Hungry Heart Daily Devotional Anthology -mjs

2-5. DEFECTIVE BEGINNING

"Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).

Are we aware of the importance of a personal assurance of salvation? Healthy spiritual growth is founded upon it. Many Christians seem unable to enter Romans Six and Eight simply because they are not truly established in Romans Three, Four and Five. Full assurance as to our eternal security in the Lord Jesus is the basis for the ever-deepening experience of our identification with Him.

"The defect in souls in general is the incompleteness of their conversion. It is pardon that is apprehended and not acceptance. Acceptance embraces God's side--how He feels, and this should be chief, for we as sinners have offended Him. The offender has been removed from His eye by a Man--the Lord Jesus Christ, and He can receive us on the ground of the Man who glorified Him in bearing our judgment.

"We cannot enjoy acceptance but in the way in which it was acquired or effected for us, and if we are in the acceptance we know that no improvement of the flesh could commend us to God, and that we cannot be before Him but in Christ. But if we are in any degree dark as to the crucifixion of the old man, we are not in acceptance experientially, we are not in the daily benefit of it, and our liberty by the Spirit can never go beyond our conscious acceptance." -J.B.S.

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).
 
2-6. HEART OF ROMANS

"Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead" (Romans 6:13).

Deliverance from the reign of sin, and liberty in the life of Christ, are set forth as a doctrinal unit in Romans Six, Seven and Eight. This area of truth has but one key--the Cross. This is the great master key to spiritual life and liberty.
When we begin to comprehend Romans Six, we know that our death in Christ unto sin was completed at Calvary. When we have been in Romans Seven for a time, we come to realize that we have been struggling to produce that which God has already accomplished for us in Christ. When we thereby come to Romans Eight, we know at last that the Holy Spirit will produce in our experience what God completed for us on the Cross and in Christ our life.

"In Romans Six we see the foundation of our deliverance--the fact that we died with Christ; and also the conditions of our deliverance--that we reckon ourselves dead unto sin and yield to God as those that are alive from the dead. Romans Eight tells us the means and the method of our deliverance--that it is through the blessed Holy Spirit alone that we are actually delivered in everyday life, from sin's reign; the moment we cease from all our own efforts and let Him do all the work, He will begin delivering us from the power of sin. How long it takes some of us to come to the end of our own efforts can be seen in Romans Seven!" -W.R.N.

"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:4).
 
2-7. GROW TO SHARE

"For they disciplined us only a short time, as it seemed proper to them; but He does it for our good, in order that we may share His holy character" (Hebrews 12:10, Wms.).

It is only natural to feel that our need requires immediate victory, but the truth is that we cannot come to maturity apart from the Holy Spirit's processing and development of our life, day by day. A quick and easy victory would cripple our usefulness in these two ways: we would not understand the all-important principle of processing; we would not appreciate the needs of others. If we are unable to share, we abide alone like the grain of wheat that does not die.

"So often in the battle we go to the Lord, and pray, and plead, and appeal for victory, for ascendancy, for mastery over the forces of evil and death, and our thought is that in some way the Lord is going to come in with a mighty exercise of power and put us into a place of spiritual maturity as in an act. We must have this mentality corrected. What the Lord does is to enlarge us to possess. He takes us through some exercise, through some experience, takes us by some way which means our spiritual expansion, an increase of spirituality so we occupy the larger place spontaneously because of our growth 'I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased' (Exodus 23:29, 30)." -T. A-S.

"Now for the time being no discipline [child-training] seems to be pleasant; it is painful; later on, however, to those who are trained by it, it yields the fruit of peace which grows from upright character" (Hebrews 12:11, Wms.).
 
2-8. SUBTLE SELF

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10).

A healthy spiritual birth results in the falling away of many of the more obvious works of the flesh, often causing the new believer to claim 2 Corinthians 5:17 or Galatians 2:20 as his testimony. However, for the Lord Jesus to be fully manifested, it is going to involve a lifetime of the Holy Spirit's deep dealing with the more subtle and deadly characteristics of the self-life"always delivered unto death" (2 Corinthians 4:11).

"By the daily 'supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ' (Philippians 1:19), the believer united to his Risen Lord 'grows continually to a more perfect knowledge and likeness of his Creator,' and grows up 'after the image of Him that created him, in the sphere where 'Christ is all, and in all.'

"The child naturally grows up in the likeness of his father, and the new life communicated to the redeemed grows up in the likeness of Him who is the Creator of the new creation if so be that the death with Christ is unflinchingly recognized, and 'old things' are truly allowed to pass away to make room for the growth of the new man 'which is after God . . . created in righteousness, and holiness of truth' (Ephesians 4:24)."

"How many earnest and religious people belong to 'the Old Adam Improvement Society.' It is the recognition of the Christ-life, it is union with the Risen Christ, that men need instead of the culture of the religious self-life." -E.H.

"Unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).
 
2-9. EXPERIENCE SUPERSEDED

"And they who know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee" (Psalm 9:10).

Our experiences must be judged by God's Word, never the Word judged by our experiences. Normally, the Spirit of Truth will reveal a truth to us from the Scriptures and, as we exercise faith in what we have been shown, will begin to take us into the experience of it. Abnormally, a Christian will yearn for an 'experience,' and then attempt to find corroboration for it in the Word.

"Knowledge must carry the torch before faith." Always give God's Word first place, "for the Word of God liveth and worketh, and is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, yea, to the inmost parts thereof, and judging the thoughts and imaginations of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12, Cony.).

"A person may easily know his sins forgiven, but it is a further truth to know that he himself has 'died to sin.' He finds this conflicts with his experience. Suppose I tell you a debt of a thousand pounds which you owed was paid by someone, it would not be a question of experience, but of simply believing my statement. Just so with God. He tells us our sins are forgiven, and it is a question whether we believe Him. But when He tells us we have died to sin, we look inside and say, 'Ah, sin is still at work; how is that?' A person must be taught of God to know really the truth that he has died to sin." -J.N.D.

"It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4).
 
2-10. PEACE AND REST

"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me" (Psalm 138:8).

After the believer enters into life by faith, he wonders why it was so difficult for him to see that it was all of grace--the humble reception of a finished work. And yet he goes through the faithless struggle once again before he sees that his daily Christian life is also a finished work--complete in Christ.

"'God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord' (1 Corinthians 1:9). What believers need is the simple faith that the establishing in Christ, day by day, is God's work--a work that He delights to do, in spite of all our weakness and unfaithfulness, if we will but trust Him for it. To the blessedness of such faith, and the experience it brings, many can testify. What peace and rest, to know that there is a Husbandman who cares for the branch, to see that it grows stronger; who watches over every hindrance and danger, who supplies every needed aid!

"What peace and rest, fully and finally to give up our abiding into the care of the Father, and never have a wish or thought, never to offer a prayer or engage in an exercise connected with it, without first having the glad remembrance that what we do is only the manifestation of what our Father is doing in us! The establishing in Christ is His work: He accomplishes it by stirring us to watch, and wait, and work." -A.M.

"Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, . . . is God" (2 Corinthians 1:21).
 
2-11. PROFIT

"Heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ--sharing His inheritance with Him; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory" (Romans 8:17, Amp.).

The term "profit and loss" is reversed in the Christian life to "loss and profit." The principle never varies: our losses are all in the realm of the old, never the new. Every loss in the life of self brings greater gain and profit in the new--our life in Christ. And, conversely, every gain for the self-life is loss for our growth and His glory. "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ" (Philippians 3:7).

"It is not the design of God to deprive His children of happiness, but only to pour the cup of bitterness into that happiness which the believer has in anything outside of Christ." -F.F.

"Everything that tries us, that is a check upon us, that causes exercise of heart, and makes us sensible of weakness in ourselves, is of the nature of chastisement (child-training). It may come in the way of difficulties in the path of faith; or in the shape of such trials and sorrows as are common to all men--loss of property, loss of health, or bereavement; or it may be as the governmental consequences of sin; but in one way or other all have it. It is 'for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness' (Hebrews 12:10). That is, it serves to break down that which is not of God in us, that the life of the Lord Jesus might be made manifest." -C.A.C.

"When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).
 
2-12. THE CROSS FOR SELF

"I have been crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20, ASV).

The Cross is the height of paradox; it is at once God's greatest agony, and His eternal glory. For the growing believer it means daily crucifixion, and at the same time freedom from the penalty and the power of sin and self. "But may it never be mine to boast of anything but the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world!" (Galatians 6:14, Wms.).

"We need to enter deeply into the truth that Christ the Beloved Son of the Father could not return to the glory of Heaven until He had first given Himself over to death. As this great principle opens up to us, it will help us to understand how in our life, and in our fellowship with the Lord Jesus, it is impossible for us to share the fullness of His life until we have first in very deed surrendered ourselves every day as having died to sin and the world."

"Many believers appear to think that when once they have claimed Christ's death in the fellowship of the Cross, and have counted themselves crucified with Him, they may now consider it as past and done with. They do not as yet understand that it is in the crucified Christ, and in the fellowship of His death, that they are to abide daily and unceasingly. The fellowship of the Cross is to be the life of a daily walk--His taking the form of a servant, His humbling Himself and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross; this mind that was in the Lord Jesus is to be the disposition that marks our daily life."

"Have this mind [attitude] in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5, ASV).
 
2-13. CONVICTED, OR FILLED?

"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts" (Galatians 4:6).
When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, it is to remove self from the throne of our hearts. When the Holy Spirit fills us, it is to place the Lord Jesus on the throne of our hearts. Ours is the choice--"not I, but Christ" (Galatians 2:20); His is the work, for He is "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2).

"The great secret of the Christian life is found in ceasing from self, in which the power of the Cross manifests itself in us. We all know how our Lord Jesus, ere He could receive the new life from the Father in glory, and the gift of the Holy Spirit through whom He could impart His life to His people, had first to give up the life He lived upon earth. He had to take His place among the dead in utter weakness and helplessness before He could live again by the power of God. His death on the Cross was indispensable to the life of the Spirit.

"And as it was with Christ, so it must be with us. As we yield ourselves to be united with Him in the likeness of His death, we can share with Him in the glory and power of the life of the Spirit. To know what the Holy Spirit means, implies the knowing of what death means. The Cross and the Spirit are inseparable. The soul that understands that the death to self is in Christ the gate to true life, is in the right way to learn what and who the Holy Spirit is." -A.M.

"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).
 
The way of the cross ended for Christ at His death but continues with us--with our old nature, even after our rebirth. Being born again is an irrevocable occurrence (Rom 11:29) and involves our being positioned with Christ through co-crucifixion first (Gal 2:20), then co-resurrection and co-ascension with Him (Eph 2:5, 6).

Christ’s cross effected atonement for sin and our initial co-crucifixion effected freedom from the guilt of sin (Rom 8:1) and its’ ruler-ship (Rom 6:12, 14). Being void of sin’s guilt allows us to be in a state of being freed from its’ rule--by the on-going co-crucifixion of our old nature (“take up his cross daily” and “die daily”).

It has been said that “religion is man reaching out to God but Christianity is God reaching out to man”. Well intentioned as they may be, many attempt to establish acceptance with God through their own means but as we know, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pro 16:25). We must continually remind ourselves the way of acceptance is the way of the Cross. I like explaining the Cross in that the vertical axis has an arrow pointing downward, bringing God down to us and the horizontal axis brings us to one another. The vertical axis is maintained when the horizontal axis is performed (1Jo 4:20; Mat 22:37-40).

“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John the Baptist; John 3:30). Our new nature from Christ will increase, as He Himself cannot vary (Hbr 13:8; Mal 3:6), “strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man” or new nature (Eph 3:16), as we decrease in our old nature by the ongoing co-crucifixion.

God loves us and who we are, with the identity of our personhood apart from the old nature. It isn’t the person He wants to decrease but the person’s old nature because the person is eternally indwelled with the Spirit (John 14:16) in our “divinely-partaken” (2Pe 1:4) new nature.

“We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1Jo 3:2), in our co-glorified body (Phl 3:21; Rom 8:23) upon “the redemption of our body (Rom 8:23). -NC


2-14. CONTINUOUS CROSS

"For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake" (2 Corinthians 4:11).

The indwelling Lord Jesus is the source of our life of liberation; the Cross is the means to it. As we abide in Him and He in us, we are to reckon upon the finished work of Calvary to deal progressively with self. It is on this basis alone that the life of Jesus will be manifested in our mortal flesh (2 Corinthians 4:11).

"God has taken the old creation and has condemned it in Christ, and is now working on the new creation. There is no place in the plan of God for the betterment of the old creation. He does not bring about some kind of transformation of the old man so as to produce some kind of resemblance to Christ in Christian character and conduct. There is only one place for the old creation, and that is the Cross.

"But it is not enough for us to say it is there crucified with Christ. Crucifixion was a lingering death, and while we stand once for all upon the fact of God, which is eternal and unchangeable, when our Lord Jesus Christ went to the Cross He took more than our sins with Him; He took our old man and dealt with the source of all our sin, and dealt with it satisfactorily. While we stand on that fact, there has to be the daily working out of the victory which Christ has won for us; there has to be the daily dying to this old self. The Holy Spirit has to work into us the death of the Lord Jesus Christ in all its wonderful power and purpose." -G.W.

"Being made conformable unto his death" (Phil 3:10).
 
2-15. INDWELT TO BE FILLED

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9).

The believer knows that he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit on the testimony of the written Word; others know when the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit by the growing manifestation of the Living Word.

"There are believers who need the reminder that deeper than mind and feeling and will, deeper than the soul, where these have their seat, in the depths of the renewed spirit, there comes, at re-birth, the Holy Spirit to dwell forever. His indwelling is there, first of all, and all through, to be recognized by faith. Even when I cannot see the least evidence of His working, I am quietly and reverently to believe that He dwells in me. In that faith I am restfully and trustfully to count upon His working, and to wait for it. In that faith I must very distinctly deny my own wisdom and strength, and in childlike self-abnegation depend upon Him to work.

"His first workings may be so feeble and hidden that I can hardly recognize them as coming from Him; they may appear to be nothing more than the voice of conscience, or the familiar sound of some Bible truth. Here is the time for faith to hold fast the Master's promise and the Father's gift, and to trust that the Holy Spirit is within and will guide. Out of the hidden depths His power will move and take possession of mind and will, and the indwelling in the hidden recesses of the spirit will grow into a being filled with His fullness." -A.M.

"Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Romans 8:9).
 
We do well to know that the Christian life is to be the vicariously-lived Christ-life; not us trying to live the Christ-life but a “yielded life to God” (Rom 6:13), so that Christ can un-hinderingly live His life in and by us—through His Spirit. This involves understanding that we partake of all godly attributes, e.g. righteousness, justification, sanctification, holiness, etc., by way of imputation ((1Cr 1:30), not impartation, because everything we have in Christ originates from and is permanently retained (Jude 1:24) by Him. –NC

2-16. LEGAL CONFLICT

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1)

If we are weak in understanding the principle of complete justification by faith, we will be strong in seeking to produce our own sanctification.

"In Romans Seven Paul is describing the inevitable conflict that every believer knows when he undertakes to lead a holy life on the principle of legality. He feels instinctively that the law is spiritual, but that he himself, for some unexplained reason, is fleshly, carnal, and in bondage to sin. This discovery is one of the most heart-breaking a Christian ever made. Yet each one must and does make it for himself at some time in his pilgrimage.

"The believer finds himself doing things he knows to be wrong, and which his inmost desires are opposed to; while what he yearns to do he fails to accomplish, and does, instead, what he hates. But this is the first part of a great lesson which all must learn who would matriculate (enroll) in God's school. It is the lesson of no confidence in 'the flesh'; and until it is learned there can be no true progress in growth. The incorrigibility of the flesh must be realized before one is ready to turn altogether from self to Christ for sanctification, as he has already done for justification." -H.A.I.
"As conviction of guilt goes before known justification, so the experiential knowledge of self before sanctification. No effort clears the guilt; no effort effects the growth."

"That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith" (Acts 26:18).
 
The enemy of the believer can hinder his fellowship with God but cannot produce anything against his union with God (John 10:29; Rom 8:35, 38, 39). Understanding our position in Christ helps us to properly deal with our condition in life.

The Father has identified the believer’s spiritual life with His Son in where He is—in Heaven with the Father (Eph 2:6) and what He is—Son of the Father (Rom 8:16).

Our condition on Earth—victorious or not, cannot effect our position in Heaven because “it is finished” (John 19:30). Regardless of our understanding, the knowledge of our place in Heaven can always be used as an aid while we “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2Ti 2:3), “because as He is, so are we in this world” (1Jo 4:17).



2-17. HIGHLY PLACED

"O our God . . . we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee" (2 Chronicles 20:12).

Many believers have gone only as far as justification can take them--spiritual birth, and a bit beyond. There they stagnate, in dire need of the fresh streams of living water that come from seeing their position in Christ. "God . . . hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). "Always begin with your position, where you are; and then think of your condition, what you are." -R.P.

"Christians are at their wits' end. Many have given up the fight. They still go to church; but secretly they feel that victory is out of the question. They have no weapons for such an hour. Frankly, they have capitulated to the prince of this world, for all their efforts to rout the foe have failed.

"But victory is the believer's right, as truly his as the air he breathes. However, he must understand the conditions. He must see himself enthroned with Christ. He must see himself according to God's own Holy Word, as crucified with the Lord Jesus, dead, buried, raised and made to sit in heavenly places with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without this he will go down in ignominious defeat in spite of all his strivings and his prayers. With this position he is more than conqueror through Him who loved him and gave Himself for him." -F.J.H.

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"(1 John 5:4).
 
2-18. DEVOTED DISCIPLE

"Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love" (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

The Cross cost God all that He had, for us. That same Cross will cost us all that we are, for Him, for growth, for others."For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you" (2 Corinthians 4:11,12).

"Devotion, utter devotion, to God's purpose concerning His people, is going to make the uttermost demand upon any servant of God. It is going to test and find out our spirit of service. And if we are going to be used of God in this utter way, it is going to bring us to the point where we have nothing left to fall back upon, either of personal interest, position, or blessing: it is simply a matter of God, and God only! If God does not do it, we are finished. We have no alternative; we have no second line; we are in this matter of the Lord's purpose to the last drop of blood. The purpose of God in His people will demand that. It is no use--we cannot have any alternatives; we cannot have a second course: it is everything or nothing." -T. A-S.

"There are those who would be more useful in the Lord's work if only they were more devoted. They are absorbed in something else, and this not only distracts them from their work, but when they do set themselves to it, there is not that maturity, that finished condition of soul, that knowledge of hearts, and of the way in which the Word suits itself to their needs, which gives lasting value to ministry." -J.N.D.

"They loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12.11).
 
Our decisions are based on what we desire and for the believer, the Father—through the Spirit, is ever at work causing us to choose rightly. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for [His] good pleasure” (Phil2:13). “Therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deu 30:19).

Self cannot cast out self anymore then “Satan can cast out Satan”, so it must be done by an external entity—the Holy Spirit. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal 5:17).

This accomplishment is not a legal matter, such as our good works overcoming the indwelling sin, because our good works are for the sole purpose of acknowledging God (Mat 5:16). It’s a matter of Grace, by just being aware of our old, Adamic nature and continually yielding it to Christ’s atonement, then“casting your care” of it on Him (1Pe 5:7). The Spirit through the Cross’s power will “bind the strong man” (Mat 12:29) and you will noticeably grow in your fellowship with the Father and the Son. -NC

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD (Zec 4:6).


2-19. NOT OBLIGATED

"The carnal mind is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7).

Early in the Christian life we naturally feel that it is our obligation to overcome self and become spiritual. We do not yet realize that time and processing are required before we are able to give up self-effort for our growth. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, not our obligation. "God hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit" (2 Thessalonians 2:13).


The self-life is surely our first and most bitter foe, and the believer who will serve God acceptably must learn His way of victory over this subtle and dangerous enemy. The flesh is irrecoverably fallen and you and I make no real progress in the Christian life until we have learned in experience to say with the apostle: 'For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh dwelleth no good thing' (Romans 7:18)." -J.C.M.

"Paul's great endeavor, in all his great struggle of Romans Seven, was to make 'the flesh,' his old self-life, consent to do that holy law which his new self approved. Paul had not yet despaired of himself. The fact is, he had not yet realized the absolute distinction between the old and the new creations. And it was through this terrible experience that he found the new or 'inward' man to be distinct from the old man; that the realm of 'the spirit' was absolutely separate from that of 'the flesh', that all of the old self, with its life and energy, was to be despaired of, not sanctified."

"For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).
 
2-20. SAFE BEYOND QUESTION

"Neither give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:27).

To a large extent, we will be pawns of the devil until we stand on the specific facts of the Bible and assert, "I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, and am a new creation in Him on the basis of the finished work of Calvary. He is my life; my death in Him on the Cross separated me from the dominion of all the old creation. As far as my Lord and I are concerned, Satan, sin, self, the world, and the law, all are on the other side of that death." "We never get into conflict with Satan until we realize our privileges in Christ. We cannot cross the Jordan without finding the Canaanites in the land."

"Satan may challenge my clearance and my acceptance; he may raise all kinds of questions about what I am and what I have done, but he can raise no questions as to the worthiness or acceptance of my Savior. The forgiven man is on an altogether new ground with God; he is on the ground of grace--grace which is set forth in Christ. The apprehension of this is redemption, and it puts the soul beyond the reach of the oppression and harassing of the enemy." -C.A.C.

"If the first step in the Christian course were definitely understood the saints would have a happier time. If they saw that the power of the old man was broken on the Cross, and that in Christ they are new creations before God, they would walk here in deliverance. 'You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.'" -J.B.S.

"Your great accuser, the Devil, is going about like a roaring lion to see whom he can devour. Withstand him, firm in your faith" (1 Peter 5:8,9, Wey.).
 
2-21. ONE STANDARD--CHRIST

"So then let us once for all quit the elementary teaching about Christ and continue progressing; toward maturity"(Hebrews 6:1, Wms.).

When the standard of the Christian life is low, the responsibility for growth is placed upon the believer. But when it is known that God's standard for us is His Son, all expectation of maturity must be placed in Him--"for it is God which worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).

"The Lord Jesus Christ is the Christian's very life, and the Holy Spirit dwells within our spirit to manifest Him, to work out all that is in Him and to reproduce Him in us. We must remember that there is something in the sight of God that is higher than work. There is Christ-likeness. That is our Father's purpose, and it is His work." -A.M.

"It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to the Lord Jesus. A holy ministry is an awful weapon in the hands of God." -R.M.Mc.

"In a great many evangelical churches the Gospel of salvation is magnificently presented, seekers are led to Christ; but the totality of the Gospel, the Gospel in its ultimate category, is by no means so clearly presented, nor maybe even understood by teacher as well as pupil. It is evidenced by exhortation to Christian living being mainly challenges to pray more, study more, give more, witness more, surrender more. The emphasis is predominantly on the active dedication of the Christian to his Lord, and to a much less degree on the dynamic remolding of the believer by his Lord."

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:10).
 
Until I receive further confirmation from WithChrist.org, I will no longer be posting Hungry Heart material. You can view it from the above site. My apologies and God’s blessings to you.
 
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2-22. WAITING ON GOD

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7).

In times of crisis, we are prone to question His care; in times of calm, we tend to forget our need of His care.

"Don't look at earthly difficulties. Saul said, 'Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not. . . therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me' (1 Sam. 13:11,12). It is fatal to look around and at consequences, especially in times of crisis, for it will be impossible to be still, and wait God's time for deliverance. Jesus came to them in the fourth watch of the night (Matthew 14:25). It is always His way. God is never behind time! However dark the path may be, wait; do not go before Him, don't force yourself, like Saul. 'The crisis demands action,' we say! Nay, 'dwell in stillness and wait for clearness'--wait until you are sure of the will of God, and leave the 'Philistines' to Him." -T. A-S.

"Victory comes through the reckoning of faith and not through struggling and striving. 'But,' it may be asked, 'are we not exhorted to 'fight the good fight'? Yes, that is so, but you must please finish the text, 'Fight the good fight of faith,' and faith never struggles for victory. Faith stands in victory."

"The unbelieving heart looks at the circumstances, and leaves God out. Faith, on the contrary, looks only at God, and leaves circumstances out. Faith delights in man's extremity, simply because it is God's opportunity. It delights in being 'shut up' to God--in having the platform thoroughly cleared of the creature, in order that God may display His glory."

'My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him" (Psalm 62:5).

2-23. MOUNT SINAI, MOUNT ZION

"For you have not come to a material object all ablaze with fire, and to gloom and darkness and storm and trumpet-blast and the sound of words" (Hebrews 12:18, Wey.).

Most of us know that we are not under the Law as summarized in the Ten Commandments, yet we continue to labor under the principle of law. We seek to attain, instead of to obtain. Not until we are driven to the end of Romans Seven will we know the freedom of Romans Eight.

"So long as one thinks that his blessing depends in any way, or in any degree, upon himself, he is under the shadow of Sinai, and naturally we all gravitate in that direction. Many truly converted persons are more occupied with themselves, and in trying to improve their own condition, than in seeking to learn the grace of God. The result is that where there is a shallow work in the soul they get lifted up with pride and conceit, and perhaps deceive themselves so far as to think there is no sin in them.

"On the other hand, if souls are upright and sincere they get into terrible distress, and experience what it is to have to do with Sinai-blackness, darkness, and tempest, so that a holy man like Moses could only 'exceedingly fear and quake.' Thank God! we are not come to that mountain, but to another--even to Mount Zion." -C.A.C.

"On the contrary you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the ever-living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to countless hosts of angels, to the great festal gathering and Church of the first-born, whose names are recorded in Heaven" (Hebrews 12:22,23, Wey.).
 
2-24. ABIDING FAITH

"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him".

One day we came to Him in utter need and reliance, and received life. Every day we are to abide in Him in utter need and reliance, that He may live that life in and through us. We are born again by faith, and we are to live anew by faith. "He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing".

"There are earnest Christians who are jealous for a free Gospel, with acceptance of Christ, and justification by faith alone. But after this they think everything depends on their diligence and faithfulness. While they firmly grasp the truth, 'justified by faith,' they have hardly noticed the larger truth, 'the just shall live by faith.' They have not yet understood what a perfect Savior the Lord Jesus is, and how He will each day do for the sinner just as much as He did the first day when they came to Him.

"They know not that the life of grace is always and only a life of faith, and that in the relationship to the Lord Jesus the one daily and unceasing duty of the disciple is to believe, because believing is the one channel through which Divine grace and strength can flow into the heart of man. The old nature of the believer remains evil and sinful to the last; it is only as he daily comes, all empty and helpless, to his Savior to receive of His life and strength, that he can bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the glory of God." -A.M.

"Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving".

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Fellowship with God is the ultimate obtainment with man and the degree of that fellowship is determined by the nearness of its union. To be in Christ involves more unification than to follow Him. To follow Christ is to attain an exemplary of Christ's life but to be in Christ is to obtain the life of Christ Himself which He lives out in us. “I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me”.
-NC

2-25. UNITY OF DESIGN

"So now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death" .

If we look to other Christians as examples to follow, we will soon be discouraged by the prevailing low standard. If we look to Christ as our example, we will be utterly discouraged because of His infinitely high standard. Hence it is essential that we understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is our life; He is not a legal example to emulate, but the source of life from which we grow.

"It is not in any conventional standard of frames and feelings that the disciple is to find the measure of attainment required of him. It is not by any painful reproducing of another's spiritual history that he is to acquire the true comfort of spirit which he longs for.

Outward imitation, though it be of the perfect Example Himself, has little place in the order of spiritual growth--little place because little possibility. 'Without Me (i.e., apart from Me, in separation from Me) ye can do nothing.' To abide in Christ is the only secret of Christlikeness; for only thus is obtained the likeness of unity, which is perfect and enduring, instead of the likeness of conformity, which is only partial and transient." -A.J.G.

"In the pathway of discipline and trial we learn by bitter experience the truth of Paul's confession, 'In me. . . in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.' Coupled with that is the lesson that God waits with infinite patience, like the potter, to work out a design and beauty with such frail material." -M.H.F.

"And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence".
 
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