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Archive for March, 2017

The Hope of Glory

Before sin entered the picture, God enjoyed walking and conversing with Adam and Eve. It was as He had intended and hoped for. It would be 1500 years before someone else came along that would give Him this pleasure. Evidently Noah chose God. He had a heart for God. As a result, God enjoyed walking with him.

With that hope, once again in mind, He started over with just Noah and his family. Later, He would try again with Abraham. With that hope in mind, He singled out a people to care for in hope that they would choose Him.

Finally, and again with that hope in mind, He came Himself. This time, He provided a means – forgiveness – by which any who would choose to accept it would have the opportunity to walk with Him. Forgiveness is not the end; it is the beginning of what He hopes for.

Forgiveness is the point of conception by which a new nature is born in us. This new nature, if fed and nourished properly, will do in us what we could never do for ourselves. Neglected, the new nature withers and will never reach the point of life to which the conception was supposed to lead.

But the hope that it will, is and forever will be, “The Hope of Glory”.

 

 

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The Object of Pruning

From Refiners Fire

T. Austin-Sparks

The Object of Pruning

 

A rose bush that has not been properly pruned will produce what some call, dog-roses. They may be pretty, but they are not the real thing; it is something inferior; it is not what might have been.

 

It is easy for us, if the Lord spares the knife and leaves us alone; if we get out of the Lord and run free, to lose distinctiveness of character.

 

It is not until the knife comes back, saying, ‘No, no, not that way,’ that the Lord recovers the thing which He first intended as His own satisfaction.

 

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From:    The Refiners Fire

Austin-Sparks   ‘The Lord’s Attitude to His Children in Adversity’

“In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9

In this context, the word ‘adversity’ means ‘straightness’. It refers to Israel’s time in the wilderness. They were shut up with regard to many things which the world had and the world could do. In Egypt they had everything, but out here they never knew.

It’s a life of faith, and faith is a life of straitness so often cut off from much and shut up to this wilderness where things are to the natural mind “narrowed down” to God. But the goal of this earthly narrowing is heavenly enlargement?

When we find ourselves in this kind of shut up straitness, how quickly the enemy comes in and says, The Lord is against you! How often the enemy shuts the doors and then says the Lord has shut them because He is against you. How often the enemy tries to becloud our assurance with accusation and then says it is the Lord.

Oh how the enemy will take hold of everything to use it for our destruction! It is not the case at all. The Lord is after an enlargement. “In all their adversity, He was no adversary.” In all their straitness, He was not against them.

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