Posted in Classics

First Thing Focus

Listen to Clement of Alexandra:

Jesus Christ, by coming into this world, has changed the sunsets of time into the sunrises of eternity (Crabb, 185).

Posted in Teachings

Enjoying God

‘This communion will be perfect and complete when we enter into the full enjoyment of Christ’s glories. Then we shall totally give ourselves up to him, resting in him as the fulfillment of all our desires…. This communion is now only partial because we presently only enjoy the first fruits of that future perfection.’

Partial enjoyment now, but partially enjoying God is better than fully enjoying anything else. I think that’s true. And yet we insistently long to enjoy something fully today. That’s the appeal of sin. It’s the appeal of control. That’s why the Old Way has had such a stranglehold on us. What we fully give ourselves to, we want to fully enjoy. But Christianity calls for full surrender and promises only partial enjoyment until later (Crabb, p145-146).

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭3:1-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

http://bible.com/111/gal.3.1-5.niv

God is the means of blessing, the modern Judaizers say. Implied, but never stated, is that God Himself is not the blessing we seek. It’s therefore right, and actually His plan, that we use Him to get a better life. But “using God” sounds harsh, manipulative, so modern Judaizers speak of trusting God for good things, of claiming His promises, of meeting His terms to win the blessings we want. 

-Larry Crabb, The Pressure’s Off (Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press, 2002), 57. 

Modern Judaizers

What Would God Shout at You from a Cloud?

In the Gospel of Matthew, there are two instances where a cloud appears over Jesus and God shouts two brief, identical messages. I have often wondered what God would shout at me in a similar situation.
Honestly, I tend to think God would shout negative things at me. I imagine God telling me to stop doing something or to do more of something. In either case, the message would focus on the ways I’m falling short and have been inadequate.
I have struggled to imagine a loving and merciful God. It’s much easier to imagine a God who is either disappointed or really, really angry.
Bringing up this disappointed/angry image of God with people tends to strike a nerve.
What would God shout at you?   
Read the rest of this article at https://edcyzewski.com/2017/06/20/what-would-god-shout-to-you-from-a-cloud/

Can these bones live?

It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we see the activity and mistake panic for inspiration. That is why we see so few fellow workers with God, yet so many people working for God. We would much rather work for God than believe in Him. Do I really believe that God will do in me what I cannot do? The degree of hopelessness I have for others comes from never realizing that God has done anything for me. Is my own personal experience such a wonderful realization of God’s power and might that I can never have a sense of hopelessness for anyone else I see? Has any spiritual work been accomplished in me at all? The degree of panic activity in my life is equal to the degree of my lack of personal spiritual experience.

Utmost.org

God First

Put God’s Needs First.
Lo, I come to do Thy will, 0 God. Hebrews 10:9

A man’s obedience is to what he sees to be a need; Our Lord’s obedience was to the will of His Father. The cry to-day is — “We must get some work to do; the heathen are dying without God; we must go and tell them of Him.” We have to see first of all that God’s needs in us personally are being met. “Tarry ye until….” The purpose of this College is to get us rightly related to the needs of God. When God’s needs in us have been met, then He will open the way for us to realize His needs elsewhere.

Utmost.org

My Utmost for His Highest

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. — Revelation 1:17

The Delight Of Despair
It may be that like the apostle John you know Jesus Christ intimately, when suddenly He appears with no familiar characteristic at all, and the only thing you can do is to fall at His feet as dead. There are times when God cannot reveal Himself in any other way than in His majesty, and it is the awfulness of the vision which brings you to the delight of despair; if you are ever to be raised up, it must be by the hand of God.
“He laid His right hand upon me.” In the midst of the awfulness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. The right hand not of restraint nor of correction nor of chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it is ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that “underneath are the everlasting arms,” full of sustaining and comfort and strength. When once His touch comes, nothing at all can cast you into fear again. In the midst of all His ascended glory the Lord Jesus comes to speak to an insignificant disciple, and to say — “Fear not.” His tenderness is ineffably sweet. Do I know Him like that?
Watch some of the things that strike despair. There is despair in which there is no delight, no horizon, no hope of anything brighter; but the delight of despair comes when I know that “in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” I delight to know that there is that in me which must fall prostrate before God when He manifests Himself, and if I am ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God. God can do nothing for me until I get to the limit of the possible.

https://utmost.org/classic/the-delight-of-despair-classic/