Friday, October 30, 2009

The Exchanged Life - J. Hudson Taylor

I just listened to an audio book on my way up and to Atlanta (yes about a 9 hour book) on the biography of James Hudson Taylor. What a man of humble, so full of love and yet it wasn't until he was 37 (which is my age) that God opened his eyes to the reality of the exchanged life. It came about by a missionary that Hudson trained and brought from England to China...the letter from his younger friend was the catalyst that God used to open his eyes to this wonderful truth.

So much in his letter could be said by me and the fact that for over 10 years I tried and tried and tried to achieve what was already done, oh what unbelief. Unfortunately, we have many today that do not understand their union and identity with Christ. They try and try and try hard to do what is already done. Victory is a gift of the Grace of God and our job is to stop striving for victory (which is an act of unbelief) and rest in the finished work of what Christ has ALREADY accomplished. Below is the letter that Hudson wrote his sister after God opened his eyes to the truth, by the way, was 20 years after he trusted the Lord and after about 17 years of serving him on the mission field. The question must be asked...what will you do with this truth...believe it and rest or not believe it and keep striving for what is already yours.

"I feel as though the first glimmer of the dawn of a glorious day had arisen upon me. I hail it with trembling, yet with trust- as to work, mine was never so plentiful, so responsible, or so difficult; but the weight and strain are all gone. The last month has been perhaps the happiest of my life; and I long to tell you a little of what the Lord has done for my soul- Perhaps I shall make myself more clear if I go back a little- My mind has been greatly exercised for six or eight months past, feeling the need, personally, and for the mission, of more holiness, life, power, in our souls. But personal need stood first and was the greatest. I felt the ingratitude, the danger, the sin of not living near to God. I prayed, agonized, strove, fasted, made resolutions, read the Word of God more diligently, sought more time for meditation and prayer - but all was with effect. Every day, almost every hour, the consciousness of sin oppressed me- each day brought its register of sin and failure, of lack of power- then came the question Is there no rescue? Must it be thus to the end - constant conflict and instead of victory too often defeat? How, too, could I preach with sincerity that to those who receive Jesus, to them gave He that power to become the sons of God (i.e. God-like) when it was not so on my own experience?-

I hated myself. I hated my sin; and yet, I gained no strength against it. I felt I was a child of God: His Spirit in my heart would cry: 'Abba Father'; but to rise to my privileges as a child, I was utterly powerless."

"All the time I felt assured there was in Christ all I needed, but the practical question was how was I to get it out?- I knew full well that there was in the Root abundant fatness; but how to get it into my puny little branch was the question. As the light, gradually dawned on me, I saw that faith was the only prerequisite, was the hand to lay hold on His fullness and make it my own. But I had not this faith! I strove for it but it would not come; tried to exercise it, but in vain. Seeing more and more the wondrous supply laid up in Jesus, the fullness of our precious Savior-my helplessness and guilt seemed to increase. Sins committed seemed but as trifles compared with the sin of unbelief, which was their cause, which could not, or would not, take God at His Word, but rather made Him a liar. Unbelief was, I felt, the damning sin of the world-yet, I indulged in it.

"When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never know it before. McCarthy, who had been exercised by the same sense of failure, but saw the light before I did, wrote: 'But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One.' As I read I saw it all, 'If we believe not, He abideth faithful' (2Tim 2:13). I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that He had said: 'I will never leave you.' (Heb 13:5) Ah, there is rest I thought! I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me?

"But this was not all He showed me, nor one-half. As I thought of the vine and branches, what light the blessed Spirit poured direct into my soul- I saw not only that Jesus would never leave me, but that I was a member of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. The Vine, now I see, is not the root merely, but all- root, stem, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruit; and Jesus is not only that: He is soil and sunshine, air and shower, and ten thousand times more than we have every dreamed, wished for, or needed. Oh, the joy of seeing this truth! I do pray that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened, that you may know and enjoy the riches freely given us in Christ."

"Oh, my dear sister, it is a wonderful thing to be really one with a risen and exalted Savior; to be a member of Christ! Think what it involves. Can Christ be rich and I poor? Can your right hand be rich and the left poor? Or your head be well-fed while your body starves? Again, think of its bearing on prayer. Could a bank clerk say to a customer: 'It was only your hand wrote that check, not you,' or 'I cannot pay this sum to your hand, but only to yourself?' No more can your prayers or mine be discredited if offered in the name of Jesus (i.e. not in your own name, or for the sake of Jesus merely, but on the ground that we are His members) so long as we keep within the extent of Christ's credit - a tolerably wide limit"...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yielding to the Holy Spirit

I have been very busy lately but wanted to give all of you who follow my blog some great teaching. This one is from Joseph Prince and he is speaking about yielding to the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit works in us to bring the reality of the victory we already have into our daily walk.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Are you under Grace or Law?

You choose what to is the truth, make a decision? Any questions please feel free to email me, connect on facebook or place them in the comment section...thanks for watching

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Jeremiah 1

Chapter I The Calling

In Jer 1:5 we find a very familiar verse and one that has been used to defend the life of an unborn baby…or as the pro-death side would say a “fetus”. God lives outside of time and space and is not bound by either since He created them. We sometimes forget the size of our God and limit Him to a super powerful type of human…that is a mistake. Time and space are relative but our God reigns now and forever more. So in verse 5 we see that Jeremiah was chosen, set apart and appointed to be a prophet.

But Jeremiah rejects the call of God and blames it on his youth and his inability to speak for God. Now in many of our views of God we would have Him striking Jeremiah down with lightning for disobeying or questioning what God would proclaim…but that is not our God. In fact in Jer 1:7 we see God building him up not in Jeremiah’s ability but in God’s ability and in Jer 1:8 we see the beautiful promise that Jeremiah receives “I will be with you”…and if God is with us what else would we need?

Notice in Jer 1:9-10 the tenses of the verbs…I have filled, it is done now live by faith and take God at His Word. He also says I have set you…God has set him over nations what does he have to fear? Nothing as long as his eyes are upon the Lord and he walks believing the truth of what God has already done.

In Jer 1:11-15 we see that God is telling Jeremiah what will take place and how His word will accomplish what He desires it to accomplish because God is watching over it. We are to be faithful and God will accomplish what He will as we follow His leading. It is a great promise we can take on ourselves right now…God loves us, watches over us and will accomplish all He wills in our lives so it is not up to us “TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN”.

In Jer 1:16 God knows all the evils ever done and each one will give an account. It is a very scary thing for people outside of Christ…God will judge them for every evil thing done in thought, word and deed. Although it may seem today that evil doesn’t get judged and even flourishes (the old proverb of no good deed goes unpunished is apropos) yet God knows and not one thing will escape His omniscient eye.

And finally in Jer 1:17-19 we see the final words to Jeremiah about this calling from God. It is a sobering call, God will do incredible things through Jeremiah so He wants him to be fully consecrated to do God’s will. And God is so generous to tell him the humiliation he will endure if he is not obedient to God’s will. Jeremiah is Gods ambassador and must stand in the gap as the man of God yet again we see the gentleness of God to tell Jeremiah what He has already done in him…Jeremiah would have no ability on his own and would have to be as far from self-sufficient as he could be because he needed his sufficiency to be in God alone. And again God says…I am with you and what more do we need then that?

God is with each of us that are in Christ…what more do we need then that? Get rid of all the junk that hinders all the good that God wants to do through you and you will find that more of Him is more then sufficient. I love what Paul said…2Co 3:5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jeremiah part 1

I will be writing some of my thoughts on the book of Jeremiah especially as it relates to the people, the church, and the nation today. It is not meant to be an exposition of the book nor is it meant for doctrine but mainly I am writing here for personal and practical reasons. Please feel free to read through this important prophets book with me. As always a little historical background will be good to understand the context especially in relation to today (there are many similarities).

This is taken from

Ashurbanipal, died in 627 B.C. as the last of the Assyrian rulers. Nabopolassar, King of the Babylonian empire began his rule in 626 B.C. This was the year in which Jeremiah received his call from the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:1) Nabopolassar took control of the Assyrian empire capturing the capital of Ninevah in 612 B.C. Egypt tried to help their Assyrian allies by marching north to lend military support but to no avail.

Josiah, King of Judah tried to stop the Egyptians advancing north but at a battle at Megiddo in 609 B.C., Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Neco II. (2 Chronicles 35:20-24).

At this time Jeremiah is not well known as a prophet in Jerusalem as Josiah's servants go to the prophetess Huldah for insight from God. (2 Kings 22:14ff) But over time Jeremiah grows close to Josiah as is evident from his grief at his death at the hands of Pharaoh-Necho, in 609 B.C. at Megiddo.

Josiah (640-609 B.C.) came to the throne, after the murder of his father Amon, in the eighth year. 2 Kings 22:1 He was a Godly king who sought the Lord and in the twelfth year of his reign began to clear the land of heathen idols. (2 Chronicles 34:3-7) While the temple was being cleaned up the book of the law or Torah was found and read by Josiah who proceeded to carry out a strict reformation of worship in keeping with the Word of God which was found. (2 Kings 22, 23)

Jeremiah prophesied mainly in Jerusalem at the feasts of the Temple although he did visit other cities. (Jeremiah 11:6) As is often the case he received fierce opposition in his home town of Anathoth, which resulted in a dangerous plot against his life. But God warned him of the dangers and he was preserved. (Jeremiah 11:18)

Jehoahaz, who reigned three months is only mentioned in Jeremiah 22:11 under the name of Shallum. (2 Kings 23:31) Jehoahaz will not return to Jerusalem from his journey to the Egyptian camp at Riblah, where he was taken prisoner and carried off to Egypt by Pharaoh Neco II. (Reigned 610-595 B.C.) It was during this time that the royal court turned on Jeremiah and he suffers severe persecution and several imprisonment's. (Jeremiah 20:1-2; 32:2-3; 37:12-21; 38:6-13)
Jehoahaz's older brother, Jehoiakim, is appointed as the king of Judah under Neco and reigned eleven years. (609-598 B.C.) He was originally passed over by the people but raised to the throne by Pharaoh-Necho who changed his name from Eliakim to Jehoiakim. Unlike Josiah his father, Jehoiakim turned away from God and favoured the heathen gods and practices. (2 Kings 23:37)

Jehoiakim did not like Jeremiah or his messages and on one occasion when one of Jeremiah's prophecies were brought to him to be read, he cut it into small pieces and threw it into the fire. Jeremiah 36:21-32 God told Jeremiah to simply dictate the message over again through Baruch his scribe.

In 605 B.C. the course of history changed when the Egyptians were crushed by the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish. Jeremiah 42:2 Pharaoh-Necho returns to Egypt defeated and the Babylonians ruled western Asia without resistance for the next 70 years. Jehoiakim had submitted to the Egyptians but three years under Nebuchadnezzar's rule he conspired against him. In this way Jehoiakim brought about the devastation of the land by Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites. They gladly acted as the tools of the Chaldeans until Nebuchadnezzar under his successor came to Jerusalem and revenged himself by plundering and carrying away the people. (605 B.C.) Jeremiah severely rebuked the kings conduct and even prophesied personal punishment which was brought upon him by God. (Jeremiah 21:11-14) Jehoiakim is humiliated by God. Daniel 1:1-2 At the same time Daniel and his three friends are taken into captivity in Babylon. (Daniel 1:3-6)

Jerusalem is attacked again in 598-597 B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar and Jehoiakim is killed. His son Jehoiachin is prophesied by Jeremiah to be taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar Jeremiah 22:24-30 which is fulfilled in Jeremiah 29:1-2. In 597 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar puts Josiah's son Mattaniah on the throne of Judah and renames him Zedekiah. He was a puppet king who sometimes asked for Jeremiah's help while at other times allowed Jeremiah's enemies to persecute him. However Jeremiah did arrange for his own personal safety in exchange for revealing the will of God to Zedekiah. Jeremiah 38:15-27 The safety often took the form of house arrest which he was under until the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. (Jeremiah 38:28)

Zedekiah was overrun by the Babylonians as he fled the city of Jerusalem . His sons were executed before his eyes and then his eyes were removed by Nebuchadnezzar. (Jeremiah 39:1-7) Nebazaradan, who was the commander of the imperial guard advised Jeremiah to go and live with Gedaliah the governor of Judah. (Jeremiah 40:1-6) Gedaliah was assassinated and because he was a friend of Nebuchadnezzar some of the Jews fled to Egypt for safety. Jeremiah and Baruch went with them. Jeremiah 43:4-7 His last words are recorded in Jeremiah 44:24-30. The only place Pharaoh Hophra is mentioned in the Bible is found in this passage. He ruled Egypt from 589-570 B.C.

The theme of Jeremiah's message is one of judgment against Judah. God would punish his people for their sins of idolatry, spiritual adultery and trusting in Egypt rather than Jehovah. The punishment would come by means of the Babylonians from the north. But God also brings grace as well as wrath and so there is found intersperse throughout Jeremiah glorious Messianic prophecies. They form a part of the prophets pleading with the people to repent. (Jeremiah 3:14-17; 23:5; 31:31; 33:16)

So please get your bible and start with me for a journey through this wonderful book. We will start with Jeremiah calling which is found in chapter 1. After that we will pick up on chapter 2 and 3. I will be using a Holman Christian Standard Bible to quote from which is free with my software from and is a very good translation.