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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 18

Fullness of Christ (continued)

Last summer at a conference in Switzerland a gray-haired man made a public confession at the close of one meeting that for twenty-seven years he had had nothing to do with his relatives. For years he had suffered from insomnia. That night, after his confession and cleansing, he slept like a baby. On the following Lord's Day he testified that for twenty-seven years he had not known peace of heart as he had during the last three days.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

It is utterly foolish and futile for any one of us to pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit if we hold even so much as a tiny spark of known resentment or hurt or unlove or any un-Christlike feeling toward another. We shall pray in vain. Are you willing to have all uncleanness, both of the flesh and of the spirit, carried out of your life?

The cleansing is not the infilling, but it rids us of what prevents the fullness and makes us ready for it.

The second subjective cause for the lack of fullness is an unyielded life, which means an uncrucified and uncontrolled self. Infilling demands the yielding of ourselves to the lordship of Christ.  It permits no reservations; it allows no locked doors. We must part with everything of which Christ is not the source, and we must place everything under Christ's control. There must be the utter dethronement of self and the voluntary enthronement of Christ.

In the revival under Hezekiah we see, following the cleansing of the Temple, the consecration of themselves and of their sacrifices and thank offerings.

After the filthiness was carried out, the offerings were brought in.

This is the divine order in the cleansing and consecration of the Christian who is God's holy temple. The "perfecting of holiness" follows the cleansing from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. This comes by presenting the body to the Lord as a living sacrifice for His perfect possession, complete control, and exclusive use.

Yielding to Christ means opening every part of the life to Christ that He may fill it with Himself. Whatever we open the life to, that fills us. If I open my being in any measure to satan, to the world, and to the flesh, I am filled to that degree by them. But if I open every door to Christ, to the Spirit, and to the Word, then they fill my mind, my heart, and my spirit.

Yielding is not infilling, but it prepares for it. Emptying makes ready for infilling. Only the yielded life can be filled with the Holy Spirit. Have you yielded yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ?

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 19 - "How May the Fullness Be Obtained?")

Why Do We Suffer?

Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:10-11

We struggle when we think that we will have to experience "trials of various kinds." Various kinds of trials invariably come with suffering. It does not take much effort to see that there is so much suffering, but we wonder: Why do Christians have to experience it when Jesus came to give us life abundantly? We frequently forget that the abundant life starts here, amidst all the suffering. We all know that there are more ways to suffer than just physically. Mental, emotional and circumstantial events can all bring aspects of suffering. At any given time, we could be faced with a serious trial by any one of these means. Why would God allow that to happen? 

The word Christian means "little Christ." As Christians, we are not greater than our Master and His call on earth was to suffer. The NIV says that He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus was filled with all the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) while still suffering and in sorrow. That is the goal of the Christian's life. Despite all the emotional, mental, physical, circumstantial torment, we have love, joy, peace, patience—through it all.

The rain falls on the just and unjust alike. It falls on the saved and the unsaved. We are not spared from trials because we are Christians. But it is through the everyday issues of life that we are changed into Christ-likeness because of them. Jesus is our example as well as our intercessor who knows and understands whatever we are facing. Turn to face Him, knowing that the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Friday, August 30, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 17

Fullness Of Christ (continued)

Did you note the word "filthiness"? God uses no soft, sentimental words when He talks about sin. He calls it what it is: "filthiness." Filthiness in "the holy place." How did so much uncleaness accumulate in the holy place that the king was compelled to order a special cleansing of the Temple? Note, also, that they did not begin cleansing at the outer court of the Temple and stop there, but "they went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it." Note, too, that they did not merely "find" the uncleanness but the "brought it out", and they did not bring out only some of the uncleanness but "all the uncleanness that they found." It was a most thoroughgoing house cleaning. And how long did it take to do it? Exactly sixteen days. What a tremendous amount of filthiness to remove! But they persevered until it was done.

Now let us turn to the counterpart of this truth in the New Testament. We are struck by the similarity of the teaching even to the use of some of the same words.

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" (1 Co. 3:16-17).

"Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Co. 7:1).

"Ye are the temple of God" which "temple ... is holy." Therefore it must be cleansed from all filthiness, both of the flesh and of the spirit.

There may have been gross, vulgar, even sensuous sins in the life of the past. Perhaps we are rid of those grosser, fleshly sins, but what of those which still defile our innermost spirit? We used to lie. Now we would not tell a deliberate, out-and-out lie, but there is hypocrisy, deceit, double-dealing. Even in our Christian experience there is a profession of Christ which is not evidenced in our possession of Christ. Formerly we had a violent temper to which we gave way constantly. Now there is a large measure of control of outward bursts of temper. But what about that secret irritability and impatience in the spirit? Once we frankly and outspokenly hated someone and said so. Now that is sin to us, but  is there still lurking in some dark corner of the heart the jealousy or resentment that caused the hate? We would not now openly quarrel with someone as we once did, but if we see somebody we do not like, we just cross to the other side of the street. And we think we are victorious, spiritual Christians not needing cleansing.

One time in China I went to a girls' school to take a series of meetings. One of the missionaries came to me and said, "Do not ask me to do any personal work among the girls during these meetings, for I will not do it." She went on to say, "I am going home on furlough and i am not coming back. I have already told my missionary and Chinese co-workers that I cannot return because of the condition of my health." Her health was breaking down, it is true. But the cause of the breakdown was not physical but spiritual. As she talked, I was studying her face. There was a line in her forehead that ought not to have been there. As we go on growing into spiritual maturity, there are some lines marking this growth of character that will be in our faces. But there are other lines that are the footprints of sin. And these two kinds of lines are distinguishable.

I began quote in verses on victory from the Bible. She could say every one of them by heart. I spoke of books on victory. She knew them all and had read many of them. The doctrine and phraseology of victory were very familiar to her but she did not have victory. You ask, "Did she have some great gross sin of the flesh that overwhelmed her?" Oh no, it was nothing but a little hurt that she had allowed to sink down into the depths of her heart four years previously and which she had nursed until it had robbed her of her peace of heart, her joy in Bible study and prayer, and her passion for lost souls. More than that, it had brought on her physical illness and was finally taking her home not to return to the mission field. A little hurt hidden away in a human heart doing damage like that! Is there anything of this kind deep down in your spirit? That dear missionary got rid of that hurt and has since been home on two furloughs and returned to China!

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 18)

Sins Against the Holy Spirit

I think it is really important for us to better understand the person of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes people think of the Holy Spirit as more of an “It” than a “Him.” But according to Scripture, the Holy Spirit is not only God, but He has a will, a personality, and can even be offended!
There are six specific sins that can be committed against the Holy Spirit. Today, allow me to focus on one that can be committed by believers—grieving the Holy Spirit.
One of the places in Scripture where we read about grieving the Holy Spirit is in Ephesians 4:29-32. The apostle Paul writes:
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not grieve God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live…. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
To grieve means to make sad or sorrowful. It means to cause sorrow, pain, or distress.
But what makes the Holy Spirit sad or sorrowful?
1. Foul and abusive language makes the Holy Spirit sad.
Verse 29 says, “Don’t use foul or abusive language.” The word used here speaks of something that has gone “rotten.” This includes obscene language, profanity, dirty stories, vulgarity, double entendres, etc.
When did it become “cool” for preachers to speak this way from a pulpit? Some people would say this is being “real” or “authentic.”
Guess what? You are not to speak this way—privately or publicly. How about being authentically godly instead?
2. Bitterness makes the Holy Spirit sad and sorrowful.
The definition of bitterness is “an embittered and resentful spirit that refuses to be reconciled.”
Some people just like to be mad. They live for conflict, arguing, and fighting. This, as with all sin, only gets worse if left unchecked and unrepented of.
The sad thing is that bitter people rarely want to keep it to themselves. Instead, they spread it around. The Bible speaks of “a root of bitterness defiling many” (see Hebrews 12:15).
I have a better idea: forgive!
3. Fits of rage and uncontrolled anger make the Holy Spirit sad and sorrowful.
“Rage” speaks of the person who is easily angered and who raises his voice—shouting and screaming. “Slander” is speaking evil of others behind their backs. “Malicious behavior” speaks of ill will and plotting evil against someone.
Look, all of us have been hurt in life, but we have a choice as to how we react. We can be like the moneylender Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, demanding our “pound of flesh.” We can say, “They did this to me; therefore I will have my vengeance!”
Or we can believe God when He says “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”
It is said that Augustine had a sign on his wall that read, “He who speaks evil of an absent man or woman is not welcome at this table.”
Try the acronym T.H.I.N.K. the next time you are not sure whether or not you should say something.
  • T – Is it Truthful?
  • H – Is it Helpful?
  • I – Is it Inspiring?
  • N – Is it Necessary?
  • K – Is it Kind?
Instead of speaking evil of someone, we are to “be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.”
“But they don’t deserve that!”
True, but neither do you or I—yet God still forgave us.
Paul concludes Ephesians 4:32 by saying, “…just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

Forgiven people should be forgiving people. Otherwise, we are grieving the Spirit.
~Greg Laurie~

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 16

Fullness of Christ (continued)

Is Such Fullness Optional?

May I choose whether I will be filled with the Holy Spirit or not? The Bible answers that question.

"Be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18)

It is a command. Christian friends, are you and I free to disobey the command of Christ? Or are we free to choose which commands we will obey and which we will not? I read in God's Word, "Thou shalt not kill." I find not one bit of difficulty in fully obeying that command, for I have never seen one human being I desired to kill. "Thou shalt not steal." This command also is easy to obey, for I have never seen anything I wanted badly enough to steal it and run the risk of going to prison. To obey this command presents little difficulty to me. But, "Be filled with the Spirit." "No, Lord, I do not want to be filled with the Holy Spirit for it makes too great a demand upon me. I will have to live too holy a life. I do not wish to obey this command." Can we say that to our Lord?

Here is a command, and obedience to it puts the Christian in possession of the greatest spiritual blessing possible this side of heaven. Then is not disobedience to this command the Christian's greatest sin? for if not filled with the Holy Spirit, it is impossible for him to live a life of victory, holiness, and power. No, to be filled with the Holy Spirit is not optional but obligatory for every Christian, and the Christian who is ot so filled is sinning.

Why Do I Not Have the Fullness of the Spirit?

There are two objective causes in the realm of  truth. One is ignorance. In Christ we possess the fullness of the Godhead, and in the Spirit we have the One who makes this fullness our personal possession. But, because of ignorance of the Word of God, we lack this knowledge. Consequently, we lack the experience of fullness.

The other cause is unbelief. We know the truth but only intellectually and doctrinally. It has not become heart experience. Or we know it but we are afraid to act upon our knowledge and to appropriate this blessing by faith.

"So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:19).

Then there are two subjective causes in the realm of experience. One is unconfessed sin. The Holy Spirit is holy, and the place He indwells must be made and kept holy. This infilling demands cleansing from all known sin. It is impossible to be filled with the Holy Spirit while knowingly, deliberately, retaining sin in the life.

The cleansing of the Temple during the wonderful revival under King Hezekiah, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 29, shows us the manner and the extent of the cleansing God requires of us:

"Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place" (2 Ch. 29:5).

"And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord ... Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify ...and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end" (2 Ch. 29:16-17).

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 17)

A Shepherd, Not a Hireling

But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. John 10:12-13

Have you ever left something or someone in the hands of another person? Is it difficult to leave your child with a babysitter; or your home with a house sitter? For those of us who have left our "valuables" in the hands of another person, the feelings can be unsettling at times, regardless of how much we may trust the person. We know that their care and concerns are just not the same as ours. Why? Because we know that person is a "hireling."

Jesus uses this same illustration to show His care and concern for us. No one loves and cares for us more than Jesus. He is our Good Shepherd and we are His sheep. Jesus looks at each one of us as His very own precious little lamb. He treasures us so much that He would lay down His life for us. He would do anything to save us from harm or death. And that is exactly what He did: He gave His life for each one of us.

Take comfort today in knowing that you have a Good Shepherd watching over you. He watches you come in and go out. He knows your every move because He cares about your safety. If you should find yourself straying from Him, maybe venturing out too far, just listen for the sound of His voice. As a Christian, you are His lamb and part of His sheepfold. You will recognize His voice, just as a sheep recognizes its shepherd; and you will hear Him calling you back. Jesus never leaves us in the hands of someone else because He knows that no one will watch over His valuables more than Himself.  Trust in your Good Shepherd and know that He will never leave you.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 15

Fullness of Christ (continued)

You recall that the Samaritan woman went to the well with a waterpot, but she left it there. There are some people who come to church with a little waterpot to be filled with living water, hoping it will last until they the following Sunday. Did you do that? Leave your little waterpot there  and go away knowing that you have a well of living water within you springing up into everlasting life. Then you can go back to the most drab, difficult circumstances in home, in business, or in your social circle and carry Christ into every situation. Each of us may do that if we drink of this living water until filled. It is not God's desire to give us merely a waterpot full of blessings, just victories, but rather, to give us a well, the fullness of Him who is the Blesser and the Victor.

Then, may I also have this fullness for power? Some of us are conscious of lack, not only in the realm of Christian character, but also in the sphere of our spiritual service. We have to acknowledge a lack of passion and of power to win souls to Christ. Let us hasten again to the words of our Lord.

"If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38).

"Rivers of living water." It is not a rivulet, or stream, or even a river - but "rivers," the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Yangtze, the Thames, all put together into one.

"Shall flow." This is not a dead sea that receives and retains the blessings, but the river Jordan that refreshes and renews every life it touches. Rivers of living water flowing out into every village, town, city, and country, so that "everything shall live whither the river cometh."

Plenitude of power in the Spirit-filled Church! When in the United States last year I passed through the midwestern states which had suffered so terribly from drought. The train crossed over a very long bridge beneath which was a very tiny stream of water twisting its way through a wide dried-up riverbed. What a parable it was of many of our present-day churches! Expensive buildings, magnificent pipe organs, big programs, countless organizations, something on almost every day of the week, yet so few souls saved and so few Christians filled with the Holy Spirit. Why is it that with the Church better organized and equipped than ever before in its history, it has so little power? What would it mean if 5,000 people went forth with rivers of living water flowing from the life. It would mean revival that would extend to the uttermost part of the earth.

Plenitude of power in each Spirit-filled Christian! A woman attending a conference in Holland last summer was filled with the Holy Spirit. And during the week of the conference, while she attended all the meetings, she won four people to Christ. Two women went home filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time and within six weeks they had brought six other women to share that same wonderful experience. Will this happen in some lives here?

"From within him." An inflow demands an outflow. Christ is enough and to spare. And for whom is this plenitude of power?

"He that believeth on me." This is not only for some great preacher of Bible teacher, not even alone for someone employed in Christian service, but for him who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you believe? Then this promise is for you. Not even the youngest or the weakest or the least gifted believer is excluded from this blessing.

A missionary came home from China on furlough last year. On the boat she met a young woman who was unsaved but troubled over her spiritual condition. She sought help from the missionary and was open to know the way of salvation. But the missionary could not lead her to Christ. This caused desperate discouragement and led the missionary to determine not to return to the mission field. Then a glorious thing happened: She was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then the Lord did such a gracious thing, so like Him. He brought that young woman across the missionary's path again and gave her the power to win her to Christ. Filled with the Holy Spirit, then able to win souls to Christ! Are you doing it? Are you able to do it? If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then those rivers of living water will flow through you into other lives.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 16 - "Is Such Fullness Optional?")

Handling Difficult Circumstances

The apostle Paul understood how to handle tough circumstances. Even while he was confined in a prison cell, he kept his eyes on Christ and trusted firmly in the Savior. Therefore, despite being in chains, he was able to celebrate the Lord’s work in his life. In fact, the epistle he wrote from jail to the Philippians was filled with rejoicing (1:182:18; 3:1).

Focusing on Christ is neither a natural reaction nor an easy one. Our instinct is to dwell on the situation at hand, searching for solutions or stewing over the pain and difficulty. As a result, troubles look scary and overwhelm us with a sense of defeat.

However, fear and defeat cannot live long in a heart that trusts the Lord. I’m not saying you’ll forget what you’re going through, but you can choose to dwell on His provision and care instead. He is the Deliverer (2 Cor. 1:10). He is the Healer (Deut. 32:39). He is the Guide (Prov. 3:6).  The believer who lays claim to divine promises discovers that God pushes back negative emotions. In their place, hope, confidence, and contentment take up residence (Phil. 4:11). You aren’t going to be happy about a difficult situation, but you can be satisfied that God is in control and up to something good in the midst of trouble.

The Lord’s principles and promises don’t change, no matter how severe or painful the situation is. Focus on Christ instead of the circumstances—God will comfort your heart and bring you safely through the trial. Then you can answer Paul’s call to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4).

~Charles Stanley~

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 14

Fullness of Christ (continued)

Has Such Fullness Been Provided for Me?

Oneness in Christ made it ours.

"For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in him ye are made full" (Col. 2:9-10).

"In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." We all believe that, do we not? But we cannot stop there. It goes on to say, "And ... ye are made full in him." Our position in Christ makes us potential partakers of the fullness of Christ. We "are made full" it says, not we "will" be. The moment we become a part of the Body of Christ, the fountain of fullness in Him is opened to us. The fullness has been provided for every Christian.

Is Such Fullness Possible for Me?

Out theme today is "The Fullness of Christ Through Personal Sanctification." Can the fullness provided by made personal? Is it possible for me? Let the Lord Jesus give us the answer.

"But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of  water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).

"Water." In Scripture water is the type of the Spirit as Christ Himself interprets it in Jon 7:38-39). Christ is never called the water of life, but He gives this water to those who thirst and drink. Christ gives the Holy Spirit to the Christian. He is promising her the gift of the Holy Spirit.

"In him a well." This is the Holy Spirit indwelling which Christ promised the disciples.

"Springing up." The water is leaping up in an exhaustless, irrepressible way; springing up and overflowing. Is not this fullness?

"Whosoever." Did you get that word? It is big enough to include you if you want to be inside. Whenever I find a "whosoever" of promise from the lips of my Lord, I want to be inside as quickly as possible. Do you want to be inside this "whosoever"? You may be if you will. To whom were these words spoken? To the most respectable, cultured, educated, moral woman in that Samaritan city? The exact opposite. Perhaps to the most wicked woman there. Think of that! If you and I had been talking to that poor sinful woman we would have said to her, "You must be born again." And to Nicodemus, ruler of the Jews, the cultured, gifted, gentleman, we would have spoken of the living water. But not so with Jesus. He went no further in the conversation with Nicodemus than exhortation to be born again, while to the wicked woman He offered the gift of the fullness of the Spirit. It is for you, whoever you are, and for me, is it not, if we want it?

"Shall never thirst." Do you believe it? You know when Jesus says "never" he means "never." When you and I say "never" we usually mean "sometimes". But when Jesus said "never thirst" He meant "never thirst." And what do the words mean? Perfect inward heart satisfaction. Do you have it? Do you know many people who do? How many people do you see whose faces seem to show that their hearts are satisfied? My friends, if every one of us reading this today had such a face, a revival would start immediately. It would indicate a quiet, peaceful, restful heart. And people would breaking how we got it.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 15)

Do You Know Jesus?

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound" - Isaiah 61:1 

I saw a dear friend the other day. We "just happened" to be parked next to each other on a street I have never parked on before. I have to say that the strangest circumstances and the oddest timing led me to that place. But I knew when I left her, God had orchestrated our meeting.

My friend told me a tragic story about a person I have watched grow in the Lord and have frequently prayed for. Hearing the details, I realized that my heart was grieving and crying out to God once again for this precious person. This world is sickened with sin. The wages of sin is death and this world will die.

When you face circumstances that taint the very face of God, it is difficult to know how to think, let alone pray. When evil seems to prevail over the innocent, we wonder and question and ponder if we really can trust God. We question where He is in those times. We question what He meant when He said He would never leave us or forsake us.  Are God's definitions different? Do we have to spiritualize everything that happens on earth, waiting to be vindicated only in heaven?

No and no. The Christianity that is represented today in most people is not the Jesus that I worship. I am sick and tired of Christians who quote verses to the hurting just to make themselves feel better. My Jesus can give you Living Water that heals every hurt at the depths of your broken and abused soul. We should not settle for what other Christians have to offer. We need Jesus. We need everything He has to offer. We need Jesus to reach down into the depths of our hearts to bring healing and life and liberty to the captive. He has come to set you free; do not settle for anything less. If you need help, let us know. We are here for you: the abused, the lonely, the confused, the disillusioned, the helpless.

You cry out to Him. You be honest. He will deliver you. Do not settle for anything less than a miracle that transforms your life so powerfully that you know Jesus Himself is holding your heart. That's Jesus' Christianity.

Do you know the real Jesus? Do you feel Him as you read His words? Are you empowered with supernatural eyes that see beyond the physical to experience the spiritual? Please do not settle for anything less. God has so much more for you.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Monday, August 26, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 13

Fullness of Christ

We have been considering together the standard which the Lord Jesus Christ set for the Christian as given in that last conversation with His disciples on earth. It was to be a life like His life. They were to live as He had lived and to work as He had worked. In other words, they were to live a supernatural life. But how was such a life possible for human, sinful men and women?

In the definition of the Church given in the Epistle to the Ephesians we see the same high standard set.

"The Church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23).

Think of it! "The church ... the fullness of Christ"! Is that your conception of what it is for you to be a Christian? You, living in your home; you, walking up and down the streets of your town or city, the fullness of Christ! That is what the Word says. "The fullness of him who filleth all in all." Here we are told how it is possible. He fills us with His own fullness.

But, as He set this standard before His disciples on that last night with them, He saw their perplexed look and the sorrow in their faces. If they had not been able to live according to such a standard when He was with them, how could they possibly live such a life when He had gone from them? Then He told them how.

He was going away, but He would send Another like Himself to be not only with them but "in" them.

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever ... for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:16-17).

The supernatural life could be lived because they were to be indwelt by a supernatural Person whose indwelling presence was for one purpose: to make the life of Christ a living reality within them.

He promised to send this wonderful Comforter, but in order to do so, He had to go away. Yes, He had to go to the Cross where He laid down that precious life in death. He had to go down into the darkness of the tomb, but He could not be kept there. He, who was the Author of life, yea, who was life itself, broke the bonds of death and rose from the tomb. He ascended into heaven and was exalted by the Father to be Lord over the universe and Head over all things to the Church. As the exalted, glorified Lord, He would send back the Holy Spirit who had indwelt, infilled, and empowered Him in His earthly life, to indwell, infill, and empower them.

The Fullness of Christ Is Through personal Sanctification

The day of Pentecost came. The Holy Spirit descended and that little company of believers was baptized with the Holy Spirit and made one in the Body of Christ. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit on this birthday of the Church.

"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4).

By filling them, Christ, the Head of the Church, set the standard for the entire Church and for every Christian all down through the ages. It is not at the end of our Christian life in the twilight of Christian experience we are privileged to be filled with the Spirit as a sign of spiritual maturity. But at the very beginning, yea, on any day after we have been baptized into the Body of Christ through rebirth, we may be filled with the Holy Spirit as the means of becoming fully grown in Christ.

My friends, to be filled with the Spirit is God's standard for every Christian here. Are you filled? The only normal Christians here are those who are filled with the Holy Spirit. We sometimes think this is such an extraordinary spiritual experience that the person filled with the Spirit is abnormal. It is the exact opposite. I put it to you today, is it normal for one who is in Christ and has Christ in him and who is indwelt by the same Spirit that indwelled Christ, to be constantly defeated? Is it normal for that one to be without joy or peace or rest or power? Is it normal for the Christian to be simply bearing "fruit" when he should be bearing "much fruit"?

So I will not wait until the close of my message to press home this question. Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? We can know whether we are filled or not as truly as we can know whether or not we are saved. There are conditions to be fulfilled by us for receiving and conditions for maintaining the fullness of the Spirit which are as clearly stated in the Word as the conditions to be fulfilled for salvation. We may and should know what they are.

We shall think now of how to obtain this fullness. We shall do so by asking and answering questions from the Word of God.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 14 - Has Such Fullness Been Provided for Me?")


Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart.   2 Corinthians 4:1

Ministry is an interesting word. What defines a ministry? Is it a job in a church, a job outside of a church, or is everything in the Christian life somehow a form of "ministry"? Regardless of where or how ministry is conducted, one thing is true — it is a tough job. If we are not careful, we can become very weary and discouraged in doing the work of the ministry.

I have noticed in my own experience that I need to be reminded repeatedly that God does the work. I just need to be faithful to do what He has asked of me today, depending on Him for everything. Somewhere during the busyness, I can forget what dependency feels like and try to make sense of ministry in my own flesh instead of relying on His Spirit. A good saying is: "Where God's finger points, there God's hand will make a way."

For those of you who are serving in a ministerial role, pray for the Lord to give you verses to anchor your ministry goals. While reading the Scriptures, look for a verse that expresses how you feel or your heart's desire. Keep searching the Scriptures and praying until you find at least one verse or one story that you can pray back to God and meditate on. Those verses will give you the strength to get through the trials as well as the focus to finish what you started. God will bring to your memory the Scripture throughout the days ahead when the times get difficult. God wants us to count the cost and be responsible in whatever service we do, but God takes us as His responsibility to get us through. And remember, we are all dealing with the same thoughts and struggles. You are not alone when serving the Lord.

So we must not get tired of doing good for we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up.
Galatians 6:9

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 12

Likeness to Christ

The Spirit of Holiness Who Counteracts

As the Spirit of life, He counteracts all the work of the flesh within. While the Christian is no longer in the flesh, the flesh is still in him and remains there through life. The flesh will do everything it can possibly do to regain possession, control, and use of the life. But that wonderful Spirit of life is within to counteract all the working of the flesh, and, when we let the Holy Spirit have absolute control, He can keep the flesh from have dominion and power over us.

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Gal. 5:17).

The Spirit of life works progressively to counteract the flesh by taking control and by crowning Christ Lord of all in life and work.

The Spirit of Glory Who Conforms

As the Spirit of glory, He conforms us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. As He frees us from the earthly, He fashions us into the heavenly.

"But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit" (2 Co. 3:18).

What a picture in promise of our progressive sanctification! Today like Christ, but tomorrow we may be still more like Christ; every day may see some new touch of glory added to the life, and some new bit of likeness to Him may be revealed to those with whom we live and work. The Spirit of glory works progressively to conform us to the image of Christ from glory to glory so that we may grow up into Him in all things.

And what is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier?

Realized Holiness of Life

We become the Christian who bears the much fruit!

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance [self-control]" (Galatians 5:22-23).

A wonderful cluster of fruit that cannot be broken! Nine marvelous, heavenly, spiritual graces that reveal to us the perfection of the moral character of Jesus Christ. And they are to be in us as the work of this divine Spirit in beautiful symmetry and in ever-growing evidence of the life of Christ within.

But how often we see a life that has one of these characteristics in a marvelous way but sadly lacks in another, and the testimony of the life is marred thereby. At a meeting once in China, a Chinese doctor was translating for me. She was the largest Chinese woman I ever saw and her heart of love was as big as her body. But in the midst of the message which had brought conviction to her own soul, she stopped me and confessed to the nurses, who worked under her supervision, the sin of so often losing her temper. She had love but not self-control.

Sometimes you will see a Christian who truly bears great trial and affliction with long-suffering, but she has a face as long as her long suffering. There is long-suffering but no joy.

Then again you will meet someone who is the soul of goodness, but here face is a mass of wrinkles, made by fretting and worry. There is goodness but no peace.

A while ago, after speaking at a meeting, a woman come up and introduced herself. She immediately began talking about herself. Within two minutes she made this astounding statement: "I hope you will not think me boastful, but everything I do is a success." Well, I did not want to misjudge her, but it did sound a bit boastful. She continued the conversation about herself and soon had made this same remark again. She was woman of faith, quite orthodox, in fact, but seemed lacking in meekness. The only memory I have of that Christian woman is that boastful remark. It set me thinking. What do people think of the last remark they heard me make? What memories do I leave behind me/ It is a solemn thought. Have we drawn attention to ourselves, or have we fixed the thought of others upon our glorified Lord? Is there there anything in you or in me that is worth the slightest thing? Should not our Lord have all the glory in everything?

Are we the much fruit-bearing Christians? Do we manifest His love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control in every-increasing beauty and symmetry?

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 13 - "Fullness of Christ")

Breaking Away From What We Were

Joshua 24:2-3

(2) And Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: "Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods. (3) Then I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac.
This demonstrates a problem Abraham appears to have had at the beginning of his conversion, showing that he was not perfect in his obedience. It also reveals God's patience in dealing with us, as well as how little control we sometimes exercise over some circumstances. In such times, we must continue trusting God and fighting to overcome as He leads us through them and teaches us aspects of His character.
Abraham's family members were outright pagans, as was Abraham before his conversion. We need to add Genesis11:27-32 to the mix:
This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, Ur of the Chaldeans. Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. But Sarai was barren; she had no child. And Terah took his son Abram, and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.
Barnes Notes contains a fairly complex study of these verses, showing that Abraham actually received his initial calling when he was 70 while living in Ur of the Chaldeans. Why "initial"? Verse 31 says they left Ur and then came to Haran, adding that Abraham's family dwelt there. "Dwelt" indicates that they remained there for an extended period—it was no mere overnight stop by a group of pilgrims at a motel.
Stephen's speech in Acts 7:2-4 helps us to understand:
Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him, "Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you." Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell.
Stephen clearly states that God called Abraham before he dwelt in Haran, but Genesis 12:1 shows God then moved him from Haran after his father died. Apparently, Abraham's account to his father and others in the family—but most especially his father—of the things he was learning and believing in his calling persuaded them, despite being pagan to the core, that they, too, should emigrate to wherever God was leading Abraham.
Recall, however, from Isaiah 51:2 that God says that He called Abraham alone. Genesis 11:31 clearly shows Terah, the pagan patriarch of the family, leading the expedition, not Abraham. Abraham no doubt deferred to his father in this decision, but this was not God's will.
God knew that, because of Abraham's attitude, he would continue to defer to Terah. God did not want Terah's direct influence in what He was establishing through Abraham. Under Terah's pagan, patriarchal leadership, they got only as far as Haran from Ur, by itself an arduous 700-mile journey on foot!
Researchers speculate that the trip from Ur to Haran plus the sojourn there may have taken as long as five years before the party resumed the journey to Canaan. Perhaps Terah had a lengthy, lingering illness before dying. However, when the last leg of the journey was made, it was under Abraham's leadership.
God intends us to understand that the distance to the Promised Land—1,200 miles on foot from Ur to Canaan—plus the time spent getting there, illustrate the difficulty of breaking away from what we were to what God wants us to be. Unfortunately, some people never seem to accomplish the break.

— John W. Ritenbaugh

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 11

Likeness to Christ

The Right Adjustment to the Holy Spirit

This work of sanctification can be carried on only through the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, that second great gift bestowed at to us. The moment you were brought into union with Christ, the wonderful Holy Spirit came to indwell you, and He is there for one purpose: to glorify Christ in you. How does He do this?

The Spirit of Truth Who Enlightens

As the Spirit of truth He enlightens us that we may know what we possess in Christ and what Christ possesses in us. Ephesians speaks  of a double inheritance, the saint's inheritance in Christ and Christ's inheritance in the saint.

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe" (Ephesians 1:17-19).

The Spirit of truth gives us a progressive revelation of Christ and of our riches in Him so that once having seen Him, we will want Him and Him only.

The Spirit of Power Who Enables

As the Spirit of power He enables us that we may possess what we know to be ours in Christ. He is the power who works in us to make Christ a living reality within and to fill us unto all the fullness of God.

"That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; ... that ye might be filled unto all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:16-19). The Spirit of power works for a progressive realization of Christ within us as our life and our Lord.

The Spirit of Holiness Who Separates

As the Spirit of holiness, he separates us from the world. He shows us there can be no mixture between darkness and light, no friendship between the world and the Church. The Spirit makes us know that whoever is a friend of the world is in the light of God an adulteress, for that one has broken the marriage vow to Christ and, by so doing, has become the enemy of God.

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord" (2 Co. 6:14, 17).

"Ye adulteresses [who break your marriage vow to Christ], know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4).

The Spirit of holiness works progressively to separate us from earthly things and from the love of the world and to strip us of everything of which Christ is not the source, the center, and the goal.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 12 - "The Spirit of Life Who Counteracts")

The God of Comfort

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee who passing through the valley of weeping, make it a well (Psalms 84:5-6).

Comfort does not come to the light-hearted and merry. We must go down into "depths" if we would experience this most precious of God's gifts--comfort, and thus be prepared to be co-workers together with Him.
When night--needful night--gathers over the garden of our souls, when the leaves close up, and the flowers no longer hold any sunlight within their folded petals, there shall never be wanting, even in the thickest darkness, drops of heavenly dew--dew which falls only when the sun has gone.

I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the 'God of all comfort' was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.
As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.
When he leads thro' some valley of trouble
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.
Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows.
Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
"Hereafter Thou'lt know what I do."
As we travel thro' life's shadow'd valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.
So we'll follow wherever He leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.

~L. B. Cowman~

Friday, August 23, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 10

A Choice Between Sovereigns

You and I are called to make a choice of sovereigns. As a sinner we had to choose between our sins and our Saviour; now as a Christian we must make the choice between the continued sovereignty of that old mater, sin, and that of our new Master, Christ.

"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof" (Romans 6:12).

Have you made this choice? Has it been a deliberate, final choice of Christ as the sole Sovereign over your life? If not, will you do it today?

Christ Yielded to as Lord

Having chosen Christ as our Master, then He commands us to yield to Him as Lord.

"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God (Romans 6:13).
"Yield yourselves," spirit, soul, and body. Yield your whole human personality to Christ. Have you done it? Or have you parceled out a little bit and told Him what He could have, and what you intended to reserve for yourself?

"Yield your members." In order that there may be no loophole, He goes on to say we are to yield every member of the body - the eyes, the ears, the feet, the hands, the lips, the tongue. Have you done it? Perhaps someone here is living in defeat because of one unyielded member of the body. An unyielded tongue, what unlimited harm it can do! Here is our Lord's command, have we obeyed it? Have we yielded ourselves entirely to Him? If not, will you do it now?

Then we must yield everything that has any relationship whatsoever to our life, all our habits, our practices, our appetites, our pleasures, our championships, our homes, our possessions, our children, our money.

Last year, after a message on yielding, a gentleman came up to me and said, "Miss Paxson, tonight I have yielded my old pipe." Can you not see that old pipe? The Lord had asked him for it, perhaps many a time. He thought he had yielded it, but he took it home and put it up on he shelf. What he ought to have done with the old pipe was have thrown it, with everything that appertained to it, into the fire. That is yielding, but, when he saw the old pipe, perhaps he was tempted to think, "May I not take down the old pipe just once again for one more puff?"

Have you yielded your old pipe? It may not be one you put in your mouth, but you may have a blood relation to it, that you do puff away at, which the Lord is asking you to yield. This is the shame of even many Christian women today! How can you distinguish a woman of the Church, the Body of Christ from a woman of the world, the body of satan, if she is puffing a cigarette? What is there to mark her off as belonging to the glory of life?

What is your old pipe, my friend? I will tell you what it is. It is that thing for which the Lord has been asking you for weeks and months, maybe for years, and you will not give it up; that little insignificant thing that is not worth more than the puff of a pipe, and you will not give it up for this eternal Son of God, that His glory may be manifested more fully in you. That is why He brought you here; to get rid of that old pipe. I do not know what it is, but He knows and you know. It is that which is keeping you in defeat and it is that which is hindering Him from manifesting His glory in your life today. Will you yield that old pipe to the Lord Jesus Christ? Will you yield yourself, your members, all that you are and have, to the Lord now?

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 11 - "The Right Adjustment to the Holy Spirit")

To Enlarge Our Hearts

 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Some people really get into Bible prophecy, attending every Bible prophecy conference and reading every Bible prophecy book. But if it isn't changing the way they live, then they are missing the point. Prophecy wasn't given to inflate our brains; it was given to enlarge our hearts. It was given to draw us closer to God. And the bottom line is that judgment is coming.

As believers, we will finish our lives on this earth one day and will give an account for how we have lived. We will give an account for what we have done with our time and for what we have done with the gifts that God gave us. Did we develop them? Did we cultivate them? Did we use them for His glory? What did we do with our resources? Did we invest in His kingdom? What did we do with our lives in general? We will be rewarded—or not rewarded—according to how we have lived.

There is also coming a day when nonbelievers will stand before God. The Book of Life will be opened, and for them it will be too late. They will not be judged on the basis of their deeds, but according to what they did with Jesus.

In the end, it is not so much a sin question as it is a Son question: What did you do with Jesus Christ, the Son of God? If you believed in Him, then you have been forgiven. You are going to heaven. But if you rejected Him, then you won't be.

The first time, Jesus came to this earth in humility and died on the cross. But the second time, He will come to this earth with power.

So live your life well. Live it for the glory of God.

~Greg Laurie~

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 10

Likeness To Christ (continued)

Fruit is Christ in us manifested in His glory. But there are so many Christians one can only describe as drab, and I do not like drab. Do you? You do not like a drab Christian either. We all like to see a glory Christian. Are you one?

Fruit is Christ in us manifested in the glory of holiness. Now let us bring these two great truths together; oneness in Christ - "Ye in me," and likeness to Christ - "I in you." The two are indivisible and inseparable. oneness in Christ demands likeness to Christ. Fruit is Christ-likeness, and much fruit is the fullest measure of Christ likeness; and Christ likeness is Christ in you, and Christ in you is manifested glory. Are you in Christ? Then what are you? Are you like Christ/ Are you bearing fruit? Can others see Christ in you? To what measure are you bearing fruit? Only fruit, or more fruit, or much fruit?  Would the members of your family know you are a Christian if you did not go to church? Would your friends know that you are a Christian if you did not testify or pray? Would any one know it if he just looked into your face?

Friends, it ought to be seen. If Christ lives in us, there should be something in the expression of the eye, something in the very lines of the face; we should bear the mark in our faces of the presence of the glorified Christ within. Would one know it from our conversation or from watching our daily walk? When you enter a room, do you cast a chill over the atmosphere or do you flood it with sunshine? A glory Christian will flood every place he goes with sunshine, the sunshine of the presence of the glorified Christ. Is Christ the very life of your life?

I am sure that we all want to be Christians who are bearing much fruit, who flood every place we go with the sunshine of His presence. Some of us came here for the very purpose of finding out how to live such a life. How, then, may we live it? Likeness to Christ through progressive sanctification requires two things of us: first, a right relationship to Christ, our sanctification; and second, a right adjustment to the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier.

A Right Relationship to Christ

To be like Christ requires that we come into a full relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not enough just to accept Him as Saviour. That is simply taking the first step. We must go on to let Christ become the life of our life, and above all, to let Him be Lord of our life. We read in Romans 5 of three things that sin did. Sin entered, sin abounded, sin reigned. Sin reigned. Do you get the full force of the word "reigned"? Sin was the absolute dictator over your life and mine; sin possessed us, sin controlled us, sin used us.

But now Christ is our Saviour and we are in Him. Is sin still to reign over us? Are we to continue to live in sin? Inconceivable! Who but One has the right to reign, the One who has been made Head over all things to the Church and to the Christian? Christ now has the right to possess us fully, to control us completely, and to use us exclusively. In order that He may do so, He must become Lord. But sin, that stubborn old ruler, will contest His claim every step of the way. But did God make provision for the dethronement of that old master sin?

"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin" (Romans 6:6).

What does that word "destroyed" mean? To be rendered inoperative. In modern terms, to be put out of employment, out of a job as ruler over your life. And for what purpose is this dethronement? That we might no longer serve sin. We have a new Master, the Lord Jesus, and Him only are we to serve now.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 11 - "A Choice Between Sovereigns")

The Spirit-filled Life: Is It Thine?

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they spake the word of God with boldness. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection (Acts 4:31-33).

Christmas Evans tells us in his diary that one Sunday afternoon he was traveling a very lonely road to attend an appointment, and he was convicted of a cold heart. He says,
"I tethered my horse and went to a sequestered spot, where I walked to and fro in an agony as I reviewed my life. I waited three hours before God, broken with sorrow, until there broke over me a sweet sense of His forgiving love. I received from God a new baptism of the Holy Ghost.
As the sun was westering, I went back to the road, found my horse, mounted it and went to my appointment. On the following day I preached with such new power to a vast concourse of people gathered on the hillside, that a revival broke out that day and spread through all Wales."
The greatest question that can be asked of the "twice born" ones is, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" This was the password into the early Church.

O the Spirit filled life; is it thine, is it thine?
Is thy soul wholly filled with the Spirit Divine?
O thou child of the King, has He fallen on thee?
Does He reign in thy soul, so that all men may see
The dear Savior's blest image reflected in thee?
Has He swept through thy soul like the waves of the sea?
Does the Spirit of God daily rest upon thee?
Does He sweeten thy life, does He keep thee from care?
Does He guide thee and bless thee in answer to prayer?
Is it joy to be led of the Lord anywhere?
Is He near thee each hour, does He stand at thy side?
Does He gird thee with strength, has He come to abide?
Does He give thee to know that all things may be done
Through the grace and the power of the Crucified One?
Does He witness to thee of the glorified Son?
Has He purged thee of dross with the fire from above?
Is He first in thy thoughts, has He all of thy love?
Is His service thy choice, and is sacrifice sweet?
Is the doing His will both thy drink and thy meat?
Dost thou run at His bidding with glad eager feet?
Has He freed thee from self and from all of thy greed?
Dost thou hasten to succor thy brother in need?
As a soldier of Christ dost thou hardness endure?
Is thy hope in the Lord everlasting and sure?
Hast thou patience and meekness, art tender and pure?
O the Spirit filled life may be thine, may be thine,
In thy soul evermore the Shekinah may shine;
It is thine to live with the tempests all stilled,
It is thine with the blessed Holy Ghost to be filled;
It is thine, even thine, for thy Lord has so willed.

~L. B. Cowman~