ABIDING IN CHRIST

BEARING THE CROSS

“…when Christ meets a person today it is always on the Calvary road—on the way to the cross” John Piper (ref#92, p94-95).

The question I should always ask is how do I view my afflictions?  Do I consider ordinary afflictions of life, like everyone else in the world has, as my share of Christ’s Cross? Andrew Murray (ref#266, p79).

JESUS experienced afflictions walking the earth; do I have similar ones?  What does “bearing the cross” really mean?

“…bearing the cross means likeness to Christ in the principles which animated Him in His path of obedience.

The entire surrender of all self-will,

the complete denial to the flesh of its every desire and pleasure,

the perfect separation from the world in all its ways of thinking and acting,

the losing and hating of one’s life,

the giving up of self and its interests for the sake of others—

this is the disposition which marks him who has taken up Christ’s Cross, who seeks to say, ‘I am crucified with Christ; I abide in Christ, the Crucified One.’” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p79).

“…when each is prepared to be known as the repentant sinner he is at the Cross of Jesus” Roy Hession (ref#97, p41-42).  “…there is a great deal that has to be given up: the world, its pleasures, its favor, its good opinion.  Your relationship to the world is to be the same as Jesus’ was.  The world rejected Him and cast Him out, and you are to take up the position of your Lord, to whom you belong, and to follow with the rejected Christ.  You have to give up everything.  You have to give up all that is good in yourself and be humbled in the dust of death” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p59).

“…the only life that pleases God…is His [JESUS’] life—never our life…our self-centered life is the exact opposite of His…” Roy Hession (ref#97, p25).

“…we are not likely to be broken except at the Cross of Jesus.  The willingness of Jesus to be broken for us is the all-compelling motive in our being broken too” Roy Hession (ref#97, p23).

“I must yield myself to Him [CHRIST] in an undivided surrender” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p77, brackets mine).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

CHRIST, THE CRUCIFIED ONE

“…Jesus was willing to become…a worm and no man [Ps 22:6].  And He did so, because that is what He saw us to be, worms having forfeited all rights by our sin, except to deserve hell.  And He now calls us to take our rightful place as worms for Him and with Him” Roy Hession (ref#97, p24, brackets mine).

“’Abide in the wounds of Jesus; there is the place of union, and life, and growth. There you shall see how His heart was opened to receive you; how His flesh was rent that the way might be opened for your being made one with Him, and having access to all the blessings flowing from His divine nature.’” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p76).

Thinking of a slip being grafted into a stem helps me see how close we become at the cross: To begin a graft the stem must be cut for room to place the newly cut slip.  Both stem and slip are injured.

“In the death of the Cross Christ was wounded, and in His opened wounds a place prepared where we might be grafted in…The wounded stem and the wounded graft are cut to fit into each other, into each other’s likeness.  There is a fellowship between Christ’s sufferings and your sufferings” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p76).

JESUS suffered on the Cross; and for me, my self-serving self must die.  “…when I follow Jesus…the old self-determining, self-absorbed me must be crucified” John Piper (ref#92, p95).  “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,” (Rom 6:5 NASB).

This is my goal: to be in His likeness in death as well as resurrection.  Only then will I be able to walk with Him in “newness of life” (Rom 6:4).

CONFESSION

A NEW DISPOSITION

…FATHER, Your Son walked the earth in meekness and was lowly in heart (Matt 11:29). He always surrendered His own will to You (John 6:38). “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten…” (1 Peter 2:23 ESV). He never stood up for His own rights, never returned wrong for a wrong, never resented, never complained.

“Self-energy…in service is sin. Self-pity in…difficulties, self-seeking in business or Christian work, self-indulgence in one’s spare time,…self-defense when we are hurt…by others, self-consciousness…” Oswald Chambers (ref#97, p28,29) are all sin.

“Let every mention of the Blood call to mind the deep humility and self-surrender of the Lamb, for it is this disposition that gives the Blood its wonderful power with God” Roy Hession (ref#97, p94). “We may be partakers of His disposition, for it has been made transferable to us by His death” Roy Hession (ref#97, p95,96). And this disposition is what you look for in me. By having this disposition I will know power in my own life.

“The natural life is neither moral nor immoral. I make it moral or immoral by my ruling disposition. Jesus teaches that the natural life is meant for sacrifice. We can give it as a gift to God, which is the only way to make it spiritual (see Rom 12:1-2)” Oswald Chambers (ref#118, p36).

CONFESSION

REPENTANCE AND REST

“For thus said the Lord God…’In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’…” (Isa 30:15 ESV).

FATHER, in regards to sin, I easily find myself resolving to do better next time instead of resting in Your presence (ref#100, p94). I want the opportunity to get it right. My first reaction to my sin is that it’s just a mistake or a momentary weakness that I can fix with my own abilities.

“But the moment we repent and put the blame where it belongs, on ourselves, the all-availing blood of Jesus comes into view on our behalf before God, and He then is pleased for Christ’s sake…” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p 91, 92).

FATHER, quickly bring me to confession. Give me the ability to not only admit my guilt but admit it is impossible for me to do any better. I must rest as the sinner under CHRIST’s blood until it pleases You to meet with me again (ref#100, p95).

FYI. My sin causes a rift in our relationship. Even the smallest sin triggers the serious consequence of lost fellowship with You. FATHER, move me to Calvary—to JESUS—glimpsing what my sin cost Him. It isn’t anything I do but His Blood that moves You (ref#97, p81).

My responsibility is to rest—rest because I have returned and You have forgiven—rest because our fellowship needs restored—rest because You need to instruct me what my next steps should be (ref#100, p92). Train me in the truth: You are holy, any sin is serious, and I must bow to You, confess, and rest until I sense Your strength filling me again.

CONFESSION

BONDSERVANT

“Just as it is the disposition of the Lamb that bestows upon the blood its power, so it is only as we are willing to be partakers of the same disposition of the Lamb, that we shall know its full power in our lives. And we may be partakers of His disposition, for it has been made transferable to us by His death” (Phil 2:5; 1 Cor 2:16) Roy Hession (ref#97, p95,96).

FATHER, that I might be a bondservant of CHRIST who is Your bondservant. This means I will be treated as You treated Your Son—serving Your will and experiencing “the malice of men” Roy Hession (ref#97, p85).

FATHER, You made me in the first place to be Your bondservant so that there is nothing I can boast in because this is what I have been created for (ref#97, p86). A slave doesn’t boast, he just does his assigned work.

“’Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, “Come at once and recline at table”? Will he not rather say to him, “Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink”? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?   So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty”'” (Luke 17:7-10 ESV).

When I catch myself feeling good because of my Christian activities, deflate my pride by calling to my mind the above verse. It’s serious business to steal Your glory, O GOD.

“…we have no right and no appeal, where we are the absolute property of our Master, to be treated and disposed of just as He wishes” Roy Hession (ref#97, p84).

CONFESSION

REVIVAL

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-11-53-02-am…FATHER, “Sin is the only thing that hinders the revival of His (CHRIST’s) church” Roy Hession (ref#97, p62) (parenthesis mine). Show me my sin.

“Revival is just the life of the Lord Jesus poured into human hearts” Roy Hession (ref#97, p21). CHRIST, pour Your life into me.

Revival “…simply means new life, in hearts where the spiritual life has ebbed…the life of Jesus filling us and flowing through us” Roy Hession (ref#97, p68). FATHER, I confess my spiritual life ebbs; just a night’s sleep depletes me. I want filled again and again and again with JESUS.

“The willingness of Jesus to be broken for us is the all-compelling motive in our being broken too” Roy Hession (ref#97, p23). I desire to be broken as JESUS was. Bring to me the life JESUS endured from the time of His arrest to His crucifixion.

“Brokenness, however is but the beginning of Revival, Revival itself is being absolutely filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is to present our empty, broken self and let Him fill and keep filled” Roy Hession (ref#97, p27). Here I am, empty and broken ready to be filled.

“It will mean no plans, no time, no money, no pleasure of our own. It will mean a constant yielding to those around us” Roy Hession (ref#97, 25). I desire to constantly yield to those around me.

ADORATION

THE POWER OF THE BLOOD

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-54-58-pm…FATHER, by His blood, CHRIST ransomed people for You from every nation on earth (Rev 5:9). The precious blood of JESUS has ransomed me from the futile ways inherited from my forefathers (1 Pet 1:18-19). And He purified me by His blood in His suffering (Heb 13:12).

I was once far off but now brought near by the blood of JESUS (Eph 2:13). The precious blood of JESUS frees me to confidently enter the Holy of Holies (Heb 10:19) of Your presence and live there all the day (ref#97, p92).

By the power of His blood there is peace between You and me (Col 1:20). By the power of His blood, I have fellowship with You (1 John 1:7). CHRIST’s blood is true drink and if I abide in Him He abides in me (John 6:55-56).

FATHER, I have been justified by His blood and saved from Your wrath (Rom 5:9). By its power I have eternal life and CHRIST will raise me up on the last day (John 6:54). By the blood CHRIST shed, satan is overcome (Rev 12:11).

FATHER, This blood of JESUS cleanses me from all sin (1 John 1:7).   In Him I have redemption and forgiveness of my trespasses through His blood (Eph 1:7). His blood sets me free from the tyranny of an evil conscience (ref#97, p92). His blood purifies my conscience from dead works and lifeless observances to serve You (Heb 9:14). FATHER, I desire to wash my robe and made it white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14).

ADORATION

CHRIST’S BLOOD IS PRECIOUS

“…many achievements and…many blessings…Scripture ascribes to the power of the Blood of the Lord Jesus” Roy Hession (ref#97, p91-92)!

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.31.10 PMFATHER, CHRIST’s blood is “precious in its preserving power….the blood…is the true reason for our being spared” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 16th AM). “By its power there is forgiveness of sins and eternal life for all who put their faith in the Lord Jesus ( John 6:54)” Roy Hession (ref#97, p92).

FATHER, “Christ’s blood is also precious in its cleansing power” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 16th AM). By the power of the blood there is a continual cleansing from all my sin, past, present, and future (ref#97, p92). Your Son’s blood not only cleanses me from all sin (1 John 1:7), but purifies my conscience so I may serve You (Heb 9:14).

“The blood of Christ is precious in its sanctifying influence. The same blood that justifies by taking away sin, in its after-action, quickens the new nature and leads it onward to subdue sin and to carry out the commands of God”  Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 16th AM).

THANKSGIVING

RECEIVING THE SPIRIT TO MINISTER

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.50.46 PM“…when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses…” (Acts 1:8 MSG).

FATHER, I gratefully thank You for inviting me to be the cup You use to pour out Your goodness on mankind. You require and then enable me to keep my cup clean so You can choose me to be Your minister.

You require it and make me able to die to self—to be constantly dying, always carrying in my body the death of JESUS, so that the life of JESUS may also be manifested in my body (2 Cor 4:10) (ref#97, p25).

“It will mean no plans, no time, no money, no pleasure of our own. It will mean a constant yielding to those around us…” Roy Hession (ref#97, p25).

You make me able to put out of my life every known sin (ref#30, p116). The SPIRIT makes me willing to show You my dirty cup—makes me willing to give it to You to clean—and it will be cleaned with Your Son’s precious Blood that continually flows for sin (ref#97, p30).

You make me able to be broken of my will.   The SPIRIT brings me to the foot of the Cross to show me what real brokenness is. I see His wounded hands and feet and His face crowned with thorns… (ref#97, p48).

Through Your direction of the SPIRIT, He is able to make me into a suitable tool for Your use. And going yet further, the SPIRIT points my desires toward a further spiritual anointing—the “definite endowment of power from the Holy Spirit” R. A. Torrey (ref#30, p115-116).

All praise to You, FATHER, for You make me able to be in relationship with You. I thank You for the SPIRIT Who leads me to every step of cleanliness and on to the ability to minister with You in Your behalf.