Saturday, March 24, 2012

“None of self, and all of Thee”

I am reading a book called Rivers of Living Water by Ruth Paxson.  She was a missionary in China, and spoke at many conferences.  The book is a compilation of many messages she spoke on the Spirit-filled life.  The chapter I just finished deals with choosing Christ or choosing self – the two natures which dwell in the Christian.  Miss Paxson closes the chapter with this poem.  No author is specified, so I am assuming she wrote it.  It touched me as I seek to live the Spirit-filled life, and I wanted to share it here.

Oh! the bitter shame and sorrow,
That a time could ever be,
When I let the Saviour’s pity
Plead in vain, and proudly answered--
“All of self and none of Thee.”

Yet He found me: I beheld Him
Bleeding on the cursed tree;
Heard Him pray, “Forgive them, Father,”
And my wistful heart said faintly--
“Some of self and some of Thee.”

Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Sweet and strong, and oh! so patient,
Brought me lower while I whispered--
“Less of self and more of Thee.”

Higher than the highest heavens,
Deeper than the deepest sea;
Lord, thy love at last has conquered:
Grant me now my soul’s petition--
“None of self and all of Thee.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Armour of Light

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
Romans 13:12

It truly is a spiritual warfare we are living in.  If we are not actively fighting, then  we are passively giving the enemy the victory.  We cannot (and should not!) be neutral.  “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57).  He has already provided the victory and won the battle – we must just claim it!

2 Corinthians 10:3-5  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

He has also given us the spiritual armour (the armour of light) to fight the enemy.  It is found in Ephesians 6.

Ephesians 6:11-17   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Today I want to cast of the dark works of my old man, and I want to walk in the light of fellowship with Christ.  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”( 1 John 1:7).  I want to put on the armour of light and win the victory!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

To Be Spiritually Minded

Romans 8:5-7: “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

How do we become spiritually minded?  At salvation, I was made one with Christ – joined with Him in union like a husband and wife.  Since I am one with Him, I now have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

But I must access this mind of Christ by walking in the Spirit.  I do not naturally think with my Christ-mind, for my flesh-mind (my old man and sin nature) are still present and at work in me.  I have to access the mind of Christ by faith.

  • The mind of Christ thinks on pure and lovely thoughts:

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

  • The mind of Christ esteems other as better than myself:

Philippians 2:4-8  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

  • The meditations of the mind of Christ are acceptable to God:

Psalm 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalm 19:14  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

  • The thoughts of the mind of Christ are in captivity to obey Christ:

2 Corinthians 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  • The mind of Christ is stayed upon Jehovah, in perfect peace:

Isaiah 26:3-4  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.  4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

I want to be spiritually minded, not carnally minded!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I grew up hearing this acrostic for grace:

G od’s
R iches
A t
C hrist’s
E xpense

One of my college professors, Pastor Frank Camp, had a different acrostic.  I like this one much better – I think it captures more of the full picture of what grace offers:

G od’s
R ighteous
A ssitance {which}
C hrist
E xtends

Though it is something I have known for a while, I am learning it anew in my daily walk.  Grace is not just for salvation.  Grace is for daily living.  Grace is Christ helping me to walk in the Spirit, to live a Spirit-filled life, to exchange my life {flesh and it’s unprofitable works} for His abundant life.  Grace is indeed that assistance which Christ extends to me to help me live righteously in the practical, day-to-day and moment-to-moment circumstances of my life.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:1-5

Did you catch the picture of grace in the first two verses?  Grace is accessed by faith.  {This fits right in with Ephesians 2:8-9 – we are saved by grace through faith.}  Faith is what brings salvation to our hearts – we ask for God’s saving grace and He freely gives it without partiality.  But now that we are saved, we access His grace for daily living in exactly the same way – by faith

We already stand in grace.  Once we are saved, no one and no thing on earth can move us from that spot.  We are positionally saved and standing in grace.  But now we need grace to help us live the Christian life.  We have to take of the grace wherein we stand, so that practically we are saved on a moment by moment basis.

“For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)” Romans 5:17  

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” Romans 5:20

Grace is sprinkled throughout Romans 5.  These two verses stood out to me.  We can have abundant righteous life if we receive the abundance of grace for daily living.  And those areas which we constant battle grounds and areas of loss to the enemy can be reclaimed – through grace.  Where sin abounded in my life, I can access grace (which abounds even more) by faith and take back the stronghold.

My pastor here in Brooklyn has yet another definition for grace.  It is not an acrostic, but just as descriptive.  Grace is all of Christ's sufficiencies for all of my insufficiencies.  The more I try to do it on my own, the more I realize how insufficient I am.  But I can have Christ – who is “all in all” be sufficient for me.

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him…” {Colossians 2:6}

How did we receive Christ?  By grace, through faith.  Today, walk in Him in the same manner. 
Walk in grace accessed by faith.