." – Hudson Taylor.

“Bear not a single care thyself,
One is too much for thee;
The work is Mine, and Mine alone;
Thy work – to rest in Me.”



In 1905, Hudson Taylor, aged 73, returned to China, that faraway land he had worked and prayed for and loved. It was his last journey. He arrived at Shanghai and travelled up the Yangtze to Hankow (Hankou). Christians gathered to welcome him from station to station. Finally, he reached the province of Hunan.

Hunan. It was the first of the nine unevangelized provinces to be entered by pioneers of the CIM. It was also the most difficult. Adam Dorward, the Scottish missionary sent by CIM, toiled and suffered there for 8 years, enduring persecution and utter loneliness, escaping from a riot, and died of dysentery in 1888. For more than 30 years Hudson Taylor had carried that province in his heart in prayer. But all the toil and suffering and prayers had not been in vain. The loving welcome of Hunan Christians awaited him.

At Hunan, he died. “No, it was hardly death – just the glad, swift entry upon life eternal………And the very room seemed filled with unutterable peace.” (Quote from “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret” by Dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor).

--------------------
Edited - 6/6/19: 'Henan' corrected to 'Hunan'.
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They laid him to rest at Chinkiang (Zhenjiang) beside his beloved first wife and four of his children who had been laid to rest there many years ago.

Excerpt from “Hudson Taylor, The Growth of a Work” by Dr & Mrs Howard Taylor:

“By the mighty river at Chin-kiang they laid him, where it rolls its waters two miles wide toward the sea. Much might be said of the love and veneration shown to his memory; of Memorial Services in Shanghai, London, and elsewhere ; of eulogies in the public press ; of sympathetic resolutions passed by missionary and other societies, and of personal letters from high and low in many lands. From the striking tribute of a High Church Bishop in The Guardian to the tender reminiscences of fellow-workers, many were the written and spoken words that showed him to have been not only ‘the heart-beat felt throughout the Mission,’ but a vital force of life and love in every part, one might almost say, of the body of Christ. But the voices that linger longest are those he would have loved the best - the voices of Chinese children singing sweet hymns of praise as they laid their little offerings of flowers upon his resting place.

"’Thus one by one the stars that are to shine for ever in God's firmament appear in their celestial places, and the children of the Kingdom enter upon the blessedness of their Father's house not made with hands.’"



“HE is near, nearer than we think. The Lord Jesus will never leave nor forsake us. Count on Him : enjoy Him : abide in Him. Do, dear friends, be true to Him and to His Word. He will never disappoint you.” -- Hudson Taylor






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Jade

 2019/6/4 3:28Profile
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 Re: Hudson Taylor

Wow! thank you sister so much for sharing this beautiful song that I had never heard before, and also about Hudson Taylor, whose books are well worth reading.


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Mike

 2019/6/4 9:00Profile
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 Re:

Brother Mike,

This beautiful hymn is also my favourite.

Isa. 26:3 (CSB) --
You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you.


Blessings


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Jade

 2019/6/5 23:26Profile





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