Tuesday, 11/16/21 – Pressing on… Unity of Spirit – Abiding in Christ

Unity of Spirit – Abiding in Christ

So much disunity in this sad and broken world. It’s enough to cause one to throw up one’s hands and simply surrender – and that is exactly what our Maker has longed we would do all these many maimed years of human history!

Unity is like ministry. It kinda flows along. One can’t say, “Today I’m going to go and do some unity” just as one can’t really say “Today I’m going to go and do some ministry.” Unity and ministry are both by-products. They are by products just as the fruits of the Spirit are by-products. By-products of what? They are by-products of doing that one simple thing Christ asked of us: they are by-products of abiding in Him.

For the past few days now I have been contemplating much these insights of Oswald Chambers:

“If we are in fellowship and oneness with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are. As we grow in the Christian life, it becomes simpler to us, because we are less inclined to say, “I wonder why God allowed this or that?” And we begin to see that the compelling purpose of God lies behind everything in life, and that God is divinely shaping us into oneness with that purpose.”

God is divinely shaping us into oneness,” Chambers writes. You see, the purposes of God have much more to do with changing us into the image of Christ – “until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19) — than they do with the surface purposes we imagine. That abrasive brother who sits beside you every Sunday may be there in the purposes of God not as your evangelism target, but to teach you longsuffering. Your loss of your job may not be so that God will lead you to a better job, but that you may grow in your faith in God’s provision. Those in your circle of friends who believe differently on some disputable matter may in God’s purposes not be there for you to persuade to your views but for you to develop respect of another’s conviction.

This kind of “resting in God,” of “abiding in Him,” requires the abandonment of trying to scrutinize His purposes — lest we find ourselves maneuvering to manipulate His purposes for Him. It requires complete trust in Him… a simple, daily walk of faith. How long? “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13).

Chambers concludes…

“A Christian is someone who trusts in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own abilities. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God.”

More tomorrow…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Tuesday, 8/3/21 – Pressing on… Brilliant!

Brilliant!

But what, if after all that — all that we touched upon in yesterday’s post — what if after that great grace given us no one availed themselves of the fullness of that provision, plan, and possibility? That provision, plan, and possibility is this: “…God chose you …to be saved …that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 4:13-14). To share in the glory of Christ is not vanity in self, but magnification of Him.

Take for example the creation of the first light. In Genesis we read:

God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.” (Gen. 1:16-18).

Now the moon has no light in itself, no glory of its own, but the moon obeys fully the Creator’s provision, plan, and possibility for it. It stays in its orbit around this earth, near it, yet apart from it, and it receives and faithfully reflects upon this earth that light which it receives from the Sun, the only true source of light. In doing so it does not boast of any personal brilliance, but only of that brilliance which is the Sun’s.

The Creator’s provision, plan, and possibility for us is the same. “You are the light of the world,” said Jesus of His faithful. So, “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” We shine to glorify our Father…. Our Maker… and Lord.

Paul wrote, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:14).But we cannot boast in… i.e. we cannot glorify… our Lord Jesus Christ unless we bow to the lowest of humilities… unless we “die to self” and “yield to Him”… to His provision, plan, and possibility – His purpose to show in us His Glory.

This is our purpose in this world now, not later in glory. Glory shines its own light… there is no night there (Rev. 21:25, 22:5). The moon cannot be seen in daytime because of the greater brilliance of the Sun. It was made for that time when it is night. Likewise we must exercise ourselves to reflect His Glory now, where it is dark. It is His provision, plan, and possibility for all who will receive Him.

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor. 4:4).
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” (2 Pet. 1:5-7).

More tomorrow…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.