Calling upon the name of the Lord

And to Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time men began to call upon the name of Jehovah (Genesis 4:26). At first glance, this verse doesn’t seem like all that much. But in fact, there are at least two great truths in this verse.

The first is the name Enosh. In Hebrew, Enosh means frail, mortal man.

This is not the most positive name you could give your child, but the significance is understood by context. By this time in man’s declining history, man fell to the serpent’s temptation to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-13) thereby receiving the element of sin and falling under God’s condemnation (Romans 5:16-19). Man was alienated from the life of God (Ephesians 4:18), and Satan entered into man and indwelt man as sin (Romans 7:8, 11, 17, 20). Man was constituted a sinner (5:19) and became a victim of death (Romans 5:12, 14; 1 Corinthians 15:22). But man’s fall did not stop there. In Genesis 4, Cain, provoked by religious jealousy, murdered his brother Abel. After departing from the presence of Jehovah, Cain and his descendants fell into a life characterized by violence and independence from God.

And to Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh.

Now, it’s a little easier to see why Seth would call his son frail, mortal man. Those who feared Jehovah and believed God’s promise (Genesis 3:15) realized that man could not save himself. Man in himself was without hope (Ephesians 4:12), trapped and ensnared by the overpowering indwelling sin without a way to escape (Romans 7).

At that time men began to call upon the name of Jehovah. O Jehovah! O Jehovah!

This calling means to “call out to,” “to cry unto,” that is, to cry out audibly (Hebrew). The frailty of human existence caused a spontaneous calling upon the name of Jehovah.loudspeaker

Are we not Enosh? Are we not weak? Are we not in a world filled with violence and rebellion against God? Are we not in need of salvation and deliverance?

Romans 10:13 says, For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. When we call, we are saved. We are saved from sin. We are saved from our self. We are saved from the world. We are saved from our anxiety. We are saved from our stress. We are saved by calling on His name! O Lord! O Lord!

In Matthew 1:21, we find that the Lord’s name is also Jesus: and you shall His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins. Jesus means Jehovah the Savior. The Jehovah that Enosh called on is Jesus! O Jesus! O Lord Jesus!

Romans 10:12 says that the Lord is rich to all who call upon Him. How rich is the Lord to those who call upon Him? In Ephesians 3:8, Paul mentions the unsearchably rich Christ. When we call on Him, we get everything that He is. Matthew 1:23 mentions that they shall call His name Emmanuel (which is translated, God with us). Jesus is our Emmanuel, God with us! When we call on Him, we get God with us!

O Jehovah! O Lord! O Lord Jesus! O Emmanuel! 

Have you called upon the name of the Lord today?

With Him

So on I go not knowing,
I would not if I might;
I’d rather walk in the dark with God
Than go alone in the light;
I’d rather walk in faith with Him
Than go alone by sight.

I sang this hymn for the first time tonight with a group of believers. While singing these beautiful words written by Mary G. Brainard in 1869, I realized that it takes quite a bit of faith to really speak these lines. I don’t think that I’m alone in wanting a bit of security concerning my future. I like having a definite plan for my life, and I’m not comfortable with uncertainty. But sometimes we just don’t know.

I’d rather walk in the dark with God than go alone in the light. 

Really? To be perfectly honest, I’d rather have some certainty than to do something blindly. But tonight, brothers and sisters in the Lord helped point out two crucial words in this hymn: with God

I’d rather walk in faith with Him than go alone by sight.

With Him. I am not alone. The Lord touched me with this not too long ago, and again He is reminding me that I am not alone. But even more than that, the Lord is teaching me that I can depend on Him as my Partner, my Leader, and my Guide.

As we grow in the Lord, we begin to realize that we have the One inside of us who is the way and the reality and the life (John 14:6). The Lord said so definitely that He would not leave as orphans because He would abide in us as the Spirit of reality (John 14:17-18). The Lord Jesus as the Spirit of reality is in my spirit, and I can depend on Him for my every need.

In one month, I will be boarding a plane with a one-way ticket to London. What’s about to happen? I don’t really know. By faith, I share in Abraham’s testimony. By faith Abraham, being called, obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8). 

I will be serving the Lord with my full-time. Details are scarce. Specifics evade me. But as I prepare to leave my home country and venture into unknown territory, I claim these familiar phrases from Psalm 23.

Jehovah is my Shepherd…

He leads me…

He guides me…

For You are with me…

I go with the assurance that as the Lord went before the children of Israel as a pillar of cloud to lead them through the wilderness (Exodus 13:21), so He is also leading me. I want to have the testimony that the elderly Israel had at the end of his life. Israel’s particular description of His God was the God who has shepherded me all my life to this day (Genesis 48:15).

Thank You Lord! You are everything that we need, and You take care of us so well. As we go on with life, thank You that we can trust in You for everything. Thank You that You will never leave us nor forsake us. We love You dear Lord Jesus! 

Talk to Him

It’s 5:50 P.M. You’re driving home after a difficult day at work. You’re very tired and have a headache. On top of that, you’re stuck in Boston traffic. Google maps shows solid red the entire way home. What would anyone say in this kind of situation? “I’m tired. I’m annoyed. I’m frustrated. Get me home. I just want this day to end.” Your frame of mind isn’t that great, and you’re certainly not setting your mind on the things which are above (Colossians 3:2). You don’t feel as though you’re experiencing life and peace (Romans 8:6). Come to Me all who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28) really doesn’t mean anything right now.

Let me see your countenance, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your countenance is lovely (Song of Songs 2:14).

What does this verse have to do with the aforementioned scenario?  

Let’s consider the background of this verse spoken by the king Solomon to his beloved Shulammite. Up to this point in the Song of Songs, she has spoken of her intense love for and desire to be drawn by Solomon (1:2-4, 12-17), but she has also complained about her environment and family situation (1:5-6) and of her distance from Solomon (1:7:8; 2:8-9). Just before 2:14, she is stuck in introspection concerning her lowly situation and separation from Solomon. At this point, Solomon calls her twice to rise up and come away from her situations and introspection and just to be with him. But she fails to respond. Twice.

It is at this juncture that Solomon says, let me see your countenance, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your countenance is lovely.

Solomon isn’t bothered by the Shulammite’s condition. He wants to hear her voice. Yes, she complains, but he still considers her voice to be sweet. Outwardly, she’s a mess, but Solomon still sees her as lovely.

Solomon represents Christ, and Shulammite represents us as His believers. Our Christian life mirrors that of Shulammite. We have wonderful experiences of Christ, but things change. Our outward environment and our inward condition become so difficult and oppressive that we feel as though we can’t find the Lord or come to Him. At times, we even feel ashamed to come to the Lord or open to Him about our situation. We think that our circumstances are so impossible that nothing and no one will rescue us. We think that it would be most dreadful if the Lord really knew what we were like.

Let’s return to being stuck in traffic. Instead of simply saying “I’m tired. I’m annoyed. I’m frustrated. I just want this day to end,” what if we were to say, “Lord, I’m tired. Lord, I’m annoyed. Lord, I’m frustrated. Lord, get me home. Lord, I just want this day to end.” As soon as you do this, you invite the Lord into your situation. You’re still stuck in traffic, and you’re headache hasn’t gone away. But you’ve now come into the Lord’s presence. You’re now allowing Him take care of you, comfort you, and encourage you. The Lord’s not disappointed with you. He’s actually quite happy that you’ve opened your mouth and spoken to Him. Your condition doesn’t shock Him. He already knows. The Lord just wants us to speak to Him. Speaking means a lot.

In Philippians 4:6, Paul tells us to “let your requests be made known to God.” How would we let our needs, our concerns, our worries, and our failures be made known to God? We open our mouth and speak to the Lord.

And having the same spirit of faith…we also believe, therefore we also speak (2 Corinthians 4:13). Sometimes we speak by faith. Things may or may not change, but we still speak. The Lord loves to hear our voice.

Lord, keep us talking and speaking to You!

 

 

 

In the beginning

planet_earth_wallpaper_space_nature_wallpaper_1600_1200_1435In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).

We are so familiar with these words—the first in the Bible. As such, we should consider these first words in the Bible carefully.

The word “genesis” means “the giving of birth” or “origin” (Latin). The book of Genesis is the origin of the divine truths in the Scriptures. Genesis is a book containing all the seeds of the divine truths.

Now here’s a question. Although the remainder of this chapter gives more detail about what God created and we have some description about how God created, we don’t have a verse in this chapter that explicitly says why God created. But if we realize that this Genesis 1:1 is a seed that is sown at the beginning and developed in the remainder of the Bible, we should be able to find why God created in another verse in the Bible.

Revelation 4:11 says, You have created all things, and because of Your will they were, and were created. Why did God create in Genesis 1? Because God has a will. It’s as simple as that. God has a will and a plan (Ephesians 1:9-10; 3:11), and according to this will and plan, He created all things. God’s will is God’s wish. God’s will is simply what God wants to do.

When we come to the topic of God’s will, this is always a big question for us. What is God’s will for me? But really, this question should not be so much a matter of considering what is God’s will for me but rather, what is God’s will? What does God want to do? What would make God happy?

The Lord Jesus is our pattern. The Lord Jesus was beloved to the Father and the one who pleased the Father in every way (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Ephesians 1:6). The Lord Jesus was the One who lived to accomplish the Father’s will (Matt. 26:39; John 5:30; 6:38). If God’s will is what God wants to do and that which pleases God, then we see that God’s will is fulfilled by Christ and in fact is Christ.

We return to Genesis 1:1 and see that God created because of His will (that which pleased Him), and then we see that the Son accomplished the Father’s will and that the Son pleased the Father. We add Revelation 1:17 and 3:14, which gives the Lord Jesus the titles the First and the beginning of the creation of God. Furthermore, Colossians 1:16-17 indicates that in Him (the Lord Jesus Christ) all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth…; all things have been created through Him  and unto Him.

So really, what was in the beginning? Christ! Even in Genesis 1:1, we see that this verse is filled with Christ. Christ is the beginning. Christ is the one in whom and through whom and unto whom all things were created.

In the next few weeks, we will be looking at the experiences of Christ as life in the first chapters of the Bible, and as such, we begin with this post to realize that the foundation is Christ. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any of these wonderful experiences of Christ in Genesis!

I am not alone

 I am not alone; 

I am not alone;

Jesus is my partner,

And I am not alone.

When I was in my second year of Bible school, we sang this song all the time. The more I sing this song, the more it becomes my experience. Just a few days ago, I was driving solo across the seemingly abandoned stretch of highway in the Mojave desert of California and then the barren Colorado Plateau of Arizona and New Mexico. Even as a wildlife biologist, it was hard to appreciate the desolation of life along the I-40.

Somewhere and at sometime, the song came to me. I am not alone. What a ridiculous thought at first. Of course I am alone. Look around. There is no one in my car; there is no one for miles around me.

But the song still rings true: Jesus is my partner, and I am not alone. I looked over to the empty passenger seat. There is still no one there, but I had the profound realization that Jesus indeed is my partner. Wherever I go, I have a partner.

In Matthew 1:23, the name  given to the Lord Jesus was Emmanuel, which means God with us. At the end of this book, the  Lord said, And behold, I am with you all the days until the consummation of the age (Matthew 28:20). By becoming the life-giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45) the Lord fulfilled His promise to be with us to the point of being in us (John 14:17, 20).

In Genesis 48:15, an elderly Israel spoke of the God who has shepherded me all my life to this day. Today, we can have this same experience. Because the Lord as the Spirit lives in my spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:10, 16; 2 Timothy 4;22), He is always taking care of us. As I drive home, the Lord is driving with me. As I consider the direction of my life, the Lord is directing my path. The Lord shepherds us and takes care of our every need (Psalm 23).

Hallelujah! I really am not alone. Wherever I am, however I am doing, whatever my condition is, Jesus as my Emmanuel is with me. He as the life-giving Spirit in my spirit will never leave me. I am not alone!

In spirit


In the New Testament, there is a phrase that appears many times: in spirit. What happens when we are in spirit? Let’s consider the testimony of one who was in spirit.

The Apostle John was in spirit on the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10) and received the Lord’s direct speaking and a tremendous vision. By the end of the book of Revelation, John was carried away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and shown the ultimate revelation in the Bible: the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10). From the beginning to the end of the book of Revelation, John was in spirit. What if John wasn’t in spirit? We might have lost the consummating revelation and the greatest vision in the Bible. How important it is to be in spirit at any given time!

What about us? It might not be our portion to receive the vision John received, but the Apostle Paul said to be burning in spirit, serving the Lord (Romans 12:11). John 4:24 indicates that our true worship to God is in spirit. The book of Ephesians tells us a lot about this phrase in spirit. Ephesians 2:22 says that we are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit. The great mystery of God’s economy regarding Christ and the church was revealed to the apostles and prophets in spirit (Ephesians 3:5). Ephesians 5:18 tells us to be filled in spirit. Ephesians 6:18 mentions that we need to pray at every time in spirit.

Service. Worship. Building. Revelation. Being filled. Prayer. These are all connected with our being in spirit. Our spirit is the innermost part of our being (Zechariah 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Ephesians 3:16), and the part where the Triune God dwells (2 Timothy 4:22; Romans 8:9-11). The Apostle Paul could even say, for God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit… (Rom. 1:9). When Paul said but he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17), he realized that his spirit was joined to and one with the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17). Like John, it was in spirit that Paul was able to receive and record the great revelation that is now part of the Bible.

It was my realization recently that because of the Apostle John and Apostle Paul’s being in their spirit, I am a believer today. When I was eight years old, a brother helped me to realize my need to receive the Lord by presenting John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13. Who wrote these verses? John and Paul! These were two brothers who were in spirit when they received and wrote down what are now verses in the Bible. We see in these brothers a pattern of ones who were faithful to be in spirit. We too can be joined to the Lord as one spirit and live and walk in spirit.

Why should Christians meet together?

Why should we as believers come together throughout the week and gather in buildings and homes?

There’s lots a points that we could talk about, but let’s take a look at what the Bible says.

And let us consider one another so as to incite one another to love and good works, not abandoning our own assembling together, as the custom with some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more as you see the day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Ok, so here’s one reason why we meet together. The Bible tells us not to not meet (that means to meet).

Our meetings as the church fulfill that which is on the Lord’s heart. In Matthew 16:18, the Lord Jesus said, will build My church.  This is what the Lord wanted, but He didn’t exactly say how this would actually happen. But in 1 Corinthians 14:26, the Apostle Paul gave us a clue: What then brothers? Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. The context of this verse is the believers as the church coming together to meet (verses 4, 23, 28). So this verse gives us a connection between coming together and building the church, which fulfills the Lord’s prophesy in Matthew 16:18.

The New Testament is filled with examples of believers that came together corporately. In continuing to answer the question why, we’re going to make a connection with something that seems at first completely unrelated. We’re going to consider something that we’re not going to take the time here to define or expound. We’re just going to make a bold statement.

The New Jerusalem

The New Jerusalem is the eternal destiny of the believers. The entire Bible is consummated in Revelation 21 and 22 with a revelation of the New Jerusalem as the goal of God’s eternal economy. Hebrews 12:22 speaks of the New Jerusalem: But you have come forward to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; and to myriad of angels, to the universal gathering. Interestingly, one of the descriptions of the New Jerusalem is that it is a gathering.

We gather together today in the age of the church because our meetings are a foretaste of the New Jerusalem. What we will be doing for eternity looks like what we do every time we gather together as the Bible describes.

So, we come together as believers to meet because the Bible tells us to, it builds the church, it fulfills that which is on the Lord’s heart, and it brings us into the experience of the New Jerusalem.

There’s a line from a hymn that I absolutely love: we have found that meeting with the saints is the greatest joy on earth. This is completely my experience. When I come and meet with my brothers and sisters, my joy is made full.

For more on the New Jerusalem, here are 2 great books that helped Mike and Nathan immensely in their understanding and experience of the New Jerusalem.

God’s New Testament Economy (Chapters 26 -44) 

The Application of the Interpretation of the New Jerusalem to the Seeking Believers.

And here is a great blog focused completely on the New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem – A Biblical View

The seven ones

In our last post In the Lord Spirit, we enjoyed that when we are in the Lord who is the Spirit, all of the virtues of Christ become ours. This enables us to keep the oneness of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:1-3). This is very experiential.

However, we realized after publishing our last post that there is an aspect that was missing. In our blog, we like to talk about the truth and then match it with our experience, but the foundation needs to be the truth. It’s great to talk about keeping the oneness of the Spirit, but if we lack the proper base, our oneness will not be the genuine and unique oneness spoken of in the Word of God.

In our last post, we looked at Ephesians 4:1-3. But these three verses are actually part of a group of six verses that collectively form one sentence. So, let’s look at all six verses.

(1) I beseech you therefore, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, (2) with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, bearing one another in love, (3) being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace: (4) one Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism; (6) one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:1-6). So by examining the grammatical construction of these verses, we realize that verses 4 through 6 are actually the  definition and explanation of the oneness of the Spirit.

In exhorting us to safeguard the oneness, Paul pointed out seven things that form the base of our oneness. The base of our oneness is not a matter of getting along, forming a social organization, or even of tolerating one another and their personal beliefs. The base of our oneness is these seven ones: one Body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father. There is so much to consider in these points. But let’s just look at a few points.

The first item mentioned is the one Body. The Body is mentioned first because the oneness among us is related to the Body of Christ and is for the Body. The one Spirit is mentioned next because the unique essence of the Body is the Spirit; the one Spirit is not only the essence of the Body but also the life and the life supply of the Body (1 Corinthians 12:13). There is so much to speak concerning the one hope (so we will be writing a blog on this in the next few weeks), but one crucial point to see is that the Spirit is working energetically within us toward the goal of bringing us into the fulfillment of the hope of our calling (Colossians 1:27; Romans 8:23-25).

These verses do not mention one Son but rather one Lord. The Lord is for authority, a matter which concerns His headship (Acts 2:36; 16;31; Ephesians 1:22). The first of the seven items is the Body, and the Body requires a Head. The one faith in verse 5 is the object of our faith; it is not a subjective faith. This unique faith is held by all genuine Christians, and through this faith, we are joined to Christ. The one baptism transfers us out of the old realm in which we lived into the name of the Triune God (Matthew 28:19), into Christ (Galatians 3:27), into the death of Christ (Romans 6:3), and into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).  Through faith and baptism, we have been transferred into Christ and have been joined to the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17). The one God is the Originator of all things, and the one Father is the source of life for the Body.

These seven ones are the base of our oneness and of our experience of the oneness of the Spirit. Apart from this base, there is no genuine oneness, and there cannot be the practical building up of the Body of Christ that Paul speaks of in the remaining chapters in Ephesians. Without these seven ones, we will be little children tossed by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching in the sleight of men, in craftiness with a view to a system of error (Ephesians 4:14). To teach something different than these seven ones is to teach different things…which produce questionings rather than God’s economy, which is in faith (1 Timothy 1:3-4).

We are so thankful that the Lord has given us these seven ones as the base of our oneness. If we would focus on these seven items, which center on the Triune God and the Body of Christ, we will able to keep the oneness of the Spirit.

Truth and experience is the burden of this blog. But we must realize that we need a solid foundation in the truth before we enter into the experience of the truth.

Here are some additional resources along the lines of this blog. These reading have helped us out very much in our understanding of the truth.

The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church

Life Study of Ephesians, Message 36-37

And finally, you can order these two free books being given away by Bibles for America.

The Normal Christian Life

The Economy of God 

 

In the Lord Spirit

 

I beseech you therefore, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, bearing one another in love, being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Wow. That’s quite a charge. As believers, we all know that this is the kind of living we should have. We know we should be lowly and meek. We know we should have a genuine care for one another, and that we should endeavor to take care of the oneness. But how can we really do this in our experience?

In our interactions with most people, especially those that we like, these verses aren’t that hard to apply. But what about that one person we simply cannot be with—the one who just drives us crazy? How can we possibly fulfill Paul’s charge with people like that. How can we reconcile Paul’s charge and the fact that we’re not always lowly and meek, we don’t always bear one another in love, and we often break the oneness?

There are two phrases in these verses that give us the secret to having a walk that is worthy of our calling: prisoner in the Lord and oneness of the Spirit. 

Paul considered himself as one who was confined to, trapped in the Lord. For Him, there was no escaping. If we are in the Lord, we realize that He is the one who has these virtues in Ephesians. The Lord Himself said, learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29). We do not have the virtues of being meek or lowly, but the Lord does. We don’t have the capacity to bear one another in love, but the Lord does. If we are in the Lord, these virtues become ours.

We also need to see that our maintaining and keeping the oneness is not something that we are able to do. It is the oneness of the Spirit. It is so crucial that we see the matter of the Spirit. When we are apart from the Spirit, we are divisive, we do not care for others, and we do not have the virtues that are mentioned in these verses. But when we stay in the Spirit, we keep the oneness of the Spirit.

Actually these two phrases speak the same point. It is so important for us to realize that the Lord is the Spirit. How and why do we say this? Because the Bible says so! In 2 Corinthians 3:17, it says so clearly, and the Lord is the Spirit. First Corinthians 15:45 says that the last Adam [Christ] became a life-giving Spirit. It is not a small thing to realize that in His resurrection, the Lord became the life-giving Spirit. It is only by the Lord becoming the Spirit that He is able to enter into us (John 14:17, 20; 20:22). Because the Lord is the Spirit, we can be a prisoner in Him. Because the Lord is the Spirit, all of His virtues can become our virtues. 

So when we find that we are not able to get along with one another, when we discover that we are not lowly or meek, what should we do? We should turn to the Lord who is the Spirit in our spirit (Romans 8:9-11, 16; 1 Corinthians 6:17). We should cry out to the Spirit by calling on His name. According to Romans 10:13, when we call on His name, we will be saved. This salvation is not just for our redemption, but also for salvation from not being lowly and meek, or not keeping the oneness.

Thank You Lord for being the Spirit in my spirit. Thank You that all Your virtues can be mine because you are the Spirit. Because I am in You, I can have a walk that is worthy of my calling. Lord, keep me in You. We love You Lord Spirit!

To me for you

If indeed you have heard of the stewardship of the grace of God which was given to me for you (Ephesians 3:2).

To me for you. 

I love these four words. Paul spoke these words as he began to expound some of the greatest truths in the Bible: the mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:4), the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8), and the eternal economy of God (Ephesians 3:9). The fact that Paul could speak these profound truths may cause us to think that he was on a completely different level than us. However, Paul considered himself as less than the least of all saints (Ephesians 3:8). He was simply a steward of the grace of God. He personally received and enjoyed the unsearchable riches of Christ (to me) and then announced his enjoyment to others (to you). 

Paul lived a to me for you life. What he did was not just for his personal spiritual growth and development, but it was with others in view. He referred to himself as a steward of the grace of God (Ephesians 3:2). Paul’s view was that this grace was given to announce the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel (Ephesians 3:8). In other words, what Paul received from the Lord, he dispensed into others by speaking to them.

This is the gospel. It is a matter of speaking the Christ that we have received into others. Both to believers and unbelievers, we can take every opportunity to impart Christ into others. I recently was on a gospel trip in Sweden. On this trip, I was able to be with believers in Stockholm and Uppsala and to preach the gospel at Swedish universities. In every case, the Lord showed me that I can live a to me for you life. I learned much on this trip concerning the directionality of the Lord’s flowing: to me for you. In my time in Sweden, I found it to be such a joy to experience this to me for you kind of life. I have never been so happy in such a normal way.

What I did in Sweden was nothing extraordinary. It was the most ordinary experience. To share the Christ that I have enjoyed with other believers, to present Christ to one who has turned away from Him, to help an unbeliever realize that he has a spirit meant to contain God: these are all the normal experiences of one enjoying the to me for you life. Every time I interacted with another, it was another chance for the Lord to flow into me and then out of me. But such a flow depended on my being open to the Lord. Before contacting people, I needed to spend much time with the Lord to enjoy Him and be infused with Him. Every time I came to the Lord to spend time with Him in prayer and in His Word, this was the experience of to me. This was the Lord flowing into me. Although the receiving is wonderful, this flow needs an outlet. This is the to you experience. My enjoyment and experience of the Lord is not just for me. It is to me for you.

For Paul, this was a matter of great joy. Regarding the believers in Thessalonica, Paul said, for what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Are not even you? For you are our glory and joy (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20). Paul ministered to and labored on these believers in order that they would grow and mature in the Lord. This made Paul happy. This was the fulfillment of the Lord’s words in John 15:11, these things I have spoken to you [concerning living a fruit-bearing life] that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be made full. We become the happiest people when we enter into this to me for you life.

To me for you!

Built into God

He who overcomes, him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall by no means go out anymore, and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which descends out of heaven from My God, and My new name (Revelation 3:12).

This one verse is full of rewards to the overcoming believers. But let’s just consider the first item: him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God.

But in my Bible reading, I came across another interesting verse in Revelation 21:22. In the Apostle John’s vision of the New Jerusalem, he said, and I saw no temple in it

Time out!

The overcomers will become a pillar in the temple, but in eternity future, John saw no temple! What does this mean? Well, we need to read the verse in its entirety. And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its templeHmm…so there’s no temple because the Triune God Himself is the temple.

But what about being a pillar in the temple of God? This must indicate that we will be built not into some physical building but into God Himself. In eternity, the Triune God will be our dwelling place. For this, we must be built into Him. This is the reality and fulfillment of all that the Lord Jesus spoke of in John 14, one of the most mysterious chapters in the Bible. In John 14:20, the Lord said, in that day [the day of resurrection] you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in youThree verses later, the Lord said, if anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him (John 14:23). 

Wow, so this is our eternal destiny: to be built into and dwell in the Triune God. But how does this actually happen?

John 14:23 gives two important keys: loving the Lord and reading the Word of God. We need to say over and over again, Lord Jesus, I love You. By saying this, we give the Lord an opportunity to build Himself into us so that we could be built into Him. We also need to read the Bible. The Word of God is God Himself (John 1:1). When we read the Bible, God gets into us and it causes us to be constituted with who God is. This, once again, is God being built into us so that we could be built into Him.

In Ephesians 3:17, the Apostle Paul prays that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith. So we need to pray. Lord, today, right now, make Your home in my heart that I would be built into You. 

Daniel and his three companions

Daniel from the Old Testament was one who stood for God and God’s interest on the earth. In doing so, he found himself in precarious and life-threatening situations throughout his entire life. We all know about the lion’s den, but that’s only one of many accounts. Since being carried away into captivity at the beginning of chapter one, Daniel’s life was characterized as one standing as an anti-testimony in a corrupted age.

In chapter two, the king dreamed a dream and not only demanded that his wise men interpret the dream, but he required them to tell him what his dream was. Because none were able to do such a thing, the king ordered for the execution of all his wise men, including Daniel.

When Daniel heard the news, he responded and said that he would reveal and interpret the king’s dream. But before doing so, something very important took place.

Then Daniel went to his house and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might request compassions from before the God of the heavens concerning this mystery (Daniel 2:17-18). Before doing anything, Daniel went to have fellowship and to pray with his vital companions. These four had been together since before being taken captive (Daniel 1:6). As teenagers, these four stood against and were victorious over the demonic diet (Daniel 1:5-21). In chapter three, these companions were victorious over the seduction of idol worship. These four companions stood together as one. They were a group of four that were built up in fellowship and in prayer. 

Here is the key point: we need companions. But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22). The world we live in is not void of temptations, seductions, and trials. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, two are better than one…for if they fall, the one will lift up his companion. None of us is self-sufficient. We need to be with those. Like Daniel, we need companions with whom we can have fellowship and with whom we can pray.

My personal testimony is that I need my companions. During hard times, I can’t go on without them. During the good times, I still need them. I have a number of brothers that I can consider my vital companions. It doesn’t matter where they are in the world, I can call them for fellowship and to pray. I might be struggling, or they might be struggling. But we are there to encourage one another to go on together in this race. My companions span the globe at this point, but whenever we see each other, our spirits leap for joy.

I thank the Lord so much for my God-given companions. These brothers are my with those. These are those with whom I pursue the Lord. Romans 12:5 mentions a phrase: members one of another. When you see one of my brothers, you see me. When you see me, you see my brothers. Perhaps my favorite verse is Hebrews 13:1. It’s just four simple words: let brotherly love continue

Morning Revival (Part 7 of 12)

The Sixth Point of Morning Revival—The Most Necessary Ingredient

OpenWe need to come to the Lord every morning in a fresh way. The Lord doesn’t place a heavy list of requirements on us in order for us to be revived. But there is one point concerning morning revival that is left up to us. This one point is the most necessary ingredient of morning revival: we need to open to the Lord.

Many times, our concept of being revived is that something from the heavens will descend on us and get us out of our deadened condition. We’ve already seen that revival is the bringing back to life. So morning revival indicates that when we come to the Lord in the morning, we need to be brought back to life. But the fact remains that we were alive, so we don’t need something outside of us to come inside of us. First John makes it very clear that the Lord’s life is eternal. Once His life comes into us, it’s there eternally. So what we really need is for something that is already within us to come forth from within us.

The Lord Himself is resurrection life (John 11:25). Christ is in us (Romans 8:10). Furthermore, the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you (Romans 8:11). In Philippians 3:10, the Apostle Paul longingly stated, to know Him and the power of His resurrection.

Resurrection life certainly has the power to revive us each morning. We need our eyes to be opened to realize that this powerful life is already in our spirit. We simply need to open to the Lord who is resurrection life. His resurrection life within us has the power to revive us every morning.

How does this happen?

It’s really just a matter of talking to the Lord. By our talking to the Lord, we are opening to the Lord. Conversation with the Lord is the secret to being revived.

Lord, thank You that you are the resurrection and the life. Thank You that You are in my spirit. Lord, I open to You right now. Lord, cause me to be open. May Your life have a way to flow out of my spirit and revive my entire being. Lord Jesus, I love You. 

Return to Morning Revival (Part 6 of 12)

2012 in review

We started 3 months ago, and here’s what’s happened since. Pray for us as we begin a new year. Pray for the release of the Lord’s speaking on our blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Speak to the rock!

http://www.waterfall-picture-guide.com/rocky-gorge.htmlWhat is Christ to you? The Bible mentions Christ being many things. First Corinthians, in particular, portrays many rich aspects of Christ. He is power and wisdom (1:24). He is our real Passover (5:7) He is our spiritual food (5:8, 10:3). Christ is everything.

Let’s consider one very particular and unique aspect of Christ from 1 Corinthians. First Corinthians 10:4 says, And all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank of a spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ. Well, that’s pretty clear: the rock was Christ. Christ is our rock.

A rock is something strong and durable. If we think of Christ as our rock, we may consider Christ as our strength and endurance. This is absolutely true. But the particular emphasis in 1 Corinthians 10:4 is not these attributes of Christ.

What then does Christ as our rock signify? This rock has water flowing out of it! In 1 Corinthians 10, the Apostle Paul is referring to Exodus 17:1-7. As Moses was leading the thirsty children of Israel in the wilderness, God commanded Moses to strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people may drink (17:6). Again in Numbers 20:8, this rock supplied the children of Israel with water, except in this case, God told Moses to speak to the rock.

Because of Paul’s exposition in 1 Corinthians 10:4, we realize that the account in the Old Testament is a type. The reality is Christ. Christ is our real rock that quenches our thirst.

Have you enjoyed Christ as your rock? This might be hard to answer if we don’t see the profound significance of Christ as our rock.

As our rock, Christ was struck on the cross. On the cross, blood and water flowed out of His side (John 19:34): blood for redemption and water for the imparting of life. Before He died, the Lord Himself said, He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of His innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. But this He said concerning the Spirit… This water, therefore, is the Spirit.

In 1 Corinthians 12:13, we were all given to drink one Spirit.  The Lord Jesus is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17). In resurrection, He became the life-giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45) so that He could enter into our spirit (Romans 8:9-10, 16; John 4:24; 2 Timothy 4:22). As the Spirit, Christ is so available, and He can live inside of us. As the Spirit, we can drink Him as our living water. 

Today, we can enjoy and experience Christ as our rock flowing with living water. In order to get this water, there is no need for the rock to be struck again. Christ has already been crucified for us. He has cleansed us with His blood and filled us with Himself as living water (John 19:34). As indicated in Numbers 20:8, we simply need to speak to the rock in order to access this water. This is as simple as having a conversation with the Lord.

Are you thirsty? Tell the rock, Lord, I’m thirsty. Are you discouraged? Tell the rock, Lord, I’m discouraged. Do you need encouragement? Speak to the rock, Lord, encourage me. Cheer me up. Are you stressed out and full of anxietyLord, I trust in You. Be my peace. When we speak to the rock, we get Christ as living water.

Have you spoken to the rock today?

Because he had always done so previously

When it comes to the Daniel of the Old Testament, we are, probably without question, most familiar with the story of Daniel and the lion’s den. In chapter six of Daniel, we see that the king was considering setting Daniel over the entire kingdom. Jealous political officials tried to find something with which to accuse Daniel, yet no negligence or fault was found related to him (Daniel 6:4). So, these evil men tricked the king into signing an edict in which no one could pray to anyone except the king for a period of thirty days. Anyone caught praying would be thrown into the lion’s den.

Now when Daniel came to know that the writing had been signed, he went to his house (in his upper room he had windows open toward Jerusalem) and three times daily he knelt on his knees and prayed and gave thanks before his God, because he had always done so previously (Daniel 6:10).

So, most of us know what happened next. Daniel was caught immediately, and the king was forced to cast his most trusted official into the lion’s den. But God sent His angel to shut up the mouths of the lions, and Daniel was delivered unharmed because he trusted in his God (Daniel 6:23).

I think it’s common to focus on the part about the miracle in the lion’s den. But I want to focus on this phrase because he had always done so previouslyBecause Daniel had built up the habit of praying three times a day, not even a political decree could stop his prayer life. Nothing could interfere with Daniel’s prayer life. The king even stated, O Daniel, servant of the living God…whom you serve continually (Daniel 6:20). How did the king know that Daniel served God? Daniel served God by praying.

How about us? How is our prayer life? Would we be known as a person who consistently and habitually serves God by praying? Do we have scheduled times of prayer with our Lord? Do we make our prayer appointments with the Lord our top priority?

It almost goes without saying that my answer to these questions wouldn’t match Daniel. Daniel is such a pattern to us. Daniel was even referred to as a man of preciousness (Daniel 10:11, 19) and preciousness itself (Daniel 9:23). This utterance was due in no small part to Daniel’s life of prayer.

I attended a Christian conference recently on prayer, and I enjoyed this prayer in one of our outlines: Lord, I mean business with You about this matter of prayer. I call heaven and earth to witness that from this time forth I will have a life of prayer. I will not be a prayerless person. Rather, I will be a praying person….Lord, I am desperate about this….Remind me to pray. 

We need to make a resolve, even a vow before the Lord, to be praying people.

Persevere in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).

Unceasingly pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

In nothing! In everything!

It’s the day before Thanksgiving. I’m waiting in the Boston airport for my flight to Chicago, which has been delayed for over an hour. I’m trying to read my Bible with the full awareness that I have fifty minutes in Chicago to try to catch my flight home to Wichita. I’ve done the math; I’m going to miss my flight.

Lord, I trust in You. 

He gives me a verse. In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).

Yes Lord, I don’t need to be anxious. Lord, missing my flight is included in nothing and everything. Here we go LordI’m going to make known my request:  Lord, how about getting me home tonight. Thank You Lord. 

I arrive in Chicago at 6:45 PM. Of course I missed my flight. It left an hour before I arrived in Chicago. I go to the customer service line. Can I get a flight into Wichita tonight? The agent looks. There is one flight leaving in two hours. But it’s full. I’ll put you on the standby list. I dare not ask, but I ask anyway: when is the next flight into Wichita? The agent checks. Tomorrow at 3:40 PM. 

O Lord! 

He reminds me. In nothing.

Yes Lord, but surely that doesn’t include an entire day waiting in the Chicago airport. 

He reminds me. In everything

Ok Lord, get me on that flight. 

I don’t think I’m alone in this kind of experience. We seem to be more than justified to be anxious. But the Bible says in nothing be anxious. Instead of being anxious, we can let our requests be made known to God by prayer and petition with thanksgiving. Then what happens? We may think, if I’m not anxious and I pray, God will answer my prayer and everything will be fine. Well, the Lord may not answer our prayer according to what we think. So, I have two hours to wait in Chicago before I find out if I get on the only flight into Wichita. What if I don’t get on the flight? What if I’m stranded in Chicago for an entire day? Did God fail to answer my prayer that I prayed without anxiety and with thanksgiving?

We need to consider the very next verse in Philippians. And the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. This is the real answer. I may be left in Chicago, and I may miss Thanksgiving with my family. But if I get the peace of God, I get everything.

Which would you rather have? An outward answer to prayer or God Himself? Second Peter 1:4 says, Through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature. Through the promises of God, we can partake of and enjoy the divine nature of God. In this way, the divine nature becomes our inward element. Philippians 4:6-7 is a promise of God. If we are not anxious, and we make our requests known to God through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, the Word promises that we will receive the peace of God. Peace as a divine characteristic of God is wrought into our being constituting us a person of peace. As such, the outward things that cause us to be anxious cannot affect us. If we are in anxiety, we cannot experience God as peace. As such, our situations will govern our being. But when we turn to the Lord and claim the promises in His Word, we partake of His divine nature and get God Himself.

Now calling Seating Group 7. The last ticketed passengers board the plane. I’m first on the standby list. There are two passengers missing, and the gate is closing in two minutes.

In nothingYes Lord, I love You. Lord, I want You as peace. Lord, You mean more to me than that seat. 

Two passengers come running to the gate and get in line to board. The agent says to the first passenger, you’re just in time. We were closing the gate in one minute. 

In everything! Thank You Lord. You are my peace. 

The agent says to the second passenger, you’re at the wrong gate. You need to go across the way to gate 2B. 

Thank You Lord!

The agent says to me, this is your lucky day.

No ma’am. This was a day for me to get more God. 

The real gazelle

The Song of Songs is a book of poetry from the Old Testament portraying the love relationship between Christ and His loving seekers. This book is full of types and illustrations of which Christ is the reality. Let’s look at one.

My beloved is like a gazelle (Song of Songs 2:9).

The Mountain Gazelle (Gazella gazella) is the species that is likely mentioned in the Bible. As its name indicates, the Mountain Gazelle inhabits low altitude mountains, sometimes in very steep terrain but generally avoid rocky areas and walking on rocks. They prefer plateaus, hilly relief, foothills, and valleys between mountains and open habitats or areas with light forest in gravel or sandy plains(1). Although they inhabit mountainous terrain, they generally avoid rocky areas and walking on rocks. Accordingly, gazelles are extremely agile and well-equipped to engage in leaping and jumping behavior.

Concerning her beloved as a gazelle, the lover of Christ said, now he comes, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hill (Song of Songs 2:8).

So what does it mean that Christ is the reality of the gazelle? We need to consider the context in which the lover in the Song of Songs mentions her beloved as a gazelle. Basically, it comes down to the fact that she was having problems. There were things in her experience that the lover considered as difficulties and barriers (mountains and hills) that were insurmountable. She was unable to overcome these things. But she realized that her beloved was like a gazelle.

We need Christ as our real gazelle. We go through so many things in our daily life that are humanly impossible to overcome. We need to “leap” and “skip” over these obstacles, but we in ourselves our simply not able. As such, we need the “leaping” and “skipping” life of Christ. This is the resurrection life of Christ. Christ is resurrection itself (John 11:25). He is able to overcome all of our mountains and hills. We think our problems are so great and high and there is nothing we could possibly do to leap or skip over them. That’s actually true, so we need Christ’s resurrection life. In Philippians 3:10, Paul said, to know Him and the power of His resurrection. This resurrection power is the power that raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20) and designated Christ as the Firstborn Son of God (Romans 1:4). Such a power is in our spirit. Instead of looking at how high our mountains are, we need to turn to our spirit and experience Christ as resurrection life.

Thank You Lord for being my real gazelle! I believe that your resurrection life can overcome all of my problems. Lord, I want to know You and the power of Your resurrection. 

(1) Mendelssohn, H., Yom-Tov, Y. and Groves, C.P. (1995) Gazella gazelle. Mammalian Species490: 1 – 7.

How to be rich

Do you want to be rich? Well, I can tell you that I’m the richest person in the world, and you can be too. Here’s the secret. It’s all a matter of having the Lord in your spirit (2 Timothy 4:22). Colossians 3:11 says that Christ is all and in all. The phrase Christ is all means that He is everything. The phrase in all indicates that the One who is everything is in us.

In Ephesians 3:8, the apostle Paul uses a particular phrase: the unsearchable riches of Christ. Our Christ who lives in us (Colossians 1:27) is unsearchably rich. We can’t put a limit on who and what Christ is. He is everything. He is not just the things that we need. He is simply everything. Christ is the reality of all positive things in the universe. Open to any chapter in the Bible, and you can find Christ.

In 1 Timothy 2:3-4, we see that our Savior God…desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth. As we discover the unsearchable riches of Christ, we come to the full knowledge of the truth. But here’s a question: how can the full knowledge of the truth become our experience? We could know a lot about something, but it might just be objective facts with no experience or reality to back up that knowledge.

Romans 10:12 says, the same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him. Like Ephesians 3:8, this verse mentions the Lord being rich, and then it adds a way to experience and enjoy our rich Lord: call upon Him! What does it mean to call upon the Lord? Well, the next verse says, for whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. When we call on the name of the Lord, our Lord becomes unsearchably rich to us in a personal way.

Calling on the name of the Lord is a way to experience the riches of Christ.  O Lord Jesus! Calling on the name of the Lord is a wonderful way to enjoy the Lord. We call someone’s name to get their attention. In the same way, when we call on the name of the Lord, we get the Lord’s attention. Even more, we get everything that He is. We get His very Person.

O Lord Jesus! Thank You Lord for Your wonderfully rich name! 

Christ is everything!

What do a ladder and an eagle have in common? How about a fig and Jonah? What could iron and breath possibly have in common? The answer? The same thing that light and an apple tree have in common. Huh? Well, all of these somewhat randomly selected items have one major commonality: CHRIST! 

Christ is the reality of all positive things in the universe. The Bible is full of examples, both physical and spiritual, of which Christ is the reality.

In Colossians 2:16-18, we see an important principle concerning things mentioned in the Scriptures: let no one therefore judge you in eating and in drinking or in respect of a feast or of a new moon or of the Sabbath, which are a shadow of the things to come, but the body is of Christ. Let no one defraud you by judging you unworthy of your prize. 

The Bible is full of shadows: things that point to Christ. To pay attention to the shadow is to be defrauded or to miss the experience and enjoyment of Christ. Why would we pay attention to the shadow we have the Person that cast the shadow.

In John 5:39-40, the Lord warned us of a very probable scenario: to read the Bible and miss the Lord Himself. Christ is the reality of all positive things. The Bible is filled with things of which Christ is the reality. Let’s consider a few.

Bread: In John 6:35, the Lord said plainly: I am the bread of life. Have you ever considered that when you eat bread, Christ is the real bread? When we eat Christ as our bread, we live because of Christ as our bread (John 6:57).

Clothing: In Galatians 3:27, we are told that when we were baptized, we have put on Christ. Clothing is for covering, protection, warmth, and beauty. Christ is all these things.

Light: In John 8:12, Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Not only did the Lord Jesus Himself say this, but even John the Baptist testified that in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. When we walk into a dark room, we need to turn on the light in order to see. Did you realize that the real light is Christ?

We could go on and on. So, actually, that’s our plan! In the months to come, we’ll be launching a new Truth and Experience series of blog posts: Christ the Reality. Be sure to subscribe by email to receive fresh enjoyments of everything that Christ is to us!

Morning Revival (Part 6 of 12)

The Fifth Point of Morning Revival—The Most Important Exercise

Every morning, we need revival. We have seen that the most needed experience of morning revival is life. I think we’re all about the same in the morning. Basically, we start the day in a “nonliving” condition, and we need to be brought back to life. We know we have so many things to do, but sleep sounds like a much better option. However, being the busy people we are, we get up and start doing the things we need to do. This forcing ourselves to get up and start doing things is an exercise.

However, in the morning, we need to start off with the most important exercise. The most important exercise is the exercise of our spirit. Physical exercise doesn’t always sound like the most appealing thing to do, but we realize we need to do it, and we build up the practice and habit of doing so. In this sense, exercise has the connotation of forcing ourselves to do something for a positive result. 

We get up in the morning, and we force ourselves out of bed. This is a kind of physical exercise. But even before that, something of our willpower and mental realization that we have things to do caused us to make the decision to get out of bed. This is a psychological exercise. But beyond this, we need to have a deeper exercise. We need to have the exercise of our spirit. We need to realize that the day is for God to work Himself more into our being. We need to turn to our spirit immediately in the morning.

In 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul reminded Timothy about exercising his spirit: For which cause I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God… Fanning into flame is related to exercise. What is this gift that we need to fan into flame? It is the God-given spirit of power and of love and of sobermindedness mentioned in the next verse .

In 1 Timothy 4:7-8 Paul says, exercise yourself unto godliness. For bodily exercise is profitable for a little, but godliness is profitable for all things. To exercise ourselves unto godliness is to exercise our spirit to live Christ in our daily life. We need to begin each morning with such an exercise.

Lord, help me every morning to exercise my spirit. Lord, I want to start every day by turning to my spirit. Lord, work Yourself more into my being every day. 

Return to Morning Revival (Part 5 of 12)         Continue to Morning Revival (Part 7 of 12)

Ambassadors of Christ

In 2 Corinthians 5:20 the Apostle Paul says, on behalf of Christ then we are ambassadors Two verses prior, he said God…has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. We are ambassadors of Christ with the ministry of reconciliation.

What does this ministry do?

This ministry eliminates the distance between man and God. First, we need to be reconciled to God, and then we can help others be reconciled to God. But strictly speaking, Christ is the One who reconciled us (2 Cor. 5:18-20), and it is Christ who reconciles others. But the Word of God still says that we were reconciled to God through Christ and now have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). What is this? This is a matter of our being ambassadors.

What is an ambassador?

An ambassador is a diplomatic official of the highest rank appointed and accredited as representative in residence by one government or sovereign to another (American Heritage Dictionary). An ambassador, therefore, represents a country on foreign soil.

What does an ambassador do?

In 2 Corinthians 5:9 Paul told us his aspiration as an ambassador: we are determined, whether at home or abroad, to gain the honor of being well pleasing to Him. We represent Christ. As representatives of Christ, we should walk worthily of the Lord to please Him in all things (Colossians 1:10). This is our primary responsibility as ambassadors. Second Corinthians 5:9 mentions whether at home or abroad. An ambassador has a home country, a place from where he is sent and the place which he represents when he is abroad.

What is our home country?

Psalm 90:1 tells us, O Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. The Lord Himself is our home. The One we represent is our dwelling place. But at the same time, as ambassadors, we are on foreign soil. We, therefore, are representing our home. As such, we need an embassy. An embassy, although located on foreign soil, is in fact the extension of the country represented by the ambassador.

What is our embassy?

The embassy is the local church. We represent Christ in the local churches. The local churches are neither the goal nor the actual country but a way to bring people to the goal of God’s eternal purpose. Hebrews 11:14-16 indicates that we are longing for a heavenly country. For this God has prepared a city for His chosen people. This country, this city is the New Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21-22). What is the New Jerusalem? The New Jerusalem is the ultimate experience of God as our dwelling place and us as God’s dwelling place. As ambassadors, we are longing to arrive at this goal. While here, we experience a foretaste of the New Jerusalem by remaining in the Lord as our dwelling place that we would be His dwelling place (John 15:4-5; Ephesians 2:22). At the same time, we represent the Lord as our country to others, and bring them into the embassy of the local churches so that they may also participate in such a glorious goal.

What about our flag?

Let’s not forget this item. An ambassador needs a flag to visibly represent his country. In Exodus 17:15, Moses built an altar and  called the name of it Jehovah-nissi. Jehovah-nissi­ means Jehovah my banner. God Himself is our flag. Song of Songs 2:4 says, his banner over me was love. God is our banner. Love is our banner. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). What is our banner then? It is God who is love.

Do you realize that you are here to be an ambassador of Christ?

What happens when you say “Lord Jesus, I love You”?

We need to tell the Lord Jesus that we love Him. Lord Jesus, I love You. But what happens when we do so? Let’s consider three wonderful verses in John 14.

In John 14:23, the Lord told us, if anyone loves Me…My Father will love Him, and We will come to Him and make an abode with him. By saying, Lord Jesus, I love You, two marvelous things happen. First, God will love us back. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), and when we love Him, we open ourselves to His love. The second thing that happens in this verse is that the Triune God will come and make His home in us. I often pray according to Ephesians 3:17, Lord, make Your home in my heart today. Well, here is a practical way for this to actually happen: Lord Jesus, I love You.

John 14:21 says, he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him. By loving the Lord, we are loved by our Father and the Lord will have a way to reveal Himself to us. When we love the Lord, the Lord will become so real to us.

In John 14:15, the Lord said, if you love Me, you will keep My commandments. When we love the Lord, we spontaneously will keep His commandments. It’s not a matter of trying or self-effort. Rather, it is the automatic response that results from our loving the Lord. Keeping His commandments is indicative of a daily living that is according to God and is well-pleasing to Him. 

So much happens when we open our mouth and say, Lord Jesus, I love You.

Lord Jesus, I love You! Make Your home more in my heart. Be so real to me. Cause my love for You to result in a living that is well-pleasing to You. 

Morning Revival (Part 5 of 12)

The Fourth Point of Morning Revival—The Most Needed Experience

The American Heritage Dictionary defines revival as the bringing back to life. So morning revival indicates that when we come to the Lord in the morning, we need to be brought back to life. The most needed experience of morning revival is life.

In John 11:25, the Lord said concerning Himself, I am…the life. Every morning, we need the Person who is life itself. The unique center of morning revival is Christ. Christ is life. Therefore, our morning revival is dependent on life.

In Colossians 3:4, we have a particular expression: Christ our life. This is very personal. Christ doesn’t just want to be life as a thing outside of us. He wants to become our life. Nothing is closer or dearer to us than our life. Christ wants to be our life so that He can be the absolutely closest One to us.

How do we receive life in the morning? There are many ways, but all of them focus on coming to Christ who is life. We can speak to the Lord Jesus. We can call on His name. We can sing to the Lord. We can tell the Lord we love Him.  

In John 1:1 and 14, we see that the Lord Jesus is the Word of God. In 1 John 1:1, the Apostle John refers to this same Person as the Word of life. So, another way to receive life in the morning is to come to the Bible.

In John 5:39, we have an account of some who searched the Scriptures thinking that the would have eternal life merely by studying and knowing the Bible. But in verse 40, the Lord gave us the secret in reading the Bible. He said come to Me (the Lord Jesus) that you may have life. If we want to receive life, we need to come to the Lord Himself in His Word.

Lord, bring me back to life every morning. Thank You that You are the life, and You are my life. When I come to the Bible, help me to find You as life. Lord Jesus, I love You.

Return to Morning Revival (Part 4 of 12)         Continue to Morning Revival (Part 6 of 12)

Morning Revival (Part 4 of 12)

The Third Point of Morning Revival—The Outstanding Characteristic

Lord Jesus, I love You.

This should be the way we start every morning: Lord Jesus, I love You. Morning revival is not a complicated practice. It is actually very simple. The most simplifying part is our love for the Lord. The outstanding characteristic of morning revival is love. Song of Songs 1:2 says, Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! This should be our feeling for the Lord every morning. We can even pray, Lord, kiss me this morning. Sometimes we do morning revival out of necessity, but love may not be present. Until you say, Lord Jesus, I love You, morning revival has not really begun. We need to have such a personal and affectionate for the Lord every morning.

The Word of God is full of speaking concerning love for the Lord. A guiding principle of loving the Lord is seen in 1 John 4:19, We love because He first loved us. In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul says that we have been given a spirit of love. This indicates that we have the capacity to love.

In Ephesians 3:17, the Apostle Paul prayed for the believers in the church in Ephesus that Christ may make His home in our hearts through faith. He continued to say that you, being rooted and grounded in love even to the point of knowing the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ (verse 19). This ingredient of love is crucial. In Revelation 2:4, the Lord commended many aspects of the church in Ephesus; however, He had one thing against the—that you have left your first love. We can do many things, but the Lord is most interested in our love for Him.

In John 14:23, the Lord said, If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. The Lord told us in Mark 12:30 what the first and greatest commandment was, And you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from your whole mind and from your whole strength. Loving the Lord with our whole being is so critical to our experience of the Lord.

Lord Jesus, I love You. Kiss me every morning. I want to fall in love with You every morning. Cause my love for You to be so fresh. Lord Jesus, deepen my love for You.

Return to Morning Revival (Part 3 of 12)         Continue to Morning Revival (Part 5 of 12)

Make me a lily

My prayer this week is: “Lord, make me a lily.”

Lily of the Valley – Song of Songs 2:1

In Matthew 6:28, the Lord Jesus said, And why are you anxious…? Consider well the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not toil, neither do they spin thread. The Lord proceeded to tell us not to be anxious. The Lord takes care of the needs of the lily, so surely He will also take care of our every need. In this manner, we need to be like lilies. A lily is someone who lives a simple life of faith and depends fully on the Lord in everything. Apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).

In Hosea 14:5, we have another perspective of the lily. He will bud like the lily and will send forth his roots like the trees of Lebanon. Not only should we be trusting lilies, but we should also send forth our roots like a great tree. These roots are not visible; rather, they are hidden deep within the ground. Although not seen, it is these roots that strengthen the lily to withstand difficult situations and environmental factors. This indicates that we need have a hidden life with the Lord. Colossians 3:3 says, Your life is hidden with Christ in God.

How can we cultivate such a hidden life with the Lord? It is by spending time with Him, especially early in the morning. Jeremiah 17:7-8 mentions that those who trust in Jehovah (like lilies) will be like a tree transplanted beside water, sending out its roots by a stream, and will not be afraid when heat comes, for its leaves remain flourishing, and it will not be anxious in the year of drought, and will not cease to bear fruit (Jer 17:8). By sending our roots deep into the ground, we are able to not only endure trying circumstances, but we will even become a flourishing and fruitful people.

Lord Jesus, send our roots deeper into the ground this week! 

Morning Revival (Part 3 of 12)

The Second Point of Morning Revival—The Highest Purpose

What is the purpose of morning revival? Of course, we could talk about many results and outcomes of morning revival, so let’s focus on the highest purpose. The highest purpose of morning revival is to satisfy the Lord Himself. 

Psalm 110:3 and 7 say, Your people will offer themselves willingly in the day of Your warfare, in the splendor of their consecration. Your young men will be to You like the dew from the womb of the dawn….He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore He will lift up His head.

This psalm in its entirety indicates that the Lord is engaged in a warfare. The highest purpose of morning revival is to refresh our fighting Lord. For this, the Lord needs consecrated followers who will satisfy Him. His loving seekers who offer themselves willingly become splendid people to the Lord. This verse purposefully states that such ones will be to the Lord like the refreshing dew found in the early morning.

We need morning revival, but the Lord needs morning revival more. As verse 7 indicates, the Lord Himself is the drinker. Through morning revival, we become a brook to the Lord from which He can drink. When we come to the Lord early in the morning, we become an encouragement to the Lord. This causes Him to lift up His head and continue the warfare.

When we spend time with the Lord in the morning, we became a satisfaction to Him. When the Lord becomes happy, our happiness is made full. Yes, we are satisfied in the morning when we spend time with the Lord, but we need our view uplifted. We need to realize that we come to the Lord every morning in order for Him to be satisfied and encouraged. If the Lord who lives inside of us is happy, we will spontaneously and simultaneously becomes happy believers.

Lord, every morning, make me a brook from which You can drink. As I spend time with You each morning, I want You to be satisfied. Be happy with me each morning so that I can be happy in You. 

Return to Morning Revival (Part 2 of 12)         Continue to Morning Revival (Part 4 of 12)

Hear Him, See Him, Know Him

Hast thou heard Him, seen Him, known Him? This question comes from a hymn written by Miss Ora Rowan in the nineteenth century. This question actually mirrors the Apostle John’s writing in 1 John 1:1—That which was from the beginning, which we heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life. The “Word of life” is the “Him”  spoken of by Miss Rowan. This “Him” is our wonderful and precious Lord Jesus.

Miss Rowan’s hymn says in the chorus: Captivated by His beauty, worthy tribute haste to bring; let His peerless worth constrain thee, crown Him now unrivaled King. We know little of Miss Rowan’s life, but her experience of the Lord based on her seeing Him in the Word is clearly visible in her hymn. As 2 Corinthians 5:14 mentions, Ms. Rowan was one who was constrained by the love of Christ. She states, What has stripped the seeming beauty from the idols of the earth? Not a sense of right or duty, but the sight of peerless worth. To her, she did not need to regretfully or painfully give up things and elements of the world. She was one who heard the Lord, saw the Lord, and knew the Lord. The Lord was the most beautiful One, and she could not but give her entire being to such a One.

When asked what my favorite hymn is, I do not have to think twice. This is it. There was a point in my life when I was at a crossroad. Although there were actually many decisions involved, it came down to two paths: do I follow my dreams or do I follow the Lord? I was desperate. I didn’t know what to do or think. I was torn. I wanted both. My heart was to follow the Lord wherever He would lead, and I did not understand why I would be put in the position of making such a difficult decision. At such a time, this hymn came to me: Not the crushing of those idols, with its bitter void and smart; but the beaming of His beauty, the unveiling of His heart. These words echoed in the depths of my being. I simply said, “Lord, I need You to be the most beautiful One to me. Lord, I want You to unveil Your heart to me. Lord, I want to hear You, see You, and know You. Speak to me. Appear to me. Attract me with Yourself.”

The Lord is so good. I love Him. I made this decision and prayed this prayer over two years ago. The Lord has answered and continues to answer my prayer. Each day, He proves to me that He is indeed the most beautiful One. I live to Him. In large things and in small things, He shows me exactly what is on His heart. I follow Him. I hear Him in the Word. I see Him in the dear believers with whom He has placed me. How can I help but love Him and give my all to Him?

Hast thou heard Him, seen Him, known Him?
Is not thine a captured heart?
Chief among ten thousand own Him;
Joyful choose the better part.

     Captivated by His beauty
     Worthy tribute haste to bring;
     Let His peerless worth constrain thee,
     Crown Him now unrivaled King!

Idols once they won thee, charmed thee,
Lovely things of time and sense;
Gilded thus does sin disarm thee,
Honeyed lest thou turn thee thence.

What has stripped the seeming beauty
From the idols of the earth?
Not a sense of right or duty,
But the sight of peerless worth.

Not the crushing of those idols,
With its bitter void and smart,
But the beaming of His beauty,
The unveiling of His heart.

Who extinguishes their taper
Till they hail the rising sun?
Who discards the garb of winter
Till the summer hath begun?

‘Tis that look that melted Peter,
‘Tis that face that Stephen saw;
‘Tis that heart that wept with Mary
Can alone from idols draw:

Draw and win and fill completely,
Till the cup o’erflow the brim;
What have we to do with idols
Who have companied with Him?

-Miss Ora Rowan (1834-1879)

———————————————

Rowan, Ora. “Hast thou heard Him, seen Him, known Him.” Hymns. Los Angeles: LSM, 1966. 461. Print.

Morning Revival (Part 2 of 12)

The First Point of Morning Revival—The Unique Center

How do we have morning revival? We first need to see that morning revival is not a matter of methods or procedures. Rather, morning revival is about a Person. The unique center of morning revival is Christ. Our being revived in the morning is not a ritual or formality. Our morning revival is a Person. If we don’t have Christ as our center, it’s not a morning revival.

In Matthew 17, we have the account of the Lord being transfigured on the mountain. While the disciples saw the Lord in glory, Moses (representing the law) and Elijah (representing the prophets) appeared as well. In his speaking, Peter equated Christ to Moses and Elijah, and this offended God. In response, God established a definite principle. Amidst the distracting elements of the law and the prophets, God stated clearly, This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have found My delight. Hear Him! And when the disciples lifted up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.

This is why we have morning revival—to find Jesus Himself alone. God says very clearly, Hear Him! There are many things to hear in the morning. But Christ needs to become our only “Him.” In spite of the many things that we must do in our day to come, we need to spend the time to see Jesus Himself alone. This is the most basic principle of morning revival—hear Him and see Him only. The Lord’s desire is that we would begin our day by taking Christ as our unique center. If we are not centered from the beginning, it is difficult to live Christ throughout the day. Many times we get up in the morning and give our attention to so many things but not the unique center. This becomes the reason it is difficult to live an overcoming life throughout the day. Morning revival is the secret to living an overcoming life.

Lord, be my unique center every morning. Lord, I want to hear You and see You only. Lord, I just love You. 

Return to Morning Revival (Part 1 of 12)        Continue to Morning Revival (Part 3 of 12)

Morning Revival (Part 1 of 12)

Introduction to Morning Revival

Revive us, and we will call upon Your name (Psalm 80:18b).

The Lord Jehovah…awakens me morning by morning; He awakens my ear, to hear as an instructed one (Isaiah 50:4). This phrase “morning by morning” is also found in Exodus 16:21. Here, the children of Israel would gather manna morning by morning.

Every twenty-four hours there is a morning to begin the new day. This is a principle of the natural world. Every day marks a new beginning. We should begin every day by being awakened by the Lord. This is on the Lord’s side. On our side, we should begin every day by gathering our daily “manna.” In Exodus, the manna came with the dew. The refreshing dew comes early in the morning. In like manner, when we arise in the morning, we should be refreshed and revived by the Lord as we gather our spiritual manna.

Our times with the Lord in the morning should be sweet and pleasant. Our Lord is so lovely and lovable. We should begin each day by saying, Lord Jesus, I love You. This will cause us to be revived each morning. Every morning, we should have the experience of being drawn to and by the Lord.

No matter how good or bad yesterday was, the morning marks a new day, a new start. We need to begin our days with God. Yes, an insurmountable number of tasks and responsibilities lie ahead of us when we awake. But doesn’t our wonderful Lord Jesus deserve the first place each morning? Our beginning the day with the Lord will set the tone for our day, as busy, mundane, or complicated as it may be.

This post is the first in a series of twelve. In the weeks to come, we will talk about ten principles concerning morning revival. Join us to enter into a living of being revived by the Lord morning by morning.

Continue to Morning Revival (Part 2 of 12)

The Masterpiece

An artist, composer, or writer may have many works produced in his or her lifetime. But not everything can be considered a masterpiece. Here’s a definition of masterpiece from the American Heritage Dictionary: the largest, and perhaps the best, most popular, or most renowned achievement of a writer, artist, composer, or craftsman. 

For Rosa Bonheur, her work The Horse Fair  was it. She had many other works, but this was the best. Nothing else matched the scale or grandeur of this singular work. This was her masterpiece.

What do you think of when you think of masterpiece? Mona Lisa by da Vinci, Starry Night by van Gogh, the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel, or Pilgrim’s Progress by Bunyan?

We can discuss what we would consider to be the greatest masterpiece, but let’s consider a masterpiece on another level. What is God’s masterpiece?

Ephesians 2:10 tells us so plainly: For we are His masterpiece. Let this set in for a minute: we are His masterpiece.

This verse continues to say, created in Christ Jesus. Something created by God is considered by God Himself as His masterpiece. Creation is awesome. There are so many items of breathtaking magnificence, and we could discuss for hours which one is the greatest. The redwoods of California, the northern lights of the arctic tundra, the Great Barrier Reef with its life diversity, the rings of Saturn…there are so many things we can consider. But none of these compare to the masterpiece in Ephesians 2:10.

We could say that we as the creation of God—the only item of creation with a body and a soul and a spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23)—are His masterpiece. However, created man, strictly speaking, is still not the masterpiece in the eyes of God.

What then is God’s masterpiece? First, we need to see that this masterpiece is an absolutely new item in the universe, a new invention of God. This new item was not just the creation of man; rather, it is the mingling of heavenly divinity with earthly humanity. In Ephesians 2:1-3, we see the that we were dead in our offenses and sins, and we were rebels against God. We were in a seemingly hopeless condition. But God, being rich in  mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us…(Ephesians 2:4). Because of such mercy and love, God made us alive together with Christ, raised us up together with Christ, and seated us together with Christ in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5-6). Second Corinthians 5:17 says, So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Since we are in Christ, we are a new creation. This new creation is new and distinct from everything in God’s original creation because of one key factor: the new creation has the added element of God’s life and nature. This is God’s masterpiece.

I am God’s masterpiece! Do you realize that by virtue of having received the life of God, you have the right to say this? This should govern and control our living. We are the most dignified and privileged people in the universe. It is a fact that we are God’s masterpiece, but we also need to have a corresponding living. Let’s look at the entirety of Ephesians 2:10. For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand in order that we would walk in them. This word walk” indicates that we need a daily living. The good works mentioned in this verse are to do the will of God (1 Thessalonians 5:18; 4:3; Romans 12:1-2), to live the church life (Ephesians 4:15-16; Romans 12:3-8), and to bear the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 1:2, 9; 12:11).

Thank You Lord for Your rich mercy and love. Thank You that I am Your masterpiece!

We are in!

First Corinthians 1:30 says, But of Him, you are in Christ Jesus… Consider these words for a moment: But of Him, you are in Christ Jesus.

This phrase has tremendous implications. We are in a Person, and this Person is Christ Jesus. What’s more, our being in Christ Jesus has nothing to do with our own trying or endeavoring. Rather, it is of God. God has put us in Christ Jesus. Hence, we can say “but of Him, we are in!”

First Corinthians 1:30 continues to say, Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God: both righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Let’s consider two elements from this verse—to us and righteousness. To us, Christ is righteousness.

Who is this “us” spoken of in this verse? This “us” is the believers. We are believers! A believer, simply put, is a receiver. John 1:12 links the ones who received Him with those who believe into His name. Upon believing into the Lord, we receive not a thing but a living Person. When we believe, we receive Christ. In 1 Corinthians 1:30, we are in Christ, and Christ is righteousness. Therefore, we can say that we are in righteousness. Righteousness is Christ as the most wonderful Person in the universe, received by us.

Let’s consider an example from Luke 15.

In this chapter, we see a son who left his father’s house, squandered his possessions, and became desolated and destitute. When the prodigal decided to return to his father’s house hoping to assume the status of a servant, he did so because of hunger. He had been impoverished, humiliated, and was very hungry, and he realized that there was an abundance of bread in his father’s house. When his father saw him, he ran to him and embraced him in love. However, instead of feeding him, the father first told the servants to put on him the best robe. The father no longer saw a sinner adorned with filthy rags. He no longer saw a famished wanderer begging to be hired as a servant. Rather, the father saw his son. The best robe reinstated the prodigal into his rightful position as a son.

As “prodigal sons” who have returned to the Father, we too are clothed with the garment of righteousness, which is just Christ as our righteousness. Do you realize that the robe of righteousness with which you are clothed is not a thing or a concept but a living Person? This robe is Christ as your righteousness. You are justified and approved by God according to the standard of His righteousness. When God sees you, He sees Christ. Don’t believe that you are not worthy to come to God. Believe in Christ as your righteousness. Of Him, you are in. We are in righteousness!

We may feel like complete failures at times. Sometimes I have the thought that that last thing I did was so bad that I could never stand before God. But I don’t have to believe in this feeling. I believe in the fact that I am clothed with Christ. God does not see my “prodigal” condition. He sees me clothed with Christ who is righteousness itself.

Romans 8:10 says, But if Christ is in you…the spirit is life because of righteousness. The word “because” indicates that everything is based on His righteousness. Because of righteousness, we have life. This life may be likened to the fact that after the prodigal was clothed with righteousness, he still had a desperate condition: he was hungry. So the father fed him with the fattened calf. The goal was the eating of the fattened calf, but to get to that point, we needed to be clothed with Christ as our righteousness. This is the “because of righteousness”that causes our spirit to be life. Because we have Christ as our righteousness, we can experience Him as our “fattened calf.” Hence, our spirit is life and is alive because of the fact that Christ is our righteousness. We are in Christ. We are in righteousness.

But of Him, we are in!

Stay in the house!

The night was approaching. The children of Israel were awaiting their exodus from the slavery of Egypt. They were ready. The lamb was slain and prepared. The blood was on the lintel and the doorposts. They were clothed, packed, and ready for their  journey.

But one thing remained.

Jehovah was coming at midnight. He was coming to destroy the firstborn son in all the land of Egypt. Every house that did not have the blood would be judged and the firstborn destroyed. The children of Israel heard the warning and applied the blood.

But there was one further instruction.

Stay in the house until the morning! 

The blood in itself was not sufficient to cover and save Israel from the coming judgment. They had to stay in the house itself. The house was the real salvation and preservation. What was happening in the house? Inside the house was a feast. The lamb whose blood marked the entrance into the house was to be eaten.

The Lord Jesus is the Lamb of God (John 1:29). First Peter 1:18-19 indicates that His precious blood redeemed us. The blood of Christ justified us and saved us from God’s condemnation (Romans 3:24-25; 5:9-10). But Hebrews 10:19 states another marvelous function of the blood: Having therefore, brothers, boldness for entering the Holy of Holies in the blood of Jesus. The blood of the Lord Jesus allows us to enter into the house! When the judgment came, ultimately, it was not the blood that covered the children of Israel; it was the house itself.

I appreciate the blood of Christ. But how much do I appreciate the wondrous fact that Christ is also my house? My entrance and my redemption is through the blood, but my salvation is by remaining in the house. The Lord told us in John 15:4 to abide in Him and He would abide in us. How do we abide in the Lord? In 1 Corinthians 1:30, we can see that God has placed us in Christ Jesus. We are already in the house! Our need is simply to stay in the house.

What do we do in the house?

Consider what the children of Israel did. On one hand they could have waited in dreaded anticipation and hoped that the blood and the house were sufficient to save them from the coming judgment. Or they could feast on the lamb with full assurance and confidence in the redeeming blood that gave entrance into the saving, covering house.

Which would you rather be?

I want to be the one who enjoys Christ not only as the redeeming lamb but even more as the One who came to be our food. John 6:57 clearly demonstrates that the Lord came to be our food: As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.

We are in Christ as our house, enjoying Him as our food. But we need a final realization that Christ is also in us. John 14:20 says you in Me, and I in you. We are in a mutual abiding and dwelling in one another. Each day we should pray: Lord, make Your home more in my heart today (Ephesians 3:17)He’s there, but He wants to grow in us and expand until He is in every part of our heart.

Thank You Lord for being my house that I could be in You and You could be in me. Lord, make Your home more in my heart today!