HEAVEN

THE JOURNEY TOWARD HEAVEN

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col 3:2 ESV).

“…there is not only an outward preparation of the place for the people, but also an inward preparation of the people for the place.  Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people….Jesus is…preparing the place for the people…at the same time prepares the people for the place” Charles Ross (ref#241, p71).

“This life ought so to be spent by us as to be only a journey toward heaven.  We ought not to rest in the world and its enjoyments, but should desire heaven” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p72).  “We ought to make use of worldly enjoyments and worldly business as shall best forward our journey heavenward, and no otherwise”  Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p73).  “We ought to seek heaven by traveling in the way that leads there.  The way is the way of holiness” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p72).

“God rests in the unchangeableness of His love towards His saints.  Nothing can move Him from it…He foresaw and foreknew all that was in them….In this day of easy and abounding nominal Christianity; this day when human authority is exalted above the Word of God; this day of error, rebuke, and blasphemy; this day of rapid and excited action; this last solemn dispensation of the world, the events of which are rapidly ushering in the coming of the Son of Man; let us, under the influence of more simple faith, more fervent love, and brightening hope, “ go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach (Heb 13:13).  Let us rest from our conflict and toil where the Father rests, where the sinner rests, where we may rest—in Jesus” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Apr 23rd).

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Phil 3:14 NLT).

HEAVEN

ETERNAL LIFE

“…Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now!…” (1 Pet 1:3-5 MSG).

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3 ESV).

“…it is not said merely this is the way to eternal life, but this is life eternal itself – ‘to know thee.’  Eternal life then, is not mere conscious and unending existence, but it is ‘to know thee.’…that living, personal, and experimental knowledge – that knowledge, which includes oneness in will with God, and partaking of his nature; it is the knowledge, love, and enjoyment of him” Charles Ross (ref#241, p206).

FATHER, how easily I skip over a relationship with You as satan constantly puts in my head the importance of working for You.  Work now and rest in heaven is such a logical thought to me.

But, in fellowship with You I feel its solid, unchangeableness —its eternalness. “Eternal life really means that we are sharers of the life of God and are in communion with Him” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Feb 28th).

This is just another reminder to put relationship with GOD at the top of my priority list and not evangelism or Christian service or any activity that I can accomplish on my own.  FATHER, alert me when I fall into glorifying myself with Christian things and guide me to Your presence where I see and glorify You.

HEAVEN

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt 6:33 ESV).

“…the Kingdom of God!…How shall we make it more than a phrase?  We cannot look at the words without turning to Him Who spoke them.  We Christians, to find our knowledge of the Kingdom of God, must look to Christ our King” James Nisbet (ref#296).

“Everything Jesus revealed about the Kingdom, He was actually revealing about God Himself” Jarrad Gibler (ref#243).

“Jesus Christ made God known.  In every action, every word spoken, He displayed the character of the Father.  For Christ to say that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, was not just to say that God was near, but to say that His heart—the King’s heart—was being offered.  Think about this…it was the very hand of God that extended the Kingdom of God.  That extension was not one of conquest or subjugation, but one of invitation.  God, through Jesus Christ, offered us His heart” Jarrad Gibler (ref#243).

FATHER, when I think of a King, I think of power yet JESUS did not depict You wielding power.

“God is holy and just, as well as almighty—since God is love—the true revelation of him could not be a mere outward sign; it must be a living Person, manifesting in words and deeds the very character of God” Charles Ross (ref#241, p81).

…the purpose of seeking the Kingdom is not to find it, but to find myself in it….The search for God has never been a distance issue, or even an understanding issue.  It has always been a surrender issue….to seek first the Kingdom is not to seek for it, but more appropriately it is to search out what has already been laid open to us.  It is to search out the heart of God….we discover His heart, and we discover who we are in Him” Jarrad Gibler (ref#243).

HOLY SPIRIT

THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THE CHURCH

“It is for the church to explore the resources of the Spirit; the resources of the world are futile” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p19).

“…the Church of God has two Paracletes, or Advocates – one in heaven with the Father, Christ, and the other on earth, in the heart of the believer, even the Holy Spirit” Charles Ross (ref#241, p90).

“The Father gave Him [CHRIST] the gift, and He passes it on to us;…The gift of the Holy Ghost to the Church is also, then, the absolute proof of the sufficiency of the work of Christ and of its acceptance with God….’I accept your work, it is sufficient; You have died for the redeemed, they are Your people.  So I will give you My Spirit to give to them, and then they will know that they are Your people and My people…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p138).

“ He [the SPIRIT] has come to reign over each and all.  Jesus Christ had defined His mission and outlined His program.  He was to unify them into one Body, guide them into all truth, and strengthen them for all service.  In the Church He is the supreme executive, but He has His seat in the soul.  He directs all things from the spiritual center of the inner life” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p44).  “His objective is to produce holiness…But His ultimate work is to make us a holy people…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 2nd).

FATHER, I know that the HOLY SPIRIT will create in all of us who CHRIST claims as His bride, holiness and purity.  Your perfect will is to bring us a life of prayer and brokenness before Your throne.  I hunger to be secluded with You in the secret closet waiting for You to bring Your remnant church into one mind—living only for You. David Wilkerson (ref#138, p165).

THE SPIRIT AND THE FATHER AND SON

“…I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules”(Ezek 36:27 ESV).

“The Holy Spirit helps us to obey God quicklyand fully. The Holy Spirit gives us the desireto obey God, even when His commands to us are not what we desire in the flesh” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p42-43).

“It was the Father’s work to plan, to purpose; it was the Son’s place to purchase; and now it was the Spirit’s work, in the exercise of the same love and sovereignty, to apply the purchased redemption” Charles Ross (ref#241, p173).

“…the Spirit was to succeed the Son with increased effectiveness and enlarged dominion” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p86).

“While each ‘personage’ is distinct in function, each shares together in the same deity and each reflects the divine attributes of the one living God” (All About GOD, Holy Spirit, https://www.allaboutgod.com/holy-spirit.htm).

The SPIRIT is not the FATHER and SON’s vending machine.  He accomplishes their will because the Trinity (all of them) has the same agenda and goals.  From this viewpoint, the SPIRIT is on the same level as the FATHER and SON.  The SPIRIT does as He wills (Eph 1:5) to complete the FATHER’s objective and the SON’s desires.

FATHER, the SPIRIT deserves as much praise as You and JESUS.  He knows me as intimately as You and JESUS—and loves me just as fiercely. I praise You, SPIRIT!

“Let us rejoice in…confidence…because the Holy Spirit is working all the while with secret but divine power in the soul that does not hinder Him by its unbelief” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p116).

JESUS

GREATER WORKS THAN THESE

FATHER, I’ve always wondered how I can do greater works than JESUS while He was on earth but Scripture explains itself.  I can do greater works because JESUS now resides in me (Gal 2:20).

“’Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do…Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it”(John 14:12-14 ESV).

“…he who asks in his name, does so, as being one with him, and as drawing on his resources….it is to ask as one depending entirely on his divine resources” Charles Ross (ref#241, p87).

“Christ not only declares that God will give us needed grace, but He Himself undertakes to see it done” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p81).  “Such is the wonderful condescension of the grace of Jesus…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p30).

“Omnipotence was…entrusted to the man Christ Jesus, that…through the channels of human nature it might put forth its mighty energies” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p180).  “Christ gives His power in us by giving His life in us….When He strengthens…it is not by taking away the sense of feebleness, and giving in its place the feeling of strength.  By no means…He gives…the consciousness of strength in Him” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p182).

FATHER, it is such a habit to be my own ruler—to consult only myself in all situations.  I forget my physical side now has a divine spiritual side—that I have supernatural strength because of CHRIST within.  I ask You, FATHER, for help in grounding a habit of always consulting with JESUS as each situation arises.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me”(Phil 4:13 ESV).

JESUS

CHRIST DOES EVERYTHING

“…Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me [JESUS].  And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go….” (John 6:35-38 MSG, brackets mine).

FATHER, You call me into fellowship with JESUS (1 Cor 1:9).  And JESUS employs Himself to my aid.  He enriches me in every way in all speech and all knowledge (1 Cor 1:5).  He maintains me with gifts while I wait for His physical appearance again (1 Cor 1:7).  He also sustains me until the end, guiltless (1 Cor 1:8).  He is my all.

“…the Father has given all power to the Son, that by his hand he may govern, cherish, sustain us, keep us under his guardianship and give assistance to us.  Thus, while we wander far as pilgrims from God, Christ interposes, that he may gradually bring us to full communion with God” John Calvin (ref#113, p321).

“…we have a double need: on the one hand cleansing from defilement, and on the other a new heart with new desires and aspirations….For Christ died to make us clean, and by the inward working of his Holy Spirit he can make us new” John Stott (ref#258, p78-79).

“…many ways Jesus loves his own…visiting them with his gracious presence, instructing and guiding them by his Word and Spirit, preserving them in his providence, strengthening them by his grace, comforting them with his love, and maturing them for his eternal glory” Charles Ross (ref#241, p19).

CHRIST constantly pulls me out of the God-ignoring flames of this earth.  He doesn’t just help me stand every once in a while when I think I need help but constantly rescues me.  O FATHER, I am so thankful.

“…Christ has entered…into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf”(Heb 9:24 ESV).

JESUS

DIETY HUMBLED

“…He appeared in visible form and became Man…”(1 John 3:5 AMPC)

 “In the life which Christ led upon earth, obedience was a solemn reality.  The dark and awful power that led man to revolt from his God, came upon Him too, to tempt Him.  To Him as man its offers of self-gratification were not matters of indifference; to refuse them, He had to fast and pray.  He suffered, being tempted.  He spoke very distinctly of notseeking to do His own will, as a surrender He had continually to make.  He made the keeping of the Father’s commandments the distinct object of His life, and so abode in His love” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p155).

FATHER, Your Son in His magnificence dwelt with You before time began but then emptied Himself of His godly essence to become human (Phil 2:7).  He identified with me as He spent a few years on earth.  But CHRIST is now glorified in my nature at Your right hand (ref#241, p208-209).

“The union of the divine and the human in Immanuel is the reunion of God with fallen man through the second Adam….God in my nature: my God, my brother, my friend, my counselor, my guide, my redeemer, my pattern, my all!  God in my nature: my wisdom, my righteousness, my sanctification, my redemption!…He takes my nature that He may descend to me, and He gives me His nature that I may ascend to Him.  He stoops because I could not rise” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Dec 25th)!

“If the Deity of Jesus is precious, so is His humanity; the one is of no avail in the work of redemption apart from the other…It was pure humanity, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, which He took up into intimate and indissoluble union with His Deity….Our Lord attached Himself to the woes of our nature;…It was necessary that our Lord, in order to sympathize fully with His people, should not only identify Himself with their nature, but also in some degree with their peculiar circumstances….He never instructs them to walk in a path that His own feet have not trod first and left their impressions” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 31st).

“His humanity lost none of the tender sympathies of our nature which clung to him so closely when on earth.  The same compassionate nature, the same loving heart, the same deep sympathy with all our sorrows, and the same outstretched hand to relieve them distinguish the glorified state of the precious Son of God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 27th).

“The human nature of Christ…still continues, and will continue to all eternity, to be both God and man” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p20).

ASSURANCES

EVIDENCES OF GODLINESS – PART TWO

“…His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness…” (2 Pet 1:3 NASB).

FATHER, this power of Yours becomes experiential in me the moment You change my stony heart (Ezek 36:26). Below are thoughts that come to me with a new heart. I desire to check myself to see if I have experienced these thoughts.

…a conscious regret that our love to Him is so poor, along with a desire to love Him more…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 30th).

“There is in this spiritual and divine light a true sense of the divine and superlative excellency of the things of God and of Jesus Christ, of the work of redemption, and of the ways and works of God revealed in the Gospel. He who is spiritually enlightened truly apprehends and sees it, or has a sense of it. He does not merely rationally believe that God is glorious, but he has a sense of the gloriousness of God in his heart” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p57).

“There is not, there cannot be, a clearer evidence that a man is under the teaching that is from above than this, that he is led to Christ, and that he seeks to put the crown of his salvation on his blessed head” Charles Ross (ref#241, p175).