It is always right and good to pray for the ministry of the Spirit to increase in our lives. We thank the Father for sending the Son and we thank the Son for coming into this world as the Savior. Should we not also pray to the Spirit, to do His special work in our lives?
In reading this morning, as I reflect on beginning a new year of Bible reading, my thoughts are turned to the Spirit’s special role in taking the truth of God’s Word and making it real to me. I will see nothing and gain nothing from the Bible apart from His illuminating work upon my mind and soul. We ought to pray something along this line daily as we read—
“Blessed Spirit of God, You have given me the Bible; You inspired its writing, and You alone can feed my soul today with it; Come and make real the truth to me this morning; come and quicken me with your truth; illumine my mind and soul to see this morning what you eat to say to me, and show me the things of Christ; open my eyes to see wondrous things, fresh things, and things beneficial for me right now. Please make my time in your Word increasingly life-giving and profitable; cause me to increase in desire for the Bible more and more, and take your place more than ever as Paraclete to make real the things of God to my soul. Make my time in your Word become a time in the power and freshness of the Holy Spirit.”
As the hymn-writer said, “Spirit of God, my teacher be, showing the things of Christ to me.”
– Mack Tomlinson
To be in Christ is the source of the Christian’s life.
To be like Christ is the sum of the Christian’s excellence.
To be with Christ is the fullness of the Christian’s joy.
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The grace of God exalts a man without inflating him–and humbles a man without debasing him.
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The gospel is so simple, that small children can understand it–and it is so profound, that studies by the wisest theologians will never exhaust its riches!
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Christian humility does not consist in denying what there is of good in us–but in an abiding sense of ill-desert, and in the consciousness that what we have of good is due to the grace of God.
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This is true religion:
to approve what God approves,
to hate what God hates, and
to delight in what God delights.
– Charles Hodge
I see clearly now that anything, whatever it is, if it be not on the principle of grace, it is not of God. Here shall be my plea in weakness; here shall be my boldness in prayer; here shall be my deliverance in temptation; at last, here shall be my translation. Not of grace? Then not of God. And here, O Lord Most High, shall be your glory and the honor of your Son. The awakening for which I have asked – it shall come in your time, on this principle, by grace, through faith. Perfect my faith, then, Lord, that I may learn to trust only in divine grace, that Thy work of holiness might soon begin in Portland.
– Jim Eliott
We are so utterly ordinary and commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the twentieth century does not reckon with. But we are ‘harmless’, and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are ‘sideliners’ – coaching and criticizing the real wresters while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!
– Jim Elliot