Anointed To Teach God's Word

Classic Christian teaching from the holy Bible

The Power of Prayer # 2


Why this difference between the Early Church and the Church of Jesus Christ today? Someone will answer, “Because there is so much opposition today.” Ah, but there was opposition in those days: most bitter, most determined, most relentless opposition, opposition in comparison with which that which you and I meet today is but child’s play. But the Early Church went right on beating down all opposition, surmounting every obstacle, conquering every foe, always victorious, right on without a setback from Jerusalem to Rome, in the face of the most firmly entrenched and most mighty heathenism and unbelief. I repeat the question – “Why was it?” If you will turn to the chapters from which I have already quoted, you will get your answer.

Turn, for example, to the first chapter from which I quoted, Acts 2, and read the 42nd verse: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.” That is the picture,very brief but very suggestive, of the Early Church. It was a praying church. It was a church in which they prayed not merely occasionally, but in which they all “continued steadfastly … in the prayers”. They all prayed, not a select few, but the whole membership of the church; and all prayed continuously with steadfast determination. “They gave themselves to prayer,” as the same Greek word is translated in Acts 6:4. Now turn to the last chapter from which I quoted, the sixth chapter, verse 4, and you will get the rest of your answer. “We all give ourselves continually to prayer.” That is the picture of the Apostolic ministry, it was a praying ministry, and a ministry that “gave themselves continually to prayer,” or, to translate that Greek word as it is translated in the former passage (Acts 2:42), “They continued steadfastly in prayer.” A praying church and a praying ministry! Ah, such a church and such a ministry can achieve anything that ought to be achieved. It will go steadily on beating down all opposition, surmounting every obstacle, conquering every foe, just as much today as it did in the days of the Apostles.

There is nothing else in which the church of today, and the ministry of today, or, to be more explicit, in which you and I, have departed more notably and more lamentably from apostolic precedent than this matter of prayer. We do not live in a praying age. A very considerable proportion of the membership of our evangelical churches today do not believe even theoretically in prayer, that is, they do not believe in prayer as bringing anything to pass that would not have come to pass even if they had not prayed. They believe in prayer as having a beneficial “reflex influence,” that is, as benefiting the person who prays, a sort of lifting yourself up by your spiritual boot-straps, but as for prayer bringing anything to pass that would not have come to pass if we had not prayed, they do not believe in it and many of them frankly say so, and even some of our “modern ministers” say so.

And with that part of our church membership that does believe in prayer theoretically – and, thank God, I believe it is still the vast majority in our evangelical churches – even they do not make the use of this mighty instrument that God has put into our hands that one would naturally expect. As I said, we do not live in a praying age. We live in an age of hustle and bustle, of man’s efforts and man’s determination, of man’s confidence in himself and in his own power to achieve things, an age of human organization, and human machinery, and human push, and human scheming, and human achievement, which in the things of God means o real achievement at all! I think it would be perfectly safe to say that the Church of Christ was never in all its history so fully and so skillfully and so thoroughly and so perfectly organized as it is today. Our machinery is wonderful, it is just perfect, but, alas, it is machinery without power, and when things do not go right, instead of going to the real source of our failure, our neglect to depend on God and to look to God for power, we glance around to see if there is not some new organization we can get up, some new wheel that we can add to our machinery. We have altogether too many wheels already. What we need is not so much some new organization, some new wheel, but “the Spirit of the living God.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 3)

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Union With Christ


“That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You” (John 17:21)

What, then, is union with Christ? It is union with Him as the new creation, as the new creation Man; union with Him in the Life which is the life of the new creation by the Spirit of Life. What is the meaning of that union? It is that only by such union can God’s works be done. What governed Him in relation to the Father, governs us. Nothing can be done except on the ground of this union. It is not a matter of action, or of undertaking for God, however well-intentioned.

What we see as seeming necessary to be done for the Lord’s glory is not the criterion of service. Many things are embarked upon by the mere simple, though honest and sincere, judgment of the heart, when confronted by what is judged as something to be done for God, something needing to be done. A tragic situation, for example, calls for action; we have the means to meet that situation, and so we embark upon it for the Lord. A vast variety of undertakings have been embarked upon in that way, from that basis, and the Lord Jesus in this chapter says, “No! Not so!” He is not governed by the apparent demand of a situation. He is not governed by the impact of things upon Himself, as calling for an undertaking. With Him it is a question of what God is doing, and doing just at the particular time. With one object, God does different things at different times, and has a different emphasis from time to time, and those who are really in union with Christ have to be governed by that which Christ at that particular time is Himself undertaking, is giving Himself to: “… what things soever He doeth these the Son also doeth in like manner.” It is a matter of what God is doing, and life-union with Him in Christ for the accomplishment of that.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

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The Place of God in His House # 5


Isaiah 6:1-7

God has intended great things for His people. He watches over the realization of His plan. We do well to have recognized the basis on which God completes His thoughts for us. If we long to see God’s full thought for us accomplished, if we yearn for the fullness of Jesus Christ, then we have to know where God starts, we have to discern the secret that governs God’s fullness. In Isaiah 6, we find the key for this. Great things are put before us. It is hardly necessary to say much about the place the Lord Jesus Christ as in Isaiah. His prophecies are well-known enough for us to understand that they are all fulfilled in Christ.

In chapter 9, we find the familiar words:

“For unto us a Child is born unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

In chapter 11:1, 2:

“And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a Branch out of his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”

Then Isaiah 61:1-3, takes us further to the public ministry of the Lord, and we immediately hear Him say the words:

“The Spirit of the LORD GOD is upon Me; because the LORD hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.”

In Isaiah 42:1-4, we see Jesus Christ as the suffering Servant of God:

“Behold, My Servant, Whom I uphold; My Chosen, in Whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up His voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street. A bruised reed will He not break, and a dimly burning wick will He not quench: He will bring forth justice in truth. He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set justice in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His law.”

Isaiah 52:13-15, we see the Lord Jesus exalted and extolled; and then we are taken further to the Cross, the great fifty-third chapter, and beyond the Cross to His reign.

Thus we have in Isaiah a comprehensive presentation of the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 6)

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The Power of Prayer


“Ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2)

I bring you a message from God contained in seven short words. Six of the seven words are monosyllables, and the remaining word has but two syllables and is one of the most familiar and most easily understood words in the English language. Yet there is so much in these seven short, simple words that they have transformed many a life and brought many an inefficient worker into a place of great power.

I spoke on these seven words some years ago at a Bible conference in Central New York. Some months after the conference I received a letter from the man who had presided at the conference, one of the best known ministers of the Gospel in America. He wrote me: “I have been unable to get away from the seven words upon which you spoke at Lake Keuka; they have been with me day and night. They have transformed my life, and, I think I have a right to add, transformed my ministry.” Since he wrote those words the man has been the pastor of what is probably the most widely known of any evangelical church in the world. I trust that the words may sink into some of your hearts today as they sank into his on that occasion, and that some of you will be able to say in future months and years, “I have been unable to get away from those seven words, they have been with me day and night. They have transformed my life, and transformed my service for God.”

You will find these seven words in James 4:2, the seven closing words of the verse, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.”

These seven words contain the secret of the poverty and powerlessness of the average Christian, of the average minister, and of the average church. “Why is it,” many a Christian is asking, “that I make such poor progress in my Christian life? Why do I have so little victory over sin? Why do I win so few souls to Christ? Why do I grow so slowly into the likeness of my Lord and Saviour Jess Christ?” And God answers in the words of our text – “Neglect of prayer. You have not, because you ask not.”

“Why is it,” many a minister is asking, “that I see so little fruit from my ministry? Why are there so few conversions? Why does my church grow so slowly? Why are the members of my church so little helped by my ministry, and built up so little in Christian knowledge and life?” And again God replies: “Neglect of prayer. You have not, because you ask not.”

“Why is it,” both ministers and churches are asking, “that the Church of Jesus Christ is making such slow progress in the world today? Why does it make so little headway against sin, against unbelief, against error in all its forms? Why does it have so little victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil? Why is the average church member living on such a low plane of Christian living? Why does the Lord Jesus Christ get so little honor from the state of the Church today?” And, again, God replies: “Neglect of prayer. You have not, because you ask not.”

When we read the only inspired church history that ever was written, the history of the Church in the days of the Apostles as it is recorded by Luke (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) in the Acts of the Apostles, what do we find? We find a story of constant victory, such statements as this in Acts 2:47: “The Lord added to the church daily those that were being saved,” and such statements as this in Acts 4:4: “Many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand,” and such statements as this in Acts 5:14: “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.”

And such statements as this in Acts 6:7: “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

And so we go on, chapter after chapter, through the twenty-eight chapters of the book, and in every one of the twenty-seven chapters after the first we find the same note of victory. I once went through the Acts of the Apostles marking the note of victory in every chapter, and without one single exception the triumphant shout of victory rang out in every chapter. How different the history of the Church as here recorded is from the history of the Church of Jesus Christ today. Take, for example, that first statement, “The Lord added to the church daily [that is, every day, or, as the Revised Version puts it, “day by day”] those that were being saved.” Why, nowadays if we have a revival once a year with an accession of fifty or sixty members and spend all the rest of the year slipping back to where we were before, we think we are doing pretty well. But in those days there was a revival all the time and accessions every day of those who not only “hit the trial” but “were [really] being saved.”

 

~R. A. Torrey~

(continued with # 2)

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Walking in Victory


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

When you are suffering – whether it be a personal tragedy or one of public magnitude – what do you do? Do you tell others about it? Do you hide it in hopes of denying it? Do you pray that the Lord removes it?

How we respond to tragedy provides us a unique opportunity for the type of spiritual growth that results in victorious Christian living. Once we  trust Jesus Christ as our Saviour, the rest of our days are devoted to growing. While we would often choose otherwise, the pain we suffer or tragedy we experience  is useful.

Second Corinthians 1:4 tells us that we suffer so that God can comfort us. The first usefulness of hardship is for us to grow in our knowledge of God. We will soon know His comfort when we reach out in times of hurting. How could we know this aspect of our Father’s love if He didn’t allow our hearts to break?

The second point of practicality for our suffering is so that we can comfort others. Anyone who has ever experienced real heartache understands how unfulfilled it feels to be thrown shallow phrases in the midst of turmoil.

Yet how would we as humans be able to offer anything more than fluffy words t each other were it not for the deep, penetrating comfort we ourselves have received from the Lord? Know that your pain is real. It is important to the Lord. Your suffering, in fact, is precious to Him. By it, He reveals Himself to you and all those who come in contact with you.

Lord, I seek Your embrace in my pain. Help me not to seek comfort longer than I need but, rather, to share that comfort with others. Amen

~Charles Stanley~

 

 

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Looking Unto Jesus


If we are to run with patience the race that is set before us, we must always keep looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3). One of the simplest and yet one of the mightiest secrets of abiding joy and victory is to never lose sight of Jesus.

1. First of all, we must keep looking at Jesus as the ground of our acceptance before God. Over and over again, satan will make an attempt to discourage us by bringing up our sins and failures and thus try to convince us that we are not children of God, or not saved. If he succeeds in getting us to keep looking at and brooding over our sins, he will soon get us discouraged, and discouragement means failure. But if we will keep looking at what God looks at, the death of Jesus Christ in our place that completely atones for every sin that we ever committed, we will never be discouraged because of the greatest of our sins. We shall see that while our sins are great, very great, indeed they have all been atoned for. Every time satan brings up one of our sins, we shall see that Jesus Christ has redeemed us from its curse by being made a curse in our place (Galatians 3:13). We shall see that while in ourselves we are full of unrighteousness, nevertheless in Christ  we are made the righteousness of God, because Christ was made to be sin in our place (2 Corinthians 5:21). We will see that every sin that satan taunts us about has been born and settled forever (1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:6). We shall always be able to sing,

Jesus paid my debt,

All the debt I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.

If you are this moment troubled about any sin that you have ever committed, either in the past or in the present, just look at Jesus on the Cross; believe what God tells you about Him, that this sin which troubles you was laid upon Him (Isaiah 53:6). Thank God that the sin is all settled, be full of gratitude to Jesus, who bore it in your place, and trouble about it no more. It is an act of base ingratitude to God to brood over sins that He in His infinite love has canceled. Keep looking at Christ on the Cross and walk always in the sunlight of God’s favor. This favor of God has been purchased for you at great cost. Gratitude demands that you should always believe in it and walk in the light of it.

2. In the second place, we must keep looking at Jesus as our risen Saviour, who has all power in heaven and on earth and is able to keep us every day and every hour. Are you tempted to do some wrong at this moment? If you are, remember that Jesus rose from the dead, remember that at this moment He is living at the right hand of God in the glory; remember that He has all power in heaven and on earth, and that, therefore, He can give you victory right now. Believe what God tells you in His Word, that Jesus has power to save you this moment “to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25). Believe that He has power to give you victory over this sin that now besets you. Ask Him to give you victory; expect Him to do it. In this way, by looking unto the risen Christ for victory, you may have victory over sin every day, every hour, every moment. “Remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8).

God has called every one of us to a victorious life, and the secret of this victorious life is always looking to the risen Christ for victory. Through looking to Christ crucified we obtain pardon and enjoy peace. Through looking to the risen Christ we obtain present victory over the power of sin. If you have lost sight of the risen Christ and have yielded to temptation, confess your sin and know that it is forgiven because God says so (1 John 1:9), and look to Jesus, the risen One, again to give you victory now, and keep looking to Him.

3. In the third place, we must keep looking to Jesus as the One whom we should follow in our daily conduct. Our Lord Jesus says to us, His disciples today, as He said to His early disciples, “Follow me.” The whole secret of true Christian conduct can be summed up in these two words “Follow me.” “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself so to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). One of the commonest causes of failure in Christian life is found in the attempt to follow some good man whom we greatly admire. No man and no woman, no matter how good, can be safely followed. If we follow any man or woman, we are bound to go astray. There has been but one absolutely perfect Man on this earth – the Man Christ Jesus. If we try to follow any other man we are surer to imitate his faults than his excellencies. Look to Jesus and Jesus only as your Guide.

If at any time you are in any perplexity as to what to do, simply ask the question, What would Jesus do? Ask God by His Holy Spirit to show you what Jesus would do. Study your Bible to find out what Jesus would do, and follow Him.

This is the really simple life, the life of simply following Jesus. Many perplexing questions will come to you, but the most perplexing question will soon become as clear as day if you  if you determine with all your heart to follow Jesus in everything.  There is a wonderful freedom in this life of simply following Jesus. This path is straight and plain. But the path of him who tries to shape his conduct by observing the conduct of others is full of twists and turns and pitfalls. Keep looking at Jesus. Follow on trustingly where He leads. This the path of the just, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). He is the Light of the world, any one who follows Him shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life all along the way (John 8:12).

~R. A. Torrey~

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True Wisdom: Listening to the Words Jesus Spoke


“Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said; This is an hard saying, who can hear it?” (John 6:60)

In the world of men we find nothing approaching the virtues of which Jesus spoke in the opening words of the famous Sermon on the Mount. Instead of poverty of spirit we find the rankest kind of pride; instead of meekness, arrogance, instead of mourners we find pleasure seekers; instead of hunger after righteousness we hear men saying, “I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing”; instead of mercy we find cruelty; instead of purity of heart, corrupt imaginings; instead of  peacemakers we find men quarrelsome and resentful; instead of rejoicing in mistreatment we find them fighting back with every weapon at their command!

Into a world like this the sound of Jesus’ words comes wonderful and strange, a visitation from above. It is well that He spoke, for no one else could have done it as well; and it is good that we listen, for His words are the essence of truth.

Jesus does not offer an opinion for He never uttered opinions. He never guessed; He knew, and He knows! His words are not as Solomon’s were, the sum of sound wisdom or the results of keen observation. He spoke out of the fullness of His Godhead, and His words are very Truth itself. He is the only one who could say “blessed” with complete authority for He is the Blessed One come from the world above to confer blessedness upon mankind!

Best of all, His words were supported by deeds mightier than any performed on this earth by another man.

It is wisdom for us to listen!

~A. W. Tozer~

 

 

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Will I Bring Myself Up to This Level?


“… perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:11)

Therefore, having these promises …” I claim God’s promises for my life and look to their fulfillment, and rightly so, but that shows only the human perspective on them. God’s perspective is that through His promises I will come to recognize His claim of ownership on me. For example, do I realize that my “body is the temple of the Holy Spirit”, or am I condoning some habit in my body which clearly could  not withstand the light of God on it? (1 Corinthians 6:19). God formed His Son in me through sanctification, setting me apart from sin and making me holy in His sight (see Galatians 4:19). But I must begin to transform my natural life into spiritual life by obedience to Him. God instructs us even in the smallest details of life. And when He brings you conviction of sin, do not “confer with flesh and blood,” but cleanse yourself from it at once (Galatians 1:16). Keep yourself cleansed in you daily walk.

I must cleanse myself from all filthiness in my flesh and my spirit until both are in harmony with the nature of God. Is the mind of my spirit in perfect agreement with the life of the Son of God in me, or am I mentally rebellious and defiant? Am I allowing the mind o Christ to be formed in me? (see Philippians 2:5). Christ never spoke of His right to Himself, but always maintained an inner vigilance to submit His spirit continually to His Father. I also have the responsibility to keep my spirit in agreement with His Spirit. And when I do, Jesus gradually lifts me up to the level where He lived – a level of perfect submission to His Father’s will – where I pay no attention to anything else. Am I perfecting this kind of holiness in the fear of God? Is God having His way with me, and are people beginning to see God in my life more and more?

Be serious in your commitment to God and gladly leave everything else alone. Literally put God first in your life.

~Oswald Chambers~

 

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Wholly for God


“Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee” (Psalm 73:25)

Alone with God – this is a word of the deepest importance. May we seek grace from God to reach its depths. Then shall we learn that there is another world of equally deep significance – Wholly for God.

As we find that it is not easy to persevere in this being “Along with God,” we begin to realize that it is because the other is lacking: we are not “Wholly for God.” Because He is the Only God and He alone the Adorable One, God has a right to demand that He should have us wholly for Himself. Without this surrender He cannot make His power known. We read in the Old Testament that His servants, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and David, gave themselves wholly and unreservedly to God so that He could work out His plans through them. It is only the fully surrendered heart that can fully trust God for all He has promised.

Nature teaches us that if anyone desires to do a great work, he must give wholly to it. This law is especially true of the love of a mother for her child. She gives herself wholly to the little one whom she loves. And shall we not think it reasonable that the great God of Love should have us wholly for Himself? and shall we not take the watchword, “Wholly for God,” as the keynote for our devotions every morning as we rise? As wholly as God gives Himself to us, so wholly He desires that we give ourselves to Him.

Let us in the inner chamber meditate on these things alone with God and with earnest desire ask Him by His almighty power to work in us all that is pleasing in His sight.

Wholly for God! What a privilege. What wonderful grace to fit us for it. Wholly for God! What separation from people and work and all that might draw us away. Wholly for God! What ineffable blessedness as the soul learns what it means and what God gives with it.

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Deut. 6:5; Matthew 22:37).

“They sought Him with their whole desire, and He was found of them” (2 Chron. 15:15).

Dear Father, my prayer continually is, “With my whole heart have I sought Thee” (Psalm 119:10). Amen

~Andrew Murray~

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Beginning Right # 2


2. God offers Jesus to us as our deliverer from the power of sin. Jesus not only died, He rose again. Today He is a living Saviour. He has all power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). He has power to keep the weakest sinner from falling (Jude 24). He is able to save not only from the uttermost, but “to the uttermost,” all that come unto the Father through Him. (“Wherefore he s able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing that he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25). “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). To receive Jesus is to believe this that God tells us in His Word about Him, to believe that He did rise from the dead, to believe that He does now live, to believe that He has power to keep us from falling, to believe that He has power to keep us from the power of sin day by day, and just trust Him to do it.

This is the secret of daily victory over sin. If we try to fight sin in our own strength, we are bound to fail. If we just look up to the risen Christ to keep us every day and every hour, He will keep us. Through the crucified Christ we get deliverance from the guilt of sin, our sins are all blotted out, we are free from all condemnation; but it is through the risen Christ that we get daily victory over the power of sin. Some receive Christ as a sin-bearer and thus find pardon, but do not get beyond that, and so their life is one of daily failure. Others receive Him as their risen Saviour also, and thus enter into an experience of victory over sin. To begin right we must take Him  not only as our sin-bearer, and thus find pardon; but we must also take Him as our risen Saviour, our Deliverer from the power of sin, our Keeper, and thus find daily victory over sin.

3. But God offers Jesus to us, not only as our sin-bearer and our Deliverer from the power of sin, but also as our Lord and King. We read  in Acts 2:36, “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Lord means Divine Master, and Christ means anointed King. To receive Jesus is to take Him as our Divine Master, as the One to whom we yield the absolute  confidence of our intellects, the One whose word we believe absolutely, the One whom we will believe, though many of the wisest of men may question or deny the truth of His teachings; and as our King to whom we gladly yield the absolute control of our lives, so that the question from this time on is never going to be, What would I like to do or what do others tell me to do, or what do others do? but What would my King and Lord Jesus have me do? A right beginning involves an unconditional surrender to the Lordship and Kingship of Jesus.

The failure to realize that Jesus is Lord and King, as well as Saviour, has led to many a false start in the Christian lie. We begin with Him as our Saviour, as our sin-bearer and our Deliverer from the power of sin, but we must not end with Him merely as Saviour; we must know Him as Lord and King. There is nothing more important in a right beginning of the Christian life than an unconditional surrender, both of the thoughts and the conduct, to Jesus. Say from your heart and say it again and again, “All for Jesus.” Many ail because they shrink back from this entire surrender. They wish to serve Jesus with half their heart, and part of themselves, and part of their possessions. To hold back anything from Jesus means a wretched life of stumbling and failure.

The life of entire surrender is a joyous life all along the way. If you have never done it before, go alone with God today; get down on your knees, and say, “All for Jesus,” and mean it. Say it very earnestly; say it from the bottom of your heart. Stay on you knees until you realize what it means and what you are doing. It is a wondrous step forward when one really takes it. If you have taken it already, take it again, take it often. It always has fresh meaning and brings fresh blessedness. In this absolute surrender is found the key to the truth. Doubts rapidly disappear for one who surrenders all (John 7:17). In this prayer absolute surrender is found the secret of power in prayer (1 John 3:22). In this absolute surrender is found the supreme condition of receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32).

Taking Christ as your Lord and King involves obedience to His will, so far as you know it, in each smallest detail of life. There are those who tell us that they have taken Christ as their Lord and Kin who at the same time are disobeying Him daily in business, in domestic life, in social life, and in personal conduct. Such persons are deceiving themselves. You have not taken Jesus as your Lord and King if you are not striving to obey Him in everything each day. He Himself says, “Why call ye me Lord,Lord! and do not the thing that I say?” (Luke 6:46).

To sum it all up, the right way to begin the Christian life is to accept Jesus Christ as your sin-bearer and to trust God to forgive your sins because Jesus Christ died in your place; to accept Him as your risen Saviour who ever lives to make intercession for you, and who has all power to keep you, and to trust Him to keep you from day-to-day; and to accept Him as your Lord and King to whom you surrender the absolute control of your thoughts and of your life. This is the right beginning, the only right beginning of the Christian life. If you have made this beginning, all that follows will be comparatively easy. If you have not made this beginning, make it now.

~R. A. Torrey~

 

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