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A Proper Attitude Before the Lord

Every believer should have a proper attitude before the Lord. The Bible shows us some examples of these persons who have a proper attitude before Him. They are those persons who attain the maturity in life, persons who are useful to the Lord in His economy, and persons who change the age. One example of this is Mary. Luke 10:38-39, says,

Now as they went, He entered into a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her home. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His word.

Here, in these verses we can see of an attitude that the Lord wants. There are two persons recorded in these verses, and each of them have different attitudes before the Lord. But only Mary had a proper attitude. There are at least four aspects to a proper attitude.

1.   She was at the feet of the Lord Jesus, and not at the feet of anyone else. She was drawing near to the Lord. This is the shortest and quickest way to grow in life. No method is better than coming to Him moment by moment, loving him, worshipping Him, and unceasingly fellowshipping with Him and remaining in His presence. Many who know God in a deep way have found this way. Madam Guyon said,

Our drawing near to God constitutes all service.

Paul also charge us to pray unceasingliy (1 Thes. 5:17). If a man constantly fellowships with the indwelling Christ with an unvieled face, he will be changed into the Lord’s likeness (2 Cor. 3:18).

2.   She sat at the feet of the Lord. This means that she put herself in a humble position. Humility is a crucial condition for receiving God’s blessing. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (1 Pet. 5:5). Humility is not belittling ourselves; humility is ignoring ourselves, negating ourselves, and considering ourselves as nothing.

3.   She was sitting down. She was not busy like her sister. Quietness is often the source of spiritual strength. The greatest challenge man faces is being quiet before the Lord. His eyes and thoughts often are distracted to the outside world. Of all the members in the body, the eyes are the busiest, and of all the faculties in the soul, the mind is the busiest. Those who are busy cannot receive revelation easily. A wandering mind and vacillating thoughts are like restless waves on a lake; the lake will never be able to clearly reflect the flowers and trees on the shore. If a man wants to have the Lord’s image imprinted in him and to be transformed into the Lord’s image, quietness is a necessity.

4.  She was listening to the Lord’s word. The words that the Lord speaks are spirit and life. Through this word, the Lord dispenses Himself to men. Her listening to the Lord’s word afforded the Lord the opportunity to communicate Himself to her so that she would gain the Lord and become like Him. She was continually receiving the Lord Himself. She did not just hear words; she was meeting the Lord. Brothers and sisters, it is a pity for anyone to just hear man’s voice in a sermon and not meet the Christ behind the voice.

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A LIFE OF SURRENDER

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It is true that Christ is in us. But if we do not allow Him to work, He will not work. We must submit ourselves to God. What is to surrender? Surrendering is to not promise God that we will do His will and do good; it is to not covenant with God to do what we cannot do. Surrendering is to let our hands go from our life. It is putting into God’s hand our good, evil, merits, shortcomings, our past, future, problems, life, and ourselves, and single-heartedly allowing Him to work.

If you do not let your hands go, God cannot live His life out of you. Suppose you are giving a book to someone. If your hand does not let go of the book, the other person cannot have your book. When you come to God, you should tell Him, “I am giving You all that I have, including my good, evil, what I want, what I do not want, what I will, what I will not, what I can do, and what I cannot do.” Are you willing to do this? If you are not willing to do even this, God will not be able to do anything. Are you willing to hand over the “you” that has failed? You have to be responsible for this step. Today God only asks you to do one thing: hand over yourself, the sinner, to Him.

Surrendering is not an act in which God asks you to do what you cannot do. It is just handing over everything including your good, evil, merits, and shortcomings. I have read the story of a young man who said that he was willing to do everything except one thing: he was definitely not willing to preach to Catholics. Brothers and sisters, are we willing to hand over this heart of unwillingness?

There are two kinds of surrender. One is to surrender to God for Him to use us, while the other is to surrender to God for Him to work on us. Many people think that to surrender to God is just to allow Him to use us. Brothers and sisters, God is asking us to do one thing: to henceforth hand ourselves over to Him. This is the meaning of dying to the self. This is the meaning of being delivered from the flesh. You have to hand over yourself. Are you willing to do this? If you are willing, you will succeed.

It is very difficult to take your hands away from the people and things that you love. I can tell you frankly that it is very difficult to do this. The thing that will cost the greatest price to give up will be the thing which you hold most tenaciously. For example, you may realize that you fail most often in the matter of friendship. But in this very matter, it is very difficult to say that you give to God all your friends, good or bad, and ask for God’s deliverance in the matter. Take another example: suppose you pray about the sickness of one whom you know nothing about. It is very easy to believe that God will help him. If no one is going to help him or heal him, it will not bother you. But if it is your parents or your husband or wife that is sick, it will not be easy to commit them to God. If no one will help them or heal them, you will fear that they may die. This shows that the more you love someone, the more difficult it is for your hands to give them up.

Today God is not asking you to do any good works. He is only asking you to commit everything you have to Him. You have enough failures to make your heart tremble. I had one sin which, until a few months ago, I was not able to overcome. I did not have any faith to commit it to God. It was like this once, twice, three times, four times, and even many times. Finally, I decided to commit it to God just like that. Today, you do not have to care about anything else. All I want to ask you is if you are willing to commit yourself completely to God’s hand. Whether it be concerning a person, the world, some sin, or some matters that you cannot give up, all you have to do is to be willing to say to God, “I commit to You what I am reluctant to give up. Please work in me to the extent that I am willing to give up.” I am not afraid of your reluctance to give up someone. I am not afraid even if you are a hundred times weaker than you are. I am not afraid that you would commit more sins than you do now. I am only afraid that you are not willing to commit yourself to God’s working. Are you willing to commit to God your loved ones, your sins, your problems, and the things that are displeasing to God? It is all right even if you have a thousand or ten thousand weaknesses or failures. The question is whether or not you are willing to tell God, “I commit everything to You.”

Surrendering is not taking a bitter pill; it is not suffering to death. Surrendering is just allowing God to work within you until you become willing.

Surrendering does not require you to do what you are not able to do. It is just putting yourself in the hand of God and allowing God to work, to the extent that you become willing to obey God and give up everything. If you are willing, God will have a way. God does not worry about how many sins you have or how evil a person you are. God is only concerned that your heart be in His hands.

In short, surrendering is a submission of our will; it is committing ourselves into the hand of God and allowing Him to work to the extent that God can accomplish His pleasure.

Based on the book: “The Overcoming Life” by Watchman Nee

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Who Are You?

My fellow faithful lovers of Christ!

My fellow faithful lovers of Christ!

God wants to turn this age to the age of the kingdom. This is His treasure. He wants the kingdom to be manifested on this earth. He wants a dispensational transfer to take place. But for this there must be a dispensational instrument. The dispensational instrument consists of some of God’s people, who are living in a particular age and who are used by Him to end that age and bring in another age.

The characteristic of the dispensational instrument is that the Lord mainly uses young people. We thank the Lord for the elderly Nicodemus. We thank the Lord for Joseph of Arimathea, a noble man who buried the Lord in his tomb. However, Peter, James, John, and the other disciples were young. Those who are not young should not be discouraged. Let us forget ourselves and care for the Lord’s burden to have ayoung, age-turning generation. God needs this. He needs young people who see through the age, who are not stupified, drunken, or drugged by the age. In them there is a feeling about the age in which they lived. They are not like Demas, about whom Paul said, “For Demas has abandoned me, having loved the present age” (2 Tim. 4:10). The Greek word for present age is nun-aiona, meaning the now-age. Demas was a co-worker, but under difficulties he left because he loved the present age. He would not suffer or lose his soul, and he would not stay with Paul when Paul was imprisoned. God has a need for young people who will be one with Him and with His ministry to change the age.

Now, who are we in this age? Are we the “present-age lover” or the “age-turner?” If we love this present age like Demas did, surely God has nothing to do with us. We need to remember that God needs us. He cannot turn this age to the age of the kingdom by Himself alone. He needs our cooperation. He needs me and you. Moreover, we need to be impressed that He gained us for this certain purpose — to be part of this age-turning generation. By God’s grace and mercy we may be able to declare, “We are the age-turners!”

Now, who are you?

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How to live the Christian life?

There are four basic practices that bolster and sustain our Christian life- praying, reading the Bible, meeting with other believers, and preaching the gospel. Right at the inception of your Christian life you  must lay these four practices as a foundation. Especially as a Christian on a college campus these will determine your spiritual life pulse and walk with God.

Praying

The most important thing for a new born baby is breathing. Breathing is the most vital requirement of life. In like manner, prayer is our spiritual breathing and the most vital necessity for us to maintain our spiritual life. The real significance of prayer is not merely asking God for various needs but contacting God in our spirit to receive His supply. We received the Lord initially through prayer and calling on His name and after salvation we should continue to pray and call on His name. Calling on the Lord is the simplest, shortest, and most supplying prayer.

To continue steadfastly in our Christian life we must first of all develop a prayer life, just as in the early days of the church “they continued steadfastly in… prayers (Acts 2:46).” The first way to continue as a Christian is prayer. The whole world and almost all aspects of campus life are against our prayers.Not only the sinful things but even the stress, anxiety, and business of academic life quench our praying spirit. Thus we must continually fight to preserve our time in prayer to contact God.

I called upon Your name, O Jehovah, From the lowest pit. You have heard my voice; do not hide Your ear at my breathing, at my cry.

-Lamentations 3:55-56

Reading the Bible

Reading the Bible is the second basic habit we must build up to live the Christian life. Prayer is our spiritual breathing and reading the Bible is our spiritual eating.

Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word became to me the gladness and joy of my heart…

-Jeremiah 15:16

If we desire to know God and His eternal purpose and grow spiritually then prayer is not adequate. We must also read God’s word.

God’s word is constituted with two main aspects- truth and life (John 17:17, 6:63). The truth of the Bible conveys to us the reality of what it speaks about. Also God’s word is spirit and life, so that when we read it properly we receive a divine and spiritual supply of life. Both truth and life are Christ (John 14:6, 11:25) thus when we come to read the Bible we must do so with the realization that we are coming to a living Person. We read the Bible to contact and feed on Christ in His word. Don’t separate your reading the Bible with your coming to Christ (John 5:39-40)!

Points of truth however interesting, scriptural knowledge however profound and extensive, Biblical criticism however accurate and valuable, may all leave the heart barren and the affections cold. We want to find Christ in the Word; and, having found Him, to feed on Him by faith.

-C. H. Mackintosh, (1820-1896)

Meeting with other Christians

Prayer and reading the Bible are primarily personal habits. Meeting with other believers recognizes the importance of the corporate aspect of the Christian life. Meeting together is God’s ordination, the characteristic of the divine life, and a source of spiritual blessing.

Just as birds live in the air and fish live in the water, Christians maintain their spiritual existence and living in the meetings. This is because the life we have received is a member life. We are all members of the one Body of Christ and depend on the other members for growth, supply, and care.

And let us consider one another so as to incite one another to love and good works, not abandoning our own assembling together, as the custom with some is, but exhorting oneanother; and so much the more as you see the day drawing near.

-Hebrews 10:24-25

A Christian can pray and read the Bible alone, but no one can meet alone! The minimum number required for a meeting is 2 or 3 (Matthew 18:20). Even to such a small gathering the Lord commits His presence. When we meet together, we enjoy the Lord’s presence in a special way that is not possible to enjoy alone.

Preaching the Gospel

Prayer and reading the Bible relate to oneself, meeting relates to other believers, and preaching the gospel or witnessing relates to the unbelievers around us. As soon as a person believes in the Lord Jesus and receives salvation he should tell others about it. The most unhappy Christian is the one who is a Christian secretly.

And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, that this One is the Son of God.

-Acts 9:20

Immediately after Saul of Tarsus was saved he proclaimed Jesus as the gospel. If we never tell others about our salvation we will always be susceptible to temptation around our friends. They will consider us no different from them and will continue to invite us to sinful and improper activities. The only way to resolve the resulting unrest in our conscience is to speak to them about our salvation. Our main concern initially should not even be their conversion but our testimony. This will make us distinct from those around us and cause others to see the worth what we have received.

The best person to preach the gospel is a newly saved person. Gospel preaching is neither a profession nor an outward behavior. It is related to the divine life with us. This is why the Bible describes it as fruit bearing (John 15:4-5). Every life has its own ability. Birds can fly and fish can swim naturally. In the same way, every Christians can preach the gospel and must preach the gospel. It is a natural manifestation of the characteristic of the life we have received.

A repost from: christiansoncampus.org

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9 Basic Principles of Morning Revival

1.  The unique center of morning revival is Christ

Morning revival is a focused on a Person, not a ritual, ceremony, exercise or devotional book. If we miss this Person, we miss morning revival. Our practice or morning revival should not be agenda oriented. Resist this inclination. In the morning we should do whatever it takes to meet Christ. He should have the first place in everything (Col. 1:18).

2.  The highest purpose of morning revival is to satisfy Christ

If you see this you’ll never stop having morning revival. Psalm 110:3 says “Your people will offer themselves willingly in the day of Your warfare, in the splendor of their consecration. Your young men will be to You like the dew from the womb of the dawn… He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore He will lift up His head.” In the morning we willingly offer ourselves to Christ and become a drink to Him for His satisfaction. Our main goal is not to “do” but to “dew.” This happens in the womb of the dawn, which means that as we spend time with the Lord in the morning we are becoming His satisfaction, encouragement, and refreshment.

3.  The most outstanding characteristic of morning revival is love

Nothing but love keeps us in a proper relationship with the Lord. Our morning revival really hasn’t begun until we tell the Lord “I love You.” This should be the first thing. Love saves us from religious duty and cold methodology. The first person to meet the Lord on the morning of His resurrection was Mary- a lover! Learn how to “kiss the Son (Psalm 2:12)” and let Him kiss you (Song of Songs 1:2).”

4.  The most critical experience in morning revival is life

Although our eternal salvation is unchanging, we need a daily salvation in Christ’s life. The happiest Christian is a freshly saved one. Don’t let your salvation become stale, nostalgic, or formal. The divine life keeps you fresh, living, and active.

5.  The most critical exercise in morning revival is our spirit

2 Timothy 1:6-7 says that we should fan our spirit into flame and 2 Timothy 4:22 says that the Lord is with our spirit. He is always burning! We just need to fan Him. The easiest way to fan our spirit into flame is to call on the Lord’s name. No one can say Jesus is Lord except in the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3).

6.  The necessary ingredient of morning revival is opening

The secret to opening yourself to the Lord is speaking. 2 Corinthians 6:11 connects an opened mouth to an enlarged heart. The way to open to the Lord is to say with sincerity, “Lord I open to You.” Don’t just think about the Lord. Speak to Him! Try singing a song, reading a verse, or thanking Him for something. Speaking is the way to be filled in spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

7.  The long term key to our practice is simplicity

2 Corinthians 11:3 says, “I fear lest somehow… your thoughts would be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity toward Christ.” In the morning it’s easy for our thoughts to be anything BUT simple. You may start thinking about the events of the coming day or remember a failure of the day before. Maybe you have a long list of requests to ask of the Lord. Be simple! “One thing have I desired of the Lord that do I seek… to behold the beauty of Jehovah (Psalm 27:4).” Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow may never come. Don’t miss the now Christ!

8.  The ultimate goal of morning revival is a living

Practice becomes habit and habit becomes living. The goal of our time with the Lord in the morning is to be supplied with Him to live and magnify Christ the rest of the day (Philippians 1:19-21). How you live at 2 pm is determined by your experience of Christ in the morning. This living is built up day by day, first thing in the morning. We need to see the connection between this practice and God’s economy. It’s not just about you being a little more spiritual but about God gaining His expression.

9.  The enabling factor or morning revival is grace

The entire Bible ends with grace. Only grace can enable us to live the Christian life. Grace is Christ experienced and enjoyed by us. No matter how mature in Christ we become, we will ceaselessly depend on the supply of grace. “Not I but the grace” should be a constant reminder and a present reality in us (1 Corinthians 15:10). His grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9).

A repost from: christiansoncampus.org

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6 Lessons to Build up Christian Companions in College

Christians are not meant to walk an individualistic Christian life. Our companions become the determining factors of where we are and what we do. This is especially true for us, college students. Where our friends go is usually where we end up going. That is why having the right companions is very crucial.

“But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

– 2 Timothy 2:22

Furthermore, the right companions will help us when we spiritually fall away. They are the ones who will bear our burden with us, encourage us to go on, and shepherd us back to the Lord Himself.

“For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another one to lift him up!”

– Ecclesiastes 4:10

So here are the 6 lessons on how to build up Christian companions in college, based on the Bible:

Lesson 1: Accepting and appreciating the Lord’s arrangement (1 Cor 12:18; Rm 12:4-5) 

God has placed the members in the body as He willed, and we who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members of one another. God is the One who has placed us with the ones around us. We have to learn to accept and appreciate His arrangement, even if the ones around us are not that pleasant to be with, or not according to our liking.

Lesson 2: Putting aside natural preferences (Acts 13:1-2)

That means we can’t choose our companions based on our natural preferences. The Lord’s arrangement is His wisdom. Therefore, if we reject the ones whom the Lord has placed next to us, we actually reject the Lord’s wisdom in His grace for us. Take for instance, our roommate. It doesn’t matter whether our hobbies and personalities match or not; the Lord has placed that person as our roommate. We need to learn to put aside our natural preferences and learn to accept and appreciate that roommate.

Lesson 3: Learning to fellowship (1 Jn 1:3, 7)

 Many times we are so private and closed. We are either too confident of our own strength or too ashamed of our incapability. To fellowship is to open to one another and ask for help. Even with our physical body, a healthy body has a healthy circulation of blood. That circulation typifies fellowship. Fellowship allows a healthy spiritual flow among the members of the Body of Christ as well, just like our thumb needs to receive the flow of blood from our palm.

Lesson 4: Bearing one another (Gal 6:2; Col 3:13)

 In today’s society, everybody only cares for themselves. However, in the Bible, the Lord specifically mentions that we need to bear one another’s burdens, and in this way we will fulfill the law of Christ completely. Moreover, we need to bear and forgive one another as the Lord has forgiven us.

Lesson 5: Developing a prayer life (Acts 3:1; 16:25)

While we are with our companions, we also need to pray together. Actually we have to learn to develop a prayer life together. The Lord says, “… if two of you are in harmony on earth concerning any matter for which they ask, it will be done for them from My Father who is in the heavens.” Surely, their asking in harmony is found in their prayer life. How else can we be in harmony?

Lesson 6: Bearing fruit in clusters (Jn 15:16, 5; Isa 65:8)

With our companions, we are enabled to respond to the Lord’s calling for us to go forth and bear fruit and that our fruit should remain. The Lord likens Himself to a vine tree. The grapes on the vine tree are found in clusters. So on one hand, our companions and we are these clusters. On the other hand, as clusters we can then go forth and bear more clusters of fruit for the Lord. Isaiah 65:8 says, “Thus says Jehovah, As the new wine is found in the cluster, And someone says, Do not destroy it, For there is blessing in it…”

Finally, building up companions in this way will truly re-vitalize our Christian life, especially as young Christians on the college campuses. Alone, we are not able to stand against the tide of the worldly age. Together, we are like the “threefold cord” that is “not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says,

And while a man may prevail against the one, the two will withstand him and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

A repost from: christiansoncampus.org