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THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to seek Him above…
who sought me.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to acknowledge Him…
who found me.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to let God’s Spirit…
guide my life.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to reflect in life…
Jesus Christ.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to pray fervently…
constantly.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to live a pure life…
in God’s sight.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to live the new life…
before all.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to increase talents…
I received.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to preach Gospel truth …
to the lost.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to always practice…
what I preach.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to bring some succour…
to the poor.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to encourage all…
Christ’s brethren.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to bring constant praise..
to our God.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to ever prepare…
to meet God.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to humbly give thanks…
EVERMORE.

© Jeff Maxwell 6th April 2018

FRIENDSHIP

FRIENDSHIP

Let those be thy choicest companions who have made Christ their chief companion.”
Thomas Brooks

He is your friend who pushes you nearer to God.
Abraham Kuyper

By friendship you mean the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds of which brave men and women are capable
Jeremy Taylor

He that forgets his friend is ungrateful to him; but he that forgets his Saviour is unmerciful to himself.
John Bunyan

I am convinced, by the way, that friendships provide the most fertile soil for evangelism. When the reality of Christ is introduced into a relationship of love and trust that has already been established, the effect is powerful. And it seems that invariably, when someone becomes a true follower of Christ, that person’s first impulse is to want to find a friend and introduce that friend to Christ.
John MacArthur

The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ.
Oswald Chambers

Show me a man’s books and show me a man’s companions–and I will tell you what sort of a man he is.
William Tiptaft

Love is friendship set on fire.
Jeremy Taylor

No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.
E B Browning

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labour. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

Christ Jesus is that FRIEND (of Sinners) that stays closer than a brother.

YOU HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME … John 15:16

John 15:16

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

This verse, especially the first part of it, is often quoted in support of God’s Decree of Election proper, while the context  is of being chosen disciples (v 8), appointed Apostles, preachers of the Gospel (v 27).

This work is God’s free gift to them out of undeserved grace and favour; to live out and preach the Gospel.
The main thrust of the verse and indeed most the chapter, is that they “go and bring forth fruit and that their fruit should remain” this is what they have been chosen to and appointed to bring forth.

They should earnestly engage in the work God has given them, they must labour and toil to make Christ known and bring forth fruit that will remain. What fruit ? Fruit in their own lives as they abide in the vine, then the fruit of the Gospel, lives transformed by the message that is preached. Hearts of stone changed to hearts of flesh having the love of God shed abroad in their hearts.

Another fruit of the Gospel is obedience to the Lord’s commands specifically in this context it is to love one another as He has loved us (v 12 & 17). The quality of that love is to be the same as His love for us. The example is this  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (v 13) and you are my friends if you do what I command you (v 14) Christ’s life, that He laid down, is the supreme example of this love.

Now there are three immediate applications for this love,

firstly love among those who preach the Gospel, sometimes not evident today,

secondly love to those who respond to and believe the Gospel, a love for the brethren.

Lastly love to all whom the Gospel is preached, in reality love for mankind, even those who are naturally hard to love. Are we bringing forth this fruit ?

Now we must remember that although they are appointed to bring forth fruit that remains, it is not in their power to produce fruit in their own lives or to produce fruit for the Gospel or fruit in the lives of men or women.

They must abide in the vine, they must be diligent, faithful labourers, working together with God, waiting and expecting God the Father to give the increase and the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in their lives and in the lives of men and women. This is why the last clause is included  “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Producing fruit of the Gospel in themselves and in the lives of men or women is impossible for them or us; But the Lord graciously adds the promise to ask of Him and He will give it them and indeed us.

So they must be diligent in asking God, but be careful why and how they do it,  “you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:2-3)

How many disciples today and preachers of the Gospel  seem to want the fruit of the Spirit in their lives to boost their own standing and egos. ?

How many long for much increase for the Gospel so that they may “Profit” out of  and “Lord” it over what is God’s heritage ?

How many are there who humbly long for fruit in their own lives, fruit from Gospel proclamation, and fruit in the lives of believers ? how many are there who plead with God constantly for this ? and with no other motive than the Glory of God.

© Jeff Maxwell March 16th 2016

Lord continue to work in me and bring forth fruit to thy Glory. Amen.

” I ” LIVE; YET NOT ” I “

” I ”    LIVE; YET NOT   ” I “

I …   often sin

I …   often fail

I …   often fall short

I …   often miss the mark

I …   do these things

But   ” I “

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ lives in me:

and the life which I now live 

in the flesh 

I live by the faith

of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

 

CHRIST  MAKES  ALL  THE  DIFFERENCE !

 

Because as Patrick Hamilton wrote ….

“Christ is the Saviour of the world. 

Christ is our Saviour. 

Christ died for us. 

Christ died for our sins. 

Christ offered himself for us. 

Christ bear our sins upon his back. 

Christ bought us with his blood. 

Christ washed us with his blood. 

Christ came in the world to save sinners. 

Christ came in the world to take away our sins. 

Christ was the price that was given for us and for our sins. 

Christ was made debtor for our sins. 

Christ hath paid our debt, for he died for us. 

Christ hath made satisfaction for us and for our sin. 

Christ is our righteousness. 

Christ is our wisdom. 

Christ is our sanctification. 

Christ is our redemption. 

Christ is our satisfaction. 

Christ is our goodness. 

Christ hath pacified the Father of Heaven. 

Christ is ours, and all his. 

Christ hath delivered us from the law, from the devil, and hell. 

The Father of Heaven hath forgiven us for Christ’s sake.”

(Patrick Hamilton 1503/4 – 29 February 1528
Burnt for his faith in St Andrews
Patrick’s Places —  THE DOCTRINE OF THE GOSPEL.)

IT IS NOT ” I ”    ….    But   CHRIST

Let me ask YOU is Christ for you ? or are YOU at war with HIM ?

Can YOU say ” I am crucified with Christ ” ? ? ?

 

© Jeff Maxwell Feb 2016

 

Making Christ known.

Making Christ known.

Christians are called to be Ambassadors for Christ, to Live, Preach, Share, Make Known the Gospel to all.

More over we are to earnestly contend for the Faith which was once delivered unto the Saints. If you don’t know what the Bible teaches how can you do these things ?

Error abounds today as it has always done,

Have we equipped ourselves ?

Have we a firm grasp upon the doctrines within the Word ?

Have we protected ourselves from being led astray by every peddler of false doctrine ?

Do we know how to answer every man that asks us the reason of the hope that we have ?

We will not have every answer immediately to hand but do we know where to point the serious, the gainsayer, and the heretic ?

We are servants of the Most High GOD who have been given talents and told to occupy until HE comes and who will be called to give account.

How will you or I feel if the verse below is true of us on any day….. but especially on that day when we meet our Saviour face to face ?

“Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.” 2 Kings 7:9

Rather may this be true of us! ……..

For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.  1 Thess. 1:8

Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

2 Cor. 2:14

Be prepared, be ready, be enthusiastic, go and make Christ Jesus known!

The disciples “turned the world upside down”

 Why do the vast amount of true Christians (not false professors) have so little effect today ?

God does not change.

 

© Jeff Maxwell 2016

REJECTION

 REJECTION

At some point in our lives all of us have felt rejected in some degree or other.
Some people feel rejected with a real reason for it. Some people feel rejected all the time, mostly, without justification.

When feeling rejected we need to make a very honest evaluation of why we feel this way.

We need to examine ourselves firstly, being honest if we are responsible for the situation and quickly making  amends, putting the situation right, if we can. Secondly, if we find the responsibility belongs elsewhere, to someone else, we need to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving, and again, make moves towards reconciliation. Thirdly, if we find there is no basis for feeling this way we should speak forcibly to ourselves and reject these feelings.

When thinking about rejection, to be sure, almost certainly, we have to admit, we have rejected others or caused them to feel rejection, because of our attitudes. We may be totally unaware that we have done this, but, if and when it is made known to us, we need to take immediate steps to remedy the situation. The worse thing for us is to have caused rejection and never to be aware of it, for then there is no possibility of reconciliation.

When considering our relationship with God it is absolutely certain that we are responsible for the separation between us and God.

Behold your sins have made a separation between you and your God and your sins have hid His face from you, that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2.

The worse thing for us is, having caused this separation, this barrier, the worse thing for us, is to be unaware of it. Many do not consider  their relationship to God, see no fault in themselves concerning it, and have no desire for a  relationship with God, so never seek reconciliation. This is the worst situation to be in because they will always be separated from God.

Some readily acknowledge there is a problem between themselves and God, so make every effort to put the situation right. They fail miserably because it is not possible for us to make amendment for our sins when dealing with God. Some struggle for years to resolve this problem by themselves, but always fail, so come to a place of despair or give up. This is a bad situation to be in as there never will be a reconciliation on this basis.

The best situation to be in, is to realise that there is a problem in our relationship with God, and seek a reconciliation with God, while admitting our total inability to make any restitution for sin.

God is well aware that there is a problem and from our point of view, an insurmountable problem. He knows the responsibility lies with us, He knows our inability to put things right, and yet He desires a reconciliation with us.

God is Kind, Compassionate and Forgiving, so desires a reconciliation, but He cannot simply overlook our sins and iniquities. That would offend His Holiness and Justice, there must be grounds, a justification for Him to forgive and restore a right relationship between ourselves and Himself.

Because He knows our inability He has acted to remedy this situation. He has reached out in Love and Compassion towards us. He has provided a way of Justification and Reconciliation, but this has been at great cost to Himself.
You see He sent His only Son to seek and to save those that are lost, indeed those who are dead in trespasses and sins, who have no strength to move towards God. His Son took their place and bare in His body their sins on the tree at Calvary. He took their punishment and opened a door for Reconciliation so that God could be just and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus.*

To have a right relationship with God you need Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to believe in His (Jesus’) righteousness for the remission of sins, and the restoration of that right relationship with the Father.

God the Father has reached out, desiring reconciliation with us, having made the way possible through the death of His Son Jesus Christ, will you respond to His gracious offer of Mercy and Reconciliation ?

* Romans 3:21-26

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

 © Jeff Maxwell January 2015

FLEEING TO CHRIST Rev G B Cheever

Let us flee to Christ, and, by His Grace, live the life of righteousness, and so our last end shall be like His !

Of true peace in death there is no possibility but by being in Christ: but even the peace of a true Christian may be greatly obscured and troubled if he has been willing to live at a distance from His Saviour.

But where the soul is in Christ, relying on His precious blood and righteousness, and the affections are habitually fixed upon the things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God, then indeed dying is but going home; and such blessedness is worth all the daily watchfulness in life, that can possible be given for it.

Such blessedness makes the soul live on the borders of Heaven, in the Land Beulah; for to be in the land Beulah is to be spiritually minded, and that is the secret of all the blessed visions to be seen in that land.

“To be spiritually minded is life and peace;”  and they who are eminently so, are eminently happy. Nor is any labour to be accounted painful, in comparison to the sweetness of so resting upon God.

The way of blessedness may be trying, the steps taken may cost much self denial, but the results are unspeakably glorious and delightful.

Nor is there any happiness to be compared with that which is to be enjoyed by a growing Christian, a saint, whose life is truly hid with Christ in God. The happiness of walking with God daily is very great.

It is blessedness to breathe after God, to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and to long for the communication of His Spirit. It is blessed to feel with the Psalmist that the soul thirsts for God, thrice blessed to cry out  “As the hart pants for the water-brook so pants my soul after Thee, O God !”

If the experience of such desires be blessed, much more is the fruition of them, when God reveals himself to the soul that waits on Him. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

A watchful earnest attention to the increase of one’s personal piety, makes every part of the Christian’s experience animated and delightful . There is a divine relish in all the exercises of the Christian life, a savour of Heaven, a foretaste of the enjoyments of the saints in glory.

The Word of God is precious, the duty of prayer is precious, the vision of faith is clear and strong, and heavenly realities come in with vivid power upon the soul, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps the heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. He will hold it up to their view, unfold its rich blessings in their sight, and show them that they have a part and a place in it. He will open and expound its glories, its glories of wisdom and knowledge in the revelation of Christ, its glories of spiritual things, into which the angels desire to look, its glories in the purchased possession of the saints and the riches of their heavenly inheritance, amid the wonders of that infinite love, by which such celestial, everlasting treasures were procured.

All this, and infinitely more than can be described, is the heritage of them that fear the Lord, that rest upon the Saviour, and who earnestly endeavour, renouncing every sin, to maintain daily that close walk with him which he requires, and to follow on after that perfection, which he has exhibited as the only right standard of the soul.

Is not this a life to be chosen, to be greatly desired, to be laboured after with exceeding great diligence, perseverance and earnestness ? Is it not worth a great deal of self-denial and fervent energy in prayer, and a great deal of time given to the, Word of God, and to all the secret exercises of the Christian life ?

Is it not worth a great many sacrifices of external ease and comfort, if that were necessary, and of external business, if that presses too urgently ? Is it not worth every thing, and are not all things else laid in the balance with it empty and worthless ?

Is it not the pearl of great price which he that is wise will readily sell all that he hath to be master of; the one thing needful, for the attainment of which all other things may well be given up, and forgotten as of no moment?

Yea, it is the kingdom of God and his righteousness, without which the universe cannot make you happy, but with which all things else shall be added unto you. Give what God will, without that you are poor, but with that rich, take what He will away. For when He gives himself, He gives all blessings.

Who would not rather be the poorest wanderer that walks the earth, the most down trodden and despised outcast of creation, and have his daily meals at God’s spiritual table, his daily walks with his Redeemer, his daily visits of refreshment at the full fountain of his love, than without that refreshment to possess the riches of all kingdoms, or be the worshipped idol of the world .

Yea, who would not rather be perishing for want of daily bread, or begging from door to door, if that were necessary, and yet daily faithful in prayer, growing in grace, and having his life hid with Christ in God, than surrounded with all affluence and at ease amidst all luxuries, and yet living in that worldly frame and at that distance from the Saviour, and in that gloomy coldness of spirit, which worldly prosperity, without great secret diligence in walking with God, so invariably produces !

 

Rev G B Cheever.  

Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress (Bunyan)

Extracted and typed by Jeff Maxwell

 

 

 

 

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