An All-inclusive Christian Virtue

25 Nov 2014

“Forbearance is Christ as our living. The Christ whom we live becomes the forbearance we exercise and make known. If we see this, we shall realize that forbearance is a matter of great significance. It is by no means an isolated virtue in the Christian life. On the contrary, forbearance is actually a synonym for Christ in our Christian living. On the one hand, we may say that our Christian life is Christ. On the other hand, we may say that the Christian life is a life of forbearance. To make our forbearance know, therefore, means to make our Christ known.”

From A Life Full of Forbearance but without Anxiety, by Witness Lee (mass-distribution ed., p. 22). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy here.

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In Everything Give Thanks

23 Nov 2014

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The giving of thanks seems like such a simple matter. We teach our children to say, “Thank you,” when someone gives them something or does something for them. Yet giving thanks can be difficult for us at times in our lives. In this post, we’ll see the secret of giving thanks in all things and how giving thanks is a crucial part of our experience of Christ.

Paul exhorts us to give thanks

The Bible has a lot to say about giving thanks; the word “thank” appears in some form many times in the Bible. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul wrote about giving thanks at least 46 times. Surely Paul was touching something particular in this matter of giving thanks.

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A Nobler Love

18 Nov 2014

2 Peter 1:7—“And in godliness, brotherly love; and in brotherly love, love.”

Note 2 on love: “The Greek word is used in the New Testament for the divine love, which God is in His nature (1 John 4:8, 16). It is nobler than human love. It adorns all the qualities of the Christian life (1 Cor. 13; Rom. 13:8-10; Gal. 5:13-14). It is stronger in ability and greater in capacity than human love (Matt. 5:44, 46), yet a believer who lives by the divine life (v. 3) and partakes of the divine nature (v. 4) can be saturated with it and express it in full. Such a love needs to be developed in brotherly love to govern it and flow in it for the full expression of God, who is this love. Faith can be considered the seed of life, and this nobler love, the fruit (v. 8) in its full development. The six steps of development in between are the stages of its growth unto maturity.”

Cross-references...

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How to Experience Christ Living in You

16 Nov 2014

Experience Christ in you

In a previous post we saw that when the apostle Paul said, “Jesus Christ is in you,” he was not speaking metaphorically. He was speaking of the wonderful fact that Christ as the life-giving Spirit actually comes into those who believe in Him. We looked at eight verses that confirm and enrich our understanding of this wonderful reality.

Of course, our knowing Christ is in us isn’t for a mere doctrinal understanding. Christ lives in us to be our life. So in this post, we’ll discuss how we can experience Christ living in us in a practical way.

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Mingling Our Bible Reading with Prayer

11 Nov 2014

“If by the Lord’s mercy and grace we desire and agree to spend more time daily in the presence of the Lord, what shall we do? By what means can we touch the Word of God for nourishment and enjoyment? We must learn to do only one thing—we must mingle our reading with our praying. We must contact the Lord by mingling our reading of the Bible with prayer, and by mingling our prayer with reading. This is why a new word, pray-read, has been used. We must pray-read the Word.”

From Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 2, by Witness Lee and Watchman Nee (mass-distribution ed., p. 8). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy here. You can also download a free PDF version here.

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Thank You to Our Veterans

09 Nov 2014

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Every year, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, America pauses to honor our nation’s veterans. The date for Veterans Day is deliberate; it marks the armistice signed in 1918 for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. It is a day to honor the veterans of all wars, but especially to honor those still living.

Sadly, the “war to end all wars,” as World War I was known, didn’t accomplish that goal, and our nation has continued to require the military service of men and women in every generation since then.

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The Eternal Life of God

04 Nov 2014

2 Timothy 1:10—“But now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who nullified death and brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel.”

Note 3 on life: “The eternal life of God, which is given to all believers in Christ (1 Tim. 1:16) and which is the main element of the divine grace given to us (Rom. 5:17, 21). This life has conquered death (Acts 2:24) and will swallow up death (2 Cor. 5:4). It was according to the promise of such a life that Paul was an apostle (v. 1). This life and the incorruption that is its consequence have been brought to light and made visible to men through the preaching of the gospel.”

Cross-references “d” on life direct us to two related verses:

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What Does It Mean to Be Poor in Spirit?

02 Nov 2014

Blessed are the poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3

The Lord Jesus began His teaching commonly known as the “sermon on the mount” with a wonderful blessing: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens” (Matthew 5:3). Surely we all desire such a blessing! So then we need to ask ourselves, What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”?

Does this mean we realize we’re worthless, miserable sinners who need a Savior? Is this a word only for people who haven’t yet received salvation? If we continue to read Jesus’ words further on, we can see that He spoke this whole section in Matthew to those who believe in Him. For example, in verse 10 Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.” And in verses 13-14 He says, “You are the salt of the earth” and “you are the light of the world.” It is the believers who are the salt of the earth and the light of the world and who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness. So according to...

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Where Is the Triune God Today?

28 Oct 2014

“Where is this Triune God today? Praise the Lord, this wonderful One, the Triune God, is today in our spirit! We have Him! Yes, we have Him in our spirit! This wonderful, all-inclusive Spirit is in us! If we are a believer, we have the Triune God in our human spirit. Our need, today, is to discern our spirit from our soul. When we know the proper way to discern the spirit from the soul, we will hit the mark of contacting this Triune God.”

From The Economy of God, by Witness Lee (mass-distribution ed., pp. 34–35). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy here. You can also download a free PDF version here.

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Knowing the Lord’s Desire and Preference

21 Oct 2014

Luke 10:42—”But there is need of one thing, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Note 1 on good part: “The Lord prefers that His saved ones who love Him listen to Him (v. 39) that they may know His desire, rather than do things for Him without knowing His will (cf. 1 Sam. 15:22; Eccl. 5:1).

It is quite significant that this story of Martha and Mary immediately follows the parable of the good Samaritan. The parable shows the compassion and love of the Savior, who is a man and becomes the sinners’ neighbor; the story of Martha and Mary unveils the desire and preference of the Lord, who is God and becomes the believers’ Master. The Savior gives us His compassion and love so that we can be saved by Him; the Lord expresses His desire and preference so that we can serve Him. After receiving salvation from the Savior, we should render service to the Lord. For our salvation we need to realize the Savior’s compassion and...

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