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Friday, July 31, 2015

Humility # 14

Humility and Sin (continued)

With Paul's deep remembrance of having sinned so terribly in the past, ere grace had met him, and the consciousness of being kept from present sinning, there was ever coupled the abiding remembrance of the dark hidden power of sin ever ready to come in, and only kept out by the presence and power of the indwelling Christ. "In me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing;" - these words of Romans 7 describe the flesh as it is to the end. The glorious deliverance of Romans 8 - "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath now made me free from the law of sin, which once led me captive" - is neither the annihilation nor the sanctification of the flesh, but a continuous victory given by the Spirit as He mortifies the deeds of the body. As health expels disease, and light swallows up darkness, and life conquers death, the indwelling of Christ through the Spirit is the health and light and life of the soul. But with this, the conviction of helplessness and danger every tempers the faith in the momentary and unbroken action of the Holy Spirit into that chastened sense of dependence which makes the highest faith and joy the handmaids of a humility that only lives by the grace of God.

The three passages above quoted all show that it was the wonderful grace bestowed upon Paul, and of which he felt the need every moment, that humbled him so deeply. The grace of God that was with him, and enabled him to labor more abundantly than they all; the grace to preach to the heathen the unsearchable riches of Christ; the grace that was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus, - it was this grace of which it is the very nature and glory that it is for sinners, that kept the consciousness of his having once sinned, and being liable to sin, so intensely alive. "Where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly." This reveals how the very essence of grace is to deal with and take away sin, and how it must ever be: the more abundant the experience of grace, the more intense the consciousness of being a sinner. It is not sin, but God's grace showing a man and ever reminding him what a sinner he was, that will keep him truly humble. It is not sin, but grace, that will make me indeed know myself a sinner, and make the sinner's place of deepest self-abasement the place I never leave.

I fear that there are not a few who, by strong expressions of self-condemnation and self-denunciation, have sought to humble themselves, and have to confess with sorrow that a humble spirit, a "heart of humility," with its accompaniments of kindness and compassion, of meekness and forbearance, is still as far off as ever. Being occupied with self, even amid the deepest self-abhorrence, can never free us from self. It is the revelation  of God, not only by the law condemning sin but by His grace delivering from it, that will make us humble. The law may break the heart with fear; it is only grace that works that sweet humility which becomes a joy to the soul as its second nature. It was the revelation of God in His holiness, drawing nigh to make Himself know in His grace, that made Abraham and Jacob, Job and Isaiah, bow so low. It is the soul in which God the Creator, as the All of the creature in its nothingness, God the Redeemer in His grace, as the All of the sinner in his sinfulness, is waited for and trusted and worshiped, that will find itself so filled with His presence, that there will be no place for self. So alone can the promise be fulfilled: "The haughtiness of man shall be brought low, and the Lord alone be exalted in that day."

It is the sinner dwelling in the full light of God's holy, redeeming love, in the experience of that full indwelling of divine love, which comes through Christ and the Holy Spirit, who cannot but be humble. Not to be occupied with thy sin, but to be occupied with God, brings deliverance from self.

~Andrew Murray~

(continued with # 15 - (Humility and Faith)

Don't Ever Doubt God's Word


John 10:28
And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief. For a child of God to mistrust His love, His truth, His faithfulness, must be greatly displeasing to Him. How can we ever grieve Him by doubting His upholding grace? Christian! it is contrary to every promise of God's precious Word that thou shouldst ever be forgotten or left to perish. If it could be so, how could He be true who has said, "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee." What were the value of that promise-"The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Where were the truth of Christ's words-"I give unto My sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." Where were the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved if one child of God should perish. Where were the veracity of God, His honour, His power, His grace, His covenant, His oath, if any of those for whom Christ has died, and who have put their trust in Him, should nevertheless be cast away? Banish those unbelieving fears which so dishonour God. Arise, shake thyself from the dust, and put on thy beautiful garments. Remember it is sinful to doubt His Word wherein He has promised thee that thou shalt never perish. Let the eternal life within thee express itself in confident rejoicing.

"The gospel bears my spirit up:
A faithful and unchanging God
Lays the foundation for my hope,
In oaths, and promises, and blood."

~Charles Spurgeon~

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Humility # 13

Humility and Sin (continued)

The true import of what these expressions of Paul teach us comes out all the more strongly when we notice the remarkable fact that, through his whole Christian course, we never find from his pen, even in those epistles in which we have the most intensely personal unbosomings, anything like confession of sin. Nowhere is there any mention of shortcomings or defeat, nowhere any suggestion to his readers that he has failed in duty, or sinned against the law of perfect love. On the contrary, there are passages not a few in which he vindicates himself in language that means nothing if it does not appeal to a faultless life before God and men. "Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily, and righteously, and unblameably w behaved ourselves toward you" (1 Thess. 2:10). "Our glorying is this, this testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly to you ward" (2 Corinthians 1:12). This is not an ideal or an aspiration; it is an appeal to what his actual life had been. However we may account for this absence of confession of sin, all will admit that it must point to a life in the power of the Holy Spirit, such as is but seldom realized or expected in these our days.

The point which I wish to emphasize is this - that the very fact of the absence of such confession of sinning only gives the more force to the truth that it is not in daily sinning that the secret of the deeper humility will be found, but in the habitual, never for a moment to be forgotten position, which just the more abundant grace will keep more distinctly alive, that our only place, the only place of blessing, our one abiding position before God, must be that of those whose highest joy it is to confess that they are sinners saved by grace.

~Andrew Murray~

(continued with # 14)

Faith Honors God: God Honors Faith


But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. (Luke 22:32)
Christian, take good care of thy faith, for recollect that faith is the only means whereby thou canst obtain blessings. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.
Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth to Heaven, on which God’s messages of love fly so fast that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we obtain the promise?
Am I in trouble? I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy? My soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith.
But take faith away, then in vain I call to God. There is no other road betwixt my soul and Heaven. Blockade the road, and how can I communicate with the Great King?
Faith links me with Divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of Jehovah. Faith insures every attribute of God in my defense. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything from the Lord?
Oh, then, Christian, watch well thy faith. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
—C. H. Spurgeon
We boast of being so practical a people that we want to have a surer thing than faith. But did not Paul say that the promise was, by FAITH that it might be SURE? (Romans 4:16)
—Dan Crawford.
Faith honors God; God honors faith.

~L. B. Cowman~

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Humility # 12

Humility and Sin

"Sinners, of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15)

Humility is often identified with penitence and contrition. As a consequence, there appears to be no way of fostering humility but by keeping the soul occupied with its sin. We have learned, I think, that humility is something else and something more. We have seen in the teaching of our Lord Jesus and the Epistles how often the virtue is inculcated without any reference to sin. In the very nature of things, in the whole relation of the creature to the Creator, in the life of Jesus as He lived it and imparts it to us, humility is the very essence of holiness as of blessedness. It is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God. Where God is all, self is nothing.

But though it is this aspect of the truth I have felt it specially needful to press, I need scarce say what new depth and intensity man's sin and God's grace give to the humility of the saints. We have only to look at a man like the Apostle Paul, to see how, through his life as a ransomed and a holy man, the deep consciousness of having been a sinner lives inextinguishably. We all know the passages in which he refers to his life as a persecutor and blasphemer. "I am the least of the apostles, that am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God ... I labored more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1 Corinthians 15:9, 10). "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the heathen" (Ephesians 3:8). "I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; howbeit I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief ... Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:13, 15). God's grace had saved him; God remembered his sins no more for ever; but never, never could he forget how terribly he had sinned. The more he rejoiced in God's salvation, and the more his experience of God's grace filled him with joy unspeakable, the clearer was his consciousness that he was a saved sinner, and  that salvation had no meaning or sweetness except as the sense of his being a sinner made it precious and real to him. Never for a moment could he forget that it was a sinner God had taken up in His arms and crowned with His love.

The texts we have just quoted are often appealed to as Paul's confession of daily sinning. One has only to read them carefully in their connection, to see how little this is the case. They have a far deeper meaning, they refer to that which lasts throughout eternity, and which will give its deep undertone of amazement and adoration to the humility with which the ransomed bow before the throne, as those who have been washed from their sins in the blood of the Lamb. Never, never, even in glory, can they be other than ransomed sinners; never for a moment in this life can God's child live in the full light of His love, but as he feels that the sin, out of which he has been saved, is his only right  and title to all that grace has promised to do. The humility with which first he came as a sinner, acquires a new meaning when he learns how it becomes him as a creature. And then ever again, the humility, in which he was born as a creature, has its deepest, richest tones of adoration, in the memory of what it is to be a monument of God's wondrous redeeming love.

~Andrew Murray~

Can You Trust Your Conscience?



1 Timothy 1:5-7

Let your conscience be your guide. This bit of folk wisdom seems to make sense since our conscience is designed to help us discern right from wrong. However, people cannot always trust their internal radar to steer them correctly; this is the case particularly with unbelievers, who don’t have the Holy Spirit to reveal truth and offer guidance for wise decisions. And while Christians do have God’s indwelling Spirit, they should be careful not to harbor sin in their lives, as that can interfere with the way their morality sensor functions.

A trustworthy conscience is programmed with scriptural teaching. Believers build a stable and sensitive spiritual radar system by applying God’s truth to their lives. They are committed to thinking and acting in ways that honor and please the Lord. Then, when sinful thoughts or choices come across that radar, it will deliver a sharp warning.

A person with a reliable conscience will have a strong desire to obey God. He won’t settle for what feels right or looks good, but instead prayerfully seeks the Lord’s will. In other words, he does not rely solely on his conscience but incorporates all of the Holy Spirit’s tools into his daily life: Scripture, prayer, etc. Moreover, when his spiritual radar sounds the alarm, he is quick to draw back and reject unwise choices.

A conscience isn’t designed to be our guide; it is a tool of the Guide. The Holy Spirit not only convicts us of sin, but He also brings to mind godly principles and leads us on a righteous path. He uses a variety of tools to conform us to the likeness of Christ (Rom. 8:29).

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Humility # 11

Humility and Holiness (continued)

And is there, then, such humility to be found, that men shall indeed still count themselves "less than the least of all saints," the servants of all?  There is, "Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, seeketh not its own." Where the Spirit of live is shed abroad in the heart, where the divine nature comes to a full birth, where Christ the meek and lowly Lamb of God is truly formed within, there is given the power of a perfect love that forgets itself and finds its blessedness in blessing others, in bearing with them and honoring them, however feeble they be. Where this love enters, there God enters. And where God has entered in His power, and reveals Himself as All, there the creature becomes nothing. And where the creature becomes nothing before God; it cannot be anything but humble towards the fellow-creature. The presence of God becomes not a thing of times and seasons, but the covering under which the soul ever dwells, and its deep abasement before God becomes the holy place of His presence whence all its words and works proceed.

May God teach us that our thoughts and words and feelings concerning our fellow-men are His test of our humility towards Him, and that our humility before Him is the only power that can enable us to be always humble with our fellow-men. Our humility must be the life of Christ, the Lamb of God, within us.

Let all teachers of holiness, whether in the pulpit or on the platform, and all seekers after holiness, whether in the closet or the convention, take warning. There is no pride so dangerous, because none so subtle and insidious, as the pride of holiness. It is not that a man ever says, or even thinks, "Stand by: I am holier than thou." No, indeed, the thought would be regarded with abhorrence. But there grows up, all unconsciously, a hidden habit of soul, which feels complacency in its attainments, and cannot help seeing how far it is in advance of others. It can be recognized, not always in any special self-assertion or self-laudation, but simply in the absence of that deep self-abasement which cannot but be the mark of the soul that has seen the glory of God (Isaiah 5:5; Job xlii: 5, 6). It reveals itself, not only in words or thoughts, in which those who have the git of spiritual discernment cannot but recognize the power of self. Even the world with its keen eyes notices it, and points to it as a proof that the profession of a heavenly life does not bear any specially heavenly fruits. O brethren! let us beware. Unless we make, with each advance in what we think holiness, the increase of humility our study, we may find that we have been delighting in beautiful thoughts and feelings, in solemn acts of consecration and faith, while the only sure mark of the presence of God, the disappearance of self, was all the time wanting. Come and let us flee to Jesus, and hide ourselves in Him until we be clothed upon with His humility. That alone is our holiness.

~Andrew Murray~

Time of Need



For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.   Hebrews 4:15-16



Everyone has a time of need—some are intense times of death, divorce and distress—and some daily times of temptation, fear and frustration. The time of need may be one of gratitude, while experiencing the Lord’s bountiful blessing. It may be the need for discretion with finances or modesty when speaking of a gifted and accomplished child. Whatever the need requires, there is an ever-accessible throne of grace to approach.


The throne of God’s grace is good. It is not a throne of condemnation, but of forgiveness. It’s not a throne of rejection, but of acceptance. It’s not a throne of control, but of freedom. The Lord’s throne rules with righteous judgment and justice for all. His throne glistens with trust and never tarnishes for lack of integrity or soiled character. It is simply and ever so—an accessible throne of grace to receive His mercy.


“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).


Those saved by grace on earth have immediate and intimate access to heaven’s throne of grace on high. It’s a safe place to confidently confide in Christ your sorrow filled heart—so bring your hurts and heartaches to Him. It’s a sure place of renewal for a fatigued faith—so leave with Him nagging doubts and frustrating fears. It’s a pure place of restoration for a burdened life, so offer crushed emotions to the Lord for His repair. It’s a powerful place for those hounded by the demons of hell, so let God’s word fight for you.


Do you feel guilty for going so often to receive from the Lord at His trusted throne of grace? If so, reject this self-condemnation and replace it with Christ’s commendation. He empathizes with your extreme pain and tantalizing temptations. His holy comfort is the energy you need to engage the world with confidence and compassion. All other seats of power fall powerless to the internal spiritual gumption that only God can give you.


Therefore, with humility and consistency bow to Christ in reverent fear and worship. It’s out of your praise and adoration from a hurting heart that He hears and answers prayer. Your time of need is His time to lead. Your time of need is His time to prove once again His faithfulness as a loving heavenly Father. Thus—graciously receive in your time of need.


“Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given” (John 1:16).


~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~

Monday, July 27, 2015

Humility # 10

Humility and Holiness

"Which say, Stand by thyself: for I am holier than thou" (Isaiah 115:5) 

We speak of the Holiness movement in our times, and praise God for it. We hear a great deal of seekers after holiness and professors of holiness, of holiness teaching and holiness meetings. The blessed truths of holiness in Christ, and holiness by faith, are being emphasized as never before. The great test of whether the holiness we profess to seek or to attain, is truth and life, will be whether it be manifest in the increasing humility it produces. In the creature, humility is the one thing needed to allow God's holiness to dwell in him and shine through him. In Jesus, the Holy One of God who makes us holy, a divine humility was the secret of His life and His death and His exaltation; the one infallible test of our holiness will be the humility before God and men which marks us. Humility is the bloom and the beauty of holiness. 

The chief mark of counterfeit holiness is its lack of humility. Every seeker after holiness needs to be on his guard, lest unconsciously what was begun in the spirit be perfected in the flesh, and pride creep in where its presence is least expected. Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, the other a publican. There is no place or position so sacred but the Pharisee can enter there. Pride can lift its head in the very temple of God, and make His worship the scene of its self-exaltation. Since the time Christ so exposed his pride, the Pharisee has put on the garb of the publican, and the confessor of deep sinfulness equally with the professor of the highest holiness, must be on the watch. Just when we are most anxious to have our heart the temple of God, we shall find the two men coming up to pray. And the publican will find that his danger is not from the Pharisee beside him, who despises him, but the Pharisee within who commends and exalts. In God's temple, when we thing we are in the holiest of all, in the presence of His holiness, let us beware of pride. "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and satan came also among them."

"God, I thank thee, I am not as the rest of men, or even as this publican." It is in that which is just cause for thanksgiving, it is in the very thanksgiving which we render to God, it may be in the very confession that God has done it all, that self finds its cause of complacency. Yes, even when in the temple the language of penitence and trust in God's mercy alone is heard, the Pharisee may take up the note of praise, and in thanking God be congratulating himself. Pride can clothe itself in the garments of praise or of penitence. Even though the words, "I am not as the rest of men" are rejected and condemned, their spirit may too often be found in our feelings and language towards our fellow-worshipers and fellow-men. Would you know if this really is so, just listen to the way in which Churches and Christians often speak of one another. How little of the meekness and gentleness of Jesus is to be seen. It is so little remembered that deep humility must be the keynote of what the servants of Jesus say of themselves or each other. Is there not many a Church or assembly of the saints, many a mission or convention, many a society or committee, even many a mission away in heathendom, where the harmony has been disturbed and the work of God hindered, because men who are counted saints have proved in touchiness and haste and impatience, in self-defense and self-assertion, in sharp judgments and unkind words, that they did not each reckon others better than themselves, and that their holiness has but little in it of the meekness of the saints? In their spiritual history men may have had times of great humbling and brokenness, but what a different thing this is from being clothed with humility, from having an humble spirit, from having that lowliness of mind in which each counts himself the servant of others, and so shows forth the very mind which was also in Jesus Christ.

"Stand by; for I am holier than thou!" What a parody on holiness! Jesus the Holy One is the humble One: the holiest will ever be the humblest. There is none holy but God: we have as much of holiness as we have of God. And according to what we have of God will be our real humility, because humility is nothing but the disappearance of self n the vision that God is all. The holiest will be the humblest. Alas! though the bare-faced boasting Jew of the days of Isaiah is not often to be found, - even our manners have taught us not to speak thus, - how often his spirit is still seen, whether in the treatment of fellow-saints or of the children of the world. In the spirit in which opinions are given, and work is undertaken, and faults are exposed, how often, though the garb be that of the publican, the voice is still that of the Pharisee: "Oh God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men."

~Andrew Murray~

(continued with # 11)

Productive Pain



Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about. Genesis 22:2 

Pain is synonymous with suffering, anguish, trials, tribulation, adversity, trouble and hard times. It affects our emotions, mind, body, soul, spirit and will for it is indiscriminate in its affliction. There are times God will ask His children to walk through extremely difficult situations. Indeed, there is probably no greater pain in life than to be willing to inflict pain on someone you love; yet this is what God asked Abraham to do with Isaac.


Pain was their teacher to bring them into alignment with Almighty God’s agenda. It was a moment to trust God, or to trust their instincts of self-preservation. Fortunately, it was faith in their Heavenly Father that fostered obedience. They allowed pain to replace self-sufficiency with strength in God. Productive pain finds solutions in obedience to God. 


So, how can pain become your helpful teacher and not your naughty nemeses? First you begin to learn from pain by maintaining a providential perspective and a teachable attitude. See your suffering as a songbook from your Savior, and learn how to sing these new life lyrics. In the beginning of adversity you may sound off key in your complaints. And yes, new can be uncomfortable and embarrassing as you learn to harmonize what heaven has allowed.


But Christ is with you in the middle of your loss of a friend, a job, finances or faith. So seek to learn from the Lord in your suffering, for He does not waste pain. It is meant to move you in the direction of your Master. Pain purifies your motives and validates your obedience. Convenient obedience can be shallow and insincere, but pain verifies authentic obedience. Without pain how do you know if your faith is for real? 


Pain is a process of growing in grace. Paul was a student of this, for he personally experienced God in the middle of his suffering, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:3-5).


Furthermore, do not wear any self-imposed suffering as a badge of honor. Asceticism (severe self discipline) is not a substitute for your relationship with Christ, but it can be an enhancer. For example, use the pain and discomfort of fasting to foster your faith in God by bending your will toward His. Any pain is meant to be a teacher that leads you to look outside yourself for peace and provision in your Savior. However painful it might be to let go, do it out of obedience and love for Jesus. Productive pain finds peace in God.


Prayer: How can I remain obedient to God and productive for Him in the middle of my pain?


Related ReadingsPsalm 69:29; Galatians 1:15-16; Hebrews 11:17; 1 Peter 1:7


~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Humility # 9

Humility In Daily Life (continued)

The humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He can praise God when others are preferred and blessed before him. He can bear to hear others praised and himself forgotten, because in God's presence he has learnt to say with Paul, "I am nothing." He has received the spirit of Jesus, who pleased not Himself, and sought not His own honor, as the spirit of his life.

Amid what are considered the temptations to impatience and touchiness, to hard thoughts and sharp words, which come from the failings and sins of fellow-Christians, the humble man carries the oft-repeated injunction in his heart, and shows it in his life, "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, even as the Lord forgave you." He has learned that in putting on the Lord Jesus he  has put on the heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and long-suffering. Jesus has taken the place of self, and it is not an impossibility to forgive as Jesus forgave. His humility does not consist merely in thoughts or words of self-depreciation, but, as Paul puts it, in "a heart of humility," encompassed by compassion and kindness, meekness and long-suffering, - the sweet and lowly gentleness recognized as the mark of the Lamb of God.

In striving after the higher experiences of the Christian life, the believer is often in danger of aiming at and rejoicing in what one might call the more human, the manly, virtues, such as boldness, joy, contempt of the world, zeal, self-sacrifice, - even the old Stoics taught and practised these, - while the deeper and gentler, the diviner and more heavenly graces, those which Jesus first taught upon earth, because He brought them from heaven; those which are more distinctly connected with His Cross and the death of self, - poverty of spirit, meekness, humility, lowliness, - are scarcely thought of or valued. Therefore, let us put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering; and let us prove our Christ-likeness, not only in our zeal for saving the lost, but before all in our intercourse with the brethren, forbearing and forgiving one another, even as the Lord forgave us.

Fellow-Christians, do let us study the Bible portrait of the humble man. Ana let us ask our brethren, and ask the world, whether they recognize in us the likeness to the original. Let us be content with nothing less than taking each of these texts as the promise of what God will work in us, as the revelation in words of what the Spirit of Jesus will give as a birth within us. And let each failure and shortcoming simply urge us to turn humbly and meekly to the meek and lowly Lamb of God, in the assurance that where He is enthroned in the heart, His humility and gentleness will be one of the streams of living water that flow from within us.

Once again I repeat what I have said before. I feel deeply that we have very little conception of what the Church suffers from the lack of this divine humility, - the nothingness that makes room for God to prove His power. It is not long since a Christian, of an humble, loving spirit, acquainted with not a few mission stations of various societies, expressed his deep sorrow that in some cases the spirit of love and forbearance was sadly lacking. Men and women, who in America and Europe could each choose their own circle of friends, brought close together with others of uncongenial minds, find it hard to bear, and to love, and to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. And those who should have been fellow-helpers of each other's joy, became a hindrance and a weariness. And all for the one reason, the lack of the humility which counts itself nothing, which rejoices in becoming and being counted the least, and only seeks, like Jesus, to be the servant, the helper and comforter of others, even the lowest and unworthiest.

And whence comes it that men who have joyfully given up themselves for Christ, find it so hard to give up themselves for their brethren? Is not the blame with the Church? It has so little taught its sons that the humility of Christ is the first of the virtues, the best of all the graces and powers of the Spirit. It has so little proved that a Christlike humility is what it, like Christ, places and preaches first, as what is in very deed needed, and possible too. But let us not be discouraged. Let the discovery of the lack of this grace stir us to larger expectation from God. Let us look upon every brother who tries or vexes us, as God's means of grace, God's instrument for our purification, for our exercise of the humility Jesus our Life breathes within us. And let us have such faith in the All of God, and the nothing of self, that, as nothing in our own eyes, we may, in God's power, only seek to serve one another in love.

~Andrew Murray~

A Humble Heart and Willing Spirit

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22 


So many factors are involved in someone sinning against another. Many times, the thoughts and motives of the one who sinned are not as clear as the reaction of the person who was sinned against. Conflict is hard. Conflict takes a toll on both parties. Defensiveness goes up and trust goes down. Both parties though, the one who needs to forgive and the person who needs to ask for forgiveness, have their share of difficulties. The one who would forgive, deals with skepticism. They hope for real change this time, and deal with thoughts such as, "I hope this is the last time you need to ask forgiveness. I hope this time it works for good. By choosing to forgive you, I may just get hurt again." But the person who continually asks for forgiveness is also in a difficult situation. When we sincerely confess our sin to another, we have to admit to ourselves that we have hurt someone else as a result of our behavior or words. To ask forgiveness repeatedly is to admit that we do not have the ability or power to change that trait in us. So to ask sincerely means that we need to keep seeking ways to change. After a while, it is natural in the flesh to justify and rationalize the sinful behavior instead of continually trying to change. That is why Jesus takes both sides. If someone is repeatedly willing to ask forgiveness, sincerely looking for help, then we need to be willing repeatedly to restore that person back.

I am thankful for Jesus' teaching because I know that He lives by His own teaching. We sin against Him more than anyone else. If we are repentant, He is willing to forgive us - over and over and over again. We have to pray that our hearts remain soft enough to keep asking for forgiveness. His mercies are new every morning, probably because we use up all His mercy the day before.
If you need to ask forgiveness from someone, ask the Lord to give you a humble heart and a spirit willing to change. If you are being asked to forgive, ask the Lord to help you look to Him to help restore the person back in your heart without bitterness. The Lord will help you. He is on both sides. Let us pray that we keep His focus and His heart during the conflicts, and not our own.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Humility # 13

Humility In Daily Life

"He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen" (1 John 4:20)

What a solemn thought, that our love to God will be measured by our everyday intercourse with men and the love it displays; and that our love to God will be found to be a delusion, except as its truth is proved in standing the test of daily life with our fellowmen. It is even so with our humility. It is easy to think we humble ourselves before God: humility towards men will be the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real; that humility has taken up its abode in us, and become our very nature; that we actually, like Christ, have made ourselves of no reputation. When in the presence of God lowliness of heart has become, not a posture we assume for a time, when we think of Him, or pray to Him, but the very spirit of our life, it will manifest itself in all our bearing towards our brethren. The lesson is one of deep import: the only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us, and carry out, in our ordinary conduct; the insignificances of daily life are the importances and tests of eternity, because they prove what really is the spirit that possesses us. It is in our most unguarded moments that we really show and see what we are. To know the humble man, to know how the humble man behaves, you must follow him in the common course of daily life.

Is not this what Jesus taught? It was when the disciples disputed who should be greatest; when He saw how the Pharisees loved the chief place at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues; when He had given them the example of washing their feet, - that He taught His lessons of humility. Humility before God is nothing if not proved in humility before men.

It is even so in the teaching of Paul. To the Romans He writes: "In honor preferring one another"; "Set not your mind on high things, but condescend to those that are lowly"; "Be not wise in your on conceit." To the Corinthians: "Love," and there is no love without humility as its root, "vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, seeketh not its own, is not provoked." To the Galatians: "Through love be servants one of another. Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another." To the Ephesians, immediately after the three wonderful chapters on the heavenly life: "Therefore, walk with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love"; "Giving thanks always, subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ." To the Philippians: "Doing nothing through faction or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind, each counting other better than himself. Have the mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and humbled Himself." And to the Colossians: "Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, forebearing one another, and forgiving each other, even as the Lord forgave you." It is in our relation to one another, in our treatment of one another, that the true lowliness of mind and the heart of humility are to be seen. Our humility before God has no value, but as it prepares us to reveal the humility of Jesus to our fellow-men. Let us study humility in daily life in the light of these words.

~Andrew Murray~

(continued with # 14)

Peaceful Sleep



Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Matthew 8:24-25



Emotional and physical exhaustion may be the result of restless sleep. The storms of life can seduce us into an insecure state of mind. We toss and turn with a tortured soul and a preoccupied brain. Indeed, peaceful sleep can seem illusive for those overwhelmed by the responsibilities of life. Bills, budgets, broken promises, health issues and relational conflicts can disrupt and damage our nighttime bliss.


The results of sleepless nights are insolent: you can’t think straight, your countenance screams fatigue, you are impatient, and your learning retention is impeded. Brain cells fire erratically for lack of sleep, so your moral judgment may lapse and you can become reckless with your choices. Without rest you become emotionally fragile and physically vulnerable to infection, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. A body without rest leads to an unhealthy and unsettling life.


However, peaceful sleep comes to a person with a prayerful persona. Jesus literally slept during a raging storm; it was a testament to His trust in His heavenly Father. This does not mean you walk around in a spiritual trance, but there is a moment-by-moment connection with Christ. You have a plan to pursue prayer without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17 KJV). Prayers punctuated by a holy alliance with the Almighty brings victory over the enemy induced insomnia.


A person who sleeps well is void of worry, and  able to entirely and constantly cast their cares on Christ (I Peter 5:7 KJV). You learn to leave your worries and longings with the Lord for His supervision and intervention, if necessary. Peaceful sleep pronounces its Savior is in control. Indeed, see sleep as your time with the Lord. It is during your state of unconsciousness that He is able to recalibrate your mind with His. Just as a computer’s defragmenter corrects inefficiencies, He washes out your wrong thinking and replaces it with right reasoning.


“I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me” (Psalm 16:7).


Ask the Lord to leverage your sleep for His purposes, and you will discover a much more productive life around things that really matter. Sleep is your Savior’s way to get your undivided attention. It is a time of rest and a time to reconnect with Christ. Learn how to use sleep to your spiritual advantage. Above all else, you can rest peacefully and securely in the presence and protection of God. Therefore, trust Jesus and take a nap!


“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).


Prayer: What issue is the Lord asking me to rest in and let Him resolve in my peaceful sleep?


Related Readings: Isaiah 54:11; John 11:4; Acts 2:21; 12:6



~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~

Friday, July 24, 2015

Humility # 13

Humility In the Disciples of Jesus (continued)

What shall we say to these things? Among my readers I am sure there is more than one class. There may be some who have never yet thought very specially of the matter, and cannot at once realize its immense importance as a life question for the Church and its every member. There are others who have felt condemned for their shortcomings, and have put forth very earnest efforts, only to fail and be discouraged. Others, again, may be able to give joyful testimony of spiritual blessing and power, and yet there has never been the needed conviction of what those around them still see wanting. And still others may be able to witness that in regard to this grace too the Lord has given deliverance and victory, while He has taught them how much they still need and may expect out of the fullness of Jesus. To whichever class we belong, may I urge the pressing need there is for our all seeking a still deeper conviction of the unique place that humility holds in the religion of Christ, and the utter impossibility of the Church or the believer being what Christ would have them be, as long as humility is not recognized as His chief glory, His first command, and our highest blessedness. Let us consider deeply how far the disciples were advanced while this grace was still so terribly lacking, and let us pray to God that other gifts may not so satisfy us, that we never grasp the fact that the absence of this grace is the secret cause why the power of God cannot do its mighty work. It is only where we, like the Son, truly know and show that we can do nothing of ourselves, that God will do all.

It is when the truth of an indwelling Christ takes the place it claims in the experience of believers, that the Church will put on her beautiful garments and humility be seen in her teachers and members as the beauty of holiness.

~Andrew Murray~

(continued with # 14 - (Humility In Daily Life)

Bitter Envy

James 3:14

(14) But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
New King James Version   

The second trait James mentions is "bitter envy." If "envy" is desire for what another has, "bitter envy" must mean a person wants something so much that he is angry and hateful over it. Bitterness is a child of anger and resentment. Satan takes great delight in burdening our hearts with these harmful emotions. Unprovoked or quick-tempered anger is a hallmark of our modern cities, which resound in the night with the bark of gunfire and the howl of sirens.

Bitter envy takes jealousy to the next step by adding resentment and anger, and from it emerges words that stab, cut, tear down, refute, and diminish. We use these to reduce the stature of another so we may seem to stand taller. A talebearer or gossip only wants his listener to think less of another so that he might think more of him.

We can be envious because another sinned and "got away with it." We can envy those who have more, whom we feel do not deserve it. Envy often springs up when we receive unwarranted correction and someone else, who deserves it, does not. We can feel envy when one receives attention we desire for ourselves or when we fail to receive hard-earned recognition.
Envious words are bitter words: They are pointed and sharp, but their target is subtle. On the surface, they may even sound righteous, but in reality, they manipulate thinking in the speaker's favor.

Test: Do our words build or burn? If we build our stature by burning another's, we are standing on a platform of ashes that will crumble and topple us anytime. Only after I was gossiped about repeatedly did I began to see my own words of envy expressed. How foolish it had made me look, trying to stand taller on a pile of ashes!

~John Rittenbaugh~

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Humility # 12

Humility In the Disciples of Jesus (continued)

Second, How impotent all external teaching and all personal effort is, to conquer pride or give the meek and lowly heart. For three years the disciples had been in the training school of Jesus. He had told them what the chief lesson was He wished to teach them: "Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart." Time after time He had spoken to them, to the Pharisees, to the multitude, of humility as the only path to the glory of God. He had not only lived before them as the Lamb of God in His divine humility, He had more than once unfolded to them the inmost secret of His life: "The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve"; "I am among you as one that serveth." He had washed their feet, and told them they were to follow His example. And yet all had availed but little. At the Holy Supper there was still the contention as to who should be greatest. They had doubtless often tried to learn His lessons, and firmly resoled not again to grieve Him. But all in vain. To teach them and us the much-needed lesson, that no outward instruction, not even of Christ Himself; no argument, however convincing; no sense of the beauty of humility, however deep; no personal resolve or effort, however sincere and earnest, can cast out the devil of pride. When satan casts out satan, it is only to enter afresh in a mightier, though more hidden power. Nothing can avail but this, that the new nature in its divine humility be revealed in power to take the place of the old, to become as truly our very nature as that ever was.

Third, It is only by the indwelling of Christ in His divine humility that we become truly humble. We have our pride from another, from Adam; we must have our humility from Another too. Pride is ours, and rules in us with such terrible power, because it is our self, our very nature. Humility must be ours in the same way; it must be our very self, our very nature. As natural and easy as it has been to be proud, it must be, it will be, to the humble. The promise is, "Where," even in the heart, "sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly." All Christ's teaching of His disciples, and all their vain efforts, were the needful preparation for His entering into them in divine power, to give and be in them what He had taught them to desire. In His death He destroyed the power of the devil, He put away sin, and effected an everlasting redemption. In His resurrection He received from the Father an entirely new life, the life of man in the power of God, capable of being communicated to men, and entering and renewing and filling their lives with His divine power. In His ascension He received the Spirit of the Father, through whom He might do what He could not do while upon earth, make Himself one with those He loved, actually live their life for them, so that they could live before the Father in a humility like His, because it was Himself who lived and breathed in them. And on Pentecost He came and took possession. The work of preparation and conviction, the awakening of desire and hope which His teaching had effected, was perfected by the mighty change that Pentecost wrought. And the lives and the epistles of James and Peter and John bear witness that all was changed, and that the spirit of the meek and suffering Jesus had indeed possession of them.

~Andrew Murray~

(continued with # 13)

How Does the Holy Spirit Empower Believers?

Dr. Charles Stanley
Spiritual power is the divine energy God is willing to express in and through us and the divine authority needed to carry out the work God has called us to do.
We cannot "harness" the power of the Holy Spirit. This power is not just for preachers, evangelists, or people who work in special ministry; rather, it is available to every believer who willingly surrenders moment by moment in submission and obedience to the Holy Spirit.
We cannot garner the power of the Spirit in order to use God. Conversely, we experience His power when we surrender to be used by Him. God releases His power through us as we walk in obedience to Him. Three ways He releases His power to us are:
Through the fruit of the Spirit, God's power and only God's power enables us to exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, which reveal the character of Christ in us.
Through witnessing. Scripture always refers to the power of the Holy Spirit in relationship to witnessing and glorifying God. It is His power through us that emboldens us and carries out the work.
Through the work we are called to do (Zechariah 4:6). God will not place you into a position or ask you to accomplish a task for which He will not fully equip and enable you.


How Do We Bear Spiritual Fruit?

Greg Laurie
"But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." (Matthew 13:23)
The concept of bearing fruit is used often in Scripture. In the Gospels, Jesus told the story of a sower who went out to sow seed. The seed fell on various types of ground. Some of the ground was rocky and hard. Other ground was receptive, but weeds choked out the seed. But there was a portion of ground that was not rocky or weedy, and the seed took root. Jesus said that this was a picture of the different people who hear the gospel. Those who are true believers are those who bring forth fruit (see Luke 8:4-15).
What is bearing fruit? Essentially, it is becoming like Jesus. Spiritual fruit will show itself in our lives as a change in our character and outlook. As we spend time with Jesus and get to know Him better, His thoughts will become our thoughts. His purpose will become our purpose. We will become like Jesus.
The Bible gives an excellent description a life characterized by the fruit of the SpiritGalatians 5:22-23says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."
Is that what others see in your life? If not, then either you don't know God or you are living outside of fellowship with Him. If that is the case, then a commitment or a recommitment to Him would be in order. God is not asking for a perfect life. But He is asking that these fruits be primary characteristics of a life that is lived for Him. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Humility # 11

Humility In the Disciples of Jesus

"Let him that is chief among you be as he that doth serve" (Luke 22:26)

We have studied humility in the person and teaching of Jesus; let us now look for it in the circle of His chosen companions - the twelve apostles. If, in the lack of it we find in them, the contrast between Christ and men is brought our more clearly, it will help us to appreciate the mighty change which Pentecost wrought in them, and prove how real our participation can be in the perfect triumph of Christ's humility over the pride satan had breathed into man.

In the texts quoted from the teaching of Jesus, we have already seen what the occasions were on which the disciples had proved how entirely wanting they were in the grace of humility. Once, they had been disputing by the way which of them should be the greatest. Another time, the sons of Zebedee with their mother had asked for the first places - the seat on the right hand and the left. And, later on, at the Supper table on the last night, there was again a contention which should be accounted the greatest. Not that there were not moments when they indeed humbled themselves before their Lord. So it was with Peter when he cried out, "Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man." So, too, with the disciples when they fell down and worshiped Him who had stilled the storm. But such occasional expressions of humility only bring out into stronger relief what was the habitual tone of their mind, as shown in the natural and spontaneous revelation given at other times of the place and the power of self. The study of the meaning of all this will teach us most important lessons.

First, How much there may be of earnest and active religion while humility is still sadly wanting.  See it in the disciples. There was in them fervent attachment to Jesus. They had forsaken all for Him. The Father had revealed to them that He was the Christ of God. They believed in Him, they loved Him, they obeyed His commandments. They had forsaken all to follow Him. When others went back, they clave to Him. They were ready to die with Him. But deeper down than all this there was a dark power, of the existence and the hideousness of which hey were hardly conscious, which had to be slain and cast out, ere they could be the witnesses of the power of Jesus to save. It is even so still. We may find professors and ministers, evangelists and workers, missionaries and teachers, in whom the gifts of the Spirit are many and manifest, and who are the channels of blessing to multitudes, but of whom, when the testing time comes, or closer intercourse gives fuller knowledge, it is only too painfully manifest that the grace of humility, as an abiding characteristic, is scarce to be seen. All tends to confirm the lesson that humility is one of the chief and the highest graces; one of the most difficult of attainment; one to which our first and chiefest efforts ought to be directed; one that only comes in power, when the fullness of the Spirit makes us partakers of the indwelling Christ, and He lives within us.

~Andrew Murray~

(continued with # 12)

Thirsting for God


As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42:1-2


Have you ever found yourself with a thirst so intense that you could not focus on anything else? As Americans, we are blessed to have fresh clean water in abundance and going thirsty is not one of our major issues. Contaminated and diseased water is a major problem in many countries today, and without constant work by those who keep it filtered and clean, sickness and death can result. God created us with a thirst for water being one of our strongest desires, for without it, we cannot live. However, the word "thirst" is not limited to just a need for water. To thirst means that we have a vehement desire and craving for something so intense that we become consumed by thoughts of it. What is it today that you are thirsting for?

The Psalmist wrote of his soul thirsting for God, "for the living God." What a beautiful depiction of love and adoration! He uses the deer as an illustration to describe how he longs for his God. As this animal is parched to the point of panting for the water, it sounds as if the deer is about to faint from thirst. The water gives the deer life again as he drinks it in to quench his thirsting body. Instinctively, the animal knows that he will die without water. The Psalmist expresses his desire for the living God the same way, knowing that he will die without the Lord. He loves the Lord so much and desires to be with Him so strongly that he just wants to "come and appear" before Him. Have you ever had that kind of desire for God? Has your soul ever longed for the Lord to the point of thirsting after Him, and panting after Him?

We are constantly telling people to seek the Lord. Through prayer and the study of the Bible, you put yourselves at His feet. Through a daily commitment to spend time with Him, you build a relationship of love and trust with Him. Through worship and praise to Him, you open your hearts to an intimacy of love and adoration. Once you have tasted of His living water, you will thirst for Jesus so intensely that all you will want is to be with Him, to see Him face-to-face. Many Christians do not experience this level of intimacy with the Lord.
If your soul is longing for relief, pray today for the Lord to give you a thirst for Him. And once you have that thirst, act on the things that will bring you closer to Him: prayer, the Word, worship and time with the Lord everyday.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Humility # 10

Humility In the Teaching of Jesus (continued)

"Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." Would God that it might be given us to believe that Jesus means this! We all know what the character of a faithful servant or slave implies. Devotion to the master's interests, thoughtful study and care to please him, delight in his prosperity and honor and happiness. There are servants on earth in whom these dispositions have been seen, and to whom the name of servant has never been anything but a glory. To how many of us has it not been a new joy in the Christian life to know that we may yield ourselves as servants, as slaves to God, and to find that His service is our highest liberty, - the liberty from sin and self? We need now to learn another lesson, - that Jesus calls us to be servants of one another, and that, as we accept it heartily, this service too will be a most blessed one, a new and fuller liberty too from sin and self. At first it may appear hard; this is only because of the pride which still counts itself something. If once we learn that to be nothing before God is the glory of the creature, the spirit of Jesus, the joy of heaven, we shall welcome with our whole heart the discipline we may have in serving even those who try to vex us. When our own heart is set upon this, the true sanctification, we shall study each word of Jesus on self-abasement with new zest, and no place will be too low, and no stooping too deep, and no service too mean or too long continued, if we may but share and prove the fellowship with Him who spake, "I am among you as he that serveth."

Brethren, here is the path to the higher life. Down, lower down! This was what Jesus ever said to the disciples who were thinking of being great in the kingdom, and of sitting on His right hand and on His left. Seek not, ask not for exaltation; that is God's work. Look to it that you abase and humble yourselves, and take no place before God or man but that of servant; that is your work; let that be your one purpose and prayer. God is faithful. Just as water ever seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds the creature abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless. He that humbleth himself - that must be our one care - shall be exalted; that is God's care; by His mighty power and in His great love He will do it.

Men sometimes speak as if humility and meekness would rob us of what is noble and bold and manlike. Oh that all would believe that this is the nobility of the kingdom of heaven, that this is the royal spirit that the King of heaven displayed, that this is Godlike, to humble oneself, to become the servant of all! This is the path to the gladness and the glory of Christ's presence ever in us, His power ever resting on us.

Jesus, the meek and lowly One, calls us to learn of Him the path to God. Let us study the words we have been reading, until our heart is filled with the thought: My one need is humility. And let us believe that what He shows, He gives; what He is, He imparts. As the meek and lowly One, He will come in and dwell in the longing heart.

~Andrew Murray~

(continued with # 11 - (Humility In the Disciples of Jesus)