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Showing posts from December, 2010

IN 2011 LET'S SEEK TO KNOW CHRIST IN REALITY, NOT IN THEORY

A LIVING AND CLEAR  SPIRITUAL APPREHENSION OF CHRIST T. Austin-Sparks
“Each person must be careful how he builds...” 1 Corinthans 3:10
In other words, that which is of supreme importance is not Christian doctrine, mentally appraised and apprehended, but a living and clear spiritual apprehension of Christ. That is the work.
What are you building? Are you, through a living, clear, inward, experimental relationship with the Lord Jesus, building a structure which comes out of that inward spiritual knowledge? Is it by that you are growing? Or are you growing by things said and mentally judged, appraised, dissected, accepted, and assented to?
What is the nature of the building? The work in which we are engaged, to which this phrase “each man’s work” applies, is the building of Christ livingly into the very substance of our being, into the very fabric of our lives.
It is not a question of getting to know a great deal about Christianity. Let us note that. The heart of the whole matter is the diffe…

WHAT CHRIST CAME TO DESTROY

WHAT CHRIST CAME TO DESTROY A. Brother
“…He, too, shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death— that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Heb. 2:14,15
Think on this huge truth.Pray over this today.Let the Father show us all about the power of the Son over death, and over the devil.
Everyone in this world is held in slavery by fear of death.From the time we are born, we quickly become aware that we all die.Old people die.Young people die.People in the prime of life die.Even children die.All die, and so all are held in the power of death, which in turn is held by the devil.It’s the big trump card he plays over all men.Men try to cheat death in a thousand ways.In fact, it is a pretty safe statement to say each man spends his entire life trying to avoid death.It’s our universal pastime.
How many ways do we try?
Religion does not destroy death.Belief systems do not destroy death.Liturgy and cu…

TODAY IS THE DAY FOR CHRIST IN YOU

Dear Brothers and Sisters:


We are called to be so much more than just "Christians".  The word has come to mean so little these days.  It is used to blanket everything and nothing.  It is a meaningless phrase.


I call what we're pursuing the "Christ-life" because it is really all about the life of Christ in us, not some life we're trying to live for Christ.


Witness what Paul says, and how much higher and greater this is than some small "Christian life":


"...God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ."  Col. 1:27,28


How can we sit back and live some lifeless form of Christianity when the Light of Christ shines like a beacon in our hearts?  How can we go through the motions of living an "acceptable Christian life" when Christ means us t…

WHEN CHRIST CAPTIVATES US ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Narrow Gate:
This short teaching defines what Christ is saying to me these days.It summarizes what Paul was saying about his life, and what the apostles taught in those early days after Christ’s resurrection.This is the secret to why the good news took off and grabbed so many across the known world, raging like a grassfire across the landscape.
If we truly want to experience the power of Christ, the glory of His church, the fellowship of joy with the Father and the Son, then we will listen and make this our goal.I have brought this teaching to you because it says what needs to be said as if our brother Austin-Sparks was here with us, and it says all that needs to be said for this coming year’s focus!
A. Brother WHEN CHRIST CAPTIVATES US ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN T. Austin-Sparks
“For to me to live is Christ.” Philippians 1:21
That is the good news of the all-captivating Christ.
When Christ really captivates, everything happens and anything can happen. That is how i…

TO ALL OF YOU FOR THE YEAR 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:


This coming year of 2011 is to be, for me, a year of repair and restoration.  Christ has made it plain to me that there will be times when I won't be able to almost daily finish the teachings He gives me from His Word, as I have been able to do for the last year.


But we know that Christ does all things well, and in accordance with the will of the Father, right?  My task is to submit to Him in all things.  This is hard for my naturally rebellious and self-motivated nature.  I tend to jump first, and look later.  I tend to paddle hard for the shore when I need to move to the middle of the current, or go for the current when I should be paddling for the shore.  My judgment has been, shall we say, a little suspect at times in my life.  I'm understating that, as you can tell!


So, my natural man is being submitted to Christ, who is working in me to build up the New Man in Christ.  This process continues, and is never easy.


I will still blog on this s…

A 2011 NARROW ROAD TRIP WITH CHRIST

A 2011 NARROW ROAD TRIP WITH CHRIST A. Brother
TEXT: Luke 24:13-35
“As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them, but they were kept from recognizing Him.” Luke 24:15,16
This year, which, like last year, will seem short when it’s over, we must learn to recognize Christ as He walks with us.This year, if we want Him, He will be with us on the narrow road of discipleship.
I say, if we want Him, because sometimes we just want to discuss all these “Christian” things with each other, and worry, and complain, and talk “about” Christ, and talk “about” the Christian life, and think “about” walking with Christ.Sometimes, and we need to admit it, we are like these two disciples after the crucifixion.We are walking along, perplexed, sad, and disappointed.We expected more.We expected different things out of this “Christian life”.
“He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’” Luke 24:17
Our Lord already knew what Cleopas an…

THE NARROW GATE FOR 2011

THE NARROW GATE FOR 2011 A. Brother
“He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the One who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” John 7:18
The Spirit of God is telling me that I must give out the truth in the coming year with a sense of urgency that exceeds any in the past.There are times coming that will shake the very foundations of society as we know it.There are times coming that will cause many who don’t cling to Christ alone to fall away.
Many men these days, and women, speak on their own behalf.They work for their own honor.They self-promote.Self-increase.Self-motivate.Self-reveal.Self-rejoice.Self-indulge.Self-improve.Self-expand.
Yet the man or woman who speaks for God the Father, maker of heaven and earth, will not speak of himself or herself.He or she will speak of Christ, the One and Only, sent by the Father to redeem mankind and govern a Kingdom that is not of this world.This man or woman will work only for…

LIKE WINE LEFT ON ITS DREGS

LIKE WINE LEFT ON ITS DREGS A. Brother “Moab has been at rest from her youth, like wine left on its dregs, not poured from one jar to another— she has not gone into exile. So she tastes as she did, and her aroma is unchanged.” --Jeremiah 48:11
There is no way to change into the image of God in Christ without a complete disruption of our restful, static lives. Would we become a sweet aroma to God’s sense of smell? Then we must be poured out.Like Paul was poured out, his life being given for the ekklesia, the called out to be together people of God, as a living sacrifice we are to be poured out, unsettled, turned upside down and inside out, in order to become the sweet smelling aroma of Christ to His Father.As Jesus was poured out, His life given freely for us, so we must give our lives freely for one another, sacrificing our own plans and dreams and goals to God in exchange for His Kingdom. “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” --Luke 17:33
Jes…

END THE YEAR WITH A SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING

End the Year with a Spirit of Thanksgiving
By Zac Poonen
In each of the 7 glimpses of heaven given in the book of Revelation, we see the inhabitants of heaven continuously praising God with a loud voice - sometimes as loud as thunders and as the noise of roaring rivers. This is the atmosphere of heaven - one of continual praise, without any complaints or demands. And this is the atmosphere that the Holy Spirit desires to bring into our hearts, our homes and our churches as well. It is thus that Satan will be driven away from all these places.
I read of a fiery brother (who lived in the last century) who used to frequently praise God with loud `Hallelujahs'. One day, one of the staid, dead Christians around him, who was irritated by this spirit of praise, asked him what the brother would do if God finally sent him to hell. To this the brother replied, "If I go to hell, I will keep on shouting `Hallelujah' and the praises of God there, until the Devil tells me to get out of He…

STOP TRYING TO SATISFY GOD

NOTE:This teaching is for now.Though written many years ago, it applies to our modern Christian emphasis on “self-improvement” and “self-transformation”.I pray that God will enlighten each of us today, and let us stop working, striving, fighting, in our own efforts to satisfy the Lord.He is satisfied fully with Christ, and we are to live in Christ, and have His life in us, which then takes care of it.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…” Gal. 5:1
A. Brother
STOP TRYING TO SATISFY GOD T. Austin-Sparks
“When one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:16,17
If we turn to the Lord, and are occupied with Him in the way we have indicated, the Holy Spirit sets us free.
It may be you are struggling, striving, fighting, wrestling, praying, pleading, longing, yearning, asking the Lord to set you free from condemnation, free from fear, from from those paralyzing bonds in which Israel was…

THE TERRIBLE TRAGEDY OF SELFISH AMBITION

THE TERRIBLE TRAGEDY OF SELFISH AMBITION A. Brother
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Phil. 2:3
There is a selfish and ambitious spirit that has gripped the people of God in these times.  Many have become slaves to this spirit, instead of bond-slaves of Christ. 
We cover this attitude with a gloss that seems spiritual.  We paint ourselves as ambitious for Christ and His Kingdom, yet we are really just serving ourselves and the goals and dreams we have.
The Christ-life has nearly been forgotten among many in the churches.  That is because we don’t teach the gospel of the Scriptures.  We have learned an easy, self-focused plan for our salvation that doesn’t involve messy sacrifice, public humbling, giving up worldly ambitions and goals, generous sharing of all we have, daily love for others, and a narrow, hard road with Christ upon which we will give all we ever wanted for the sake of knowing Him.
I have said it before…