Jump to content


Advanced Member
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

143 Excellent


About Word-Sword

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    USA, MO.
  • Interests
    Sharing Scripture, boating, fishing, playing chess, astronomy

Recent Profile Visitors

1,609 profile views
  1. Blessed Solitude

    For a saint to have solitude is of the greatest importance, because it is then the heart strengthens its fellowship with God, who alone has entrance into our most solitary retreats. When we are thoroughly alone and apart, He loves to be our companion; it is, so to speak, the time for Him to come, like a ray of light which penetrates into the dark cavern wherever it can, and to the inmate of the cavern, never was light more prized. I believe there are two things learned in solitude that cannot be learned otherwise—one, that I see myself apart from everyone and everything, a very necessary matter; and the other, that I see the Lord Jesus in quite a peculiar light, in a singular and unique way, apart from everything and everyone. His individuality, blessed be His name, comes out to me in solitude in a way it never does in a crowd. The Song of Solomon gives you the idea of this: what one is oneself when quite alone, and what He is to one thus alone. When I am alone with Him He obtains His singularly preeminent place, not as a Savior, though He is that to faith; but He is known to the heart as the Sun. He “rules the day,” so that when all other objects are visible, He is still entirely preeminent, and the sense of His preeminence, well-known and well-sustained, is the most effectual resource for the heart all the day long, and abides with it through its most anxious moments. In solitude with Him the value and resources He is to the heart are learned, and when busied in duties it turns to Him as the needle to the pole, or as the flower to the sun. Where the soul has acquired the sense of His preeminence in its solitude, when it has to return to others and to duties, everything falls in relation to Him. He is first, and things and people assume and derive importance, not as to whether they are pleasing or otherwise, but as they relate to Him. If you make the claims on you the sun of your system, instead of the Lord Jesus, then whatever seems to come short throws your day into darkness, because the claims are not answered as you desire them to be, and there is the sense of an eclipse. If the Lord Jesus were the distinct, known magnet to you, every day would be less anxious, and you would fulfill each better, and instead of being saddened and disappointed, you would hear His, “She hath done what she could” (Mark 14:8); and with this you would have a weight that would render whatever you did more appreciated. Love never likes to see its object needing. It serves because it loves; you are trying to arrange your world with only a lamp in your hand; why, if you had a sun all would be easy enough. It is in solitude with the Lord Jesus that one learns to find Him as the Sun. When the heart has found its rest and satisfaction in Him, it can turn to Him naturally and continually in every circumstance. - J B Stoney MJS devotional for Sept. 19: "I can always know when the Holy Spirit is leading me, because He ever occupies me with the Lord Jesus. True, He may have to call attention to my own condition, but if He does, He turns me to the Lord Jesus, not merely to convict me, but to relieve me." -J.B.S. "Spiritual growth is the Holy Spirit engraving the Lord Jesus on a man’s heart, putting Him into his thoughts, his words, and his ways, just as the Law was engraved upon stones. It is not that there is no failure. A man who is seeking to make money does not always succeed; but everybody knows what his object is. Just so, the Lord Jesus Christ is the object of the believer’s life." -J.N.D. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  2. Needed Needs

    The circumstances in which we learn most are those which most expose our weaknesses. As a rule we are placed in circumstances which demand that which we are most defective in. We are set in such and such situations, not because we can handle them, or behave in them better than anyone else; but on the contrary, because we need to be invigorated by grace in the defects which they are fitted to expose. They disclose to us where we need grace, so that constantly we are failing where we are expected to excel. We are put there to cast us on the Lord, and to teach us that we can do nothing of ourselves. If we could excel there, we should glory in our success, but when we find that we are placed in the very circumstances that, perhaps, more that any others expose our weakness, we then see that we have no hope of being able to stand or succeed, unless we obtain grace to do so. I am not placed where I could excel most, but subjected to those difficulties in which I can best know my need of grace, and best learn dependence. If I could get on without grace, I should grow elated with myself. But when I find that unless the Lord maintains me I shall surely fail, then I am humbled as to myself while at the same time deepened in dependence which the demand of my circumstances has, in a way, forced on me; and having learned the blessing of dependence, instead of regretting the difficulties which made it necessary to seek help, I am the more cheered and encouraged to go on in them. For learning or service everyone is placed where there is demand on him. The boy at school is not in the easy circumstances of home or the playground. The horse in a harness is not in the ease of being in the stable or at the grass. The situations we are subjected to are the ones in which we can best learn and be most useful. It is not because we have nothing to learn or nothing to do for others. If we had naught to learn, there would be no difficulty in the lessons required of us every day. The fact that there is difficulty in them proves that we are not proficient, and that it is necessary that we should be subjected to that which discloses to us what we require to learn, or to draw from us what we can render. Your weakness is exposed that you may acquire strength, and having received of the Lord, you will then be called on to render unto others—to comfort others, as you have been comforted of God; so that whether learner or servant, you are always set in circumstances where there is exaction, and not ease. If the learner were to keep at the same lesson always he might feel his difficulty is over, but so would his learning be over. Are you learning? Are you useful? Whenever you are either, you will find that you are in exacting circumstances, and therefore not those where you are most at home and at your ease; but the more you turn them to profit, the more you are learning of grace, and the more useful you are in sharing what you have acquired. - J B Stoney MJS devotional excerpt for Sep. 12:"The Scriptures tell me what the Father gives me, but they do not give it to me. The Spirit applies the Word to me in its divine meaning, and then I possess what Scripture tells me is mine through God’s grace. For instance, the Word tells me that if I behold the Lord’s glory I shall be transformed. It doesn’t transform me, however clearly I may see what it states. It communicates to me a very great thing, but it is the Spirit who makes it experiential to me." -J.B.S. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  3. Faith without works is Dead

    Hi BT and God bless! I believe one cannot have faith in God without eventually manifesting it with works. The statement "faith without works is dead" to me means that there is no faith (dead; nonexistent) if there eventually are no works or if they discontinue manifest them, because God ensures that everyone who is born again will "desire and do His good pleasure" (Phil 2:13). Those who profess faith and do not continue in the manifestation (works, e.g. fruit of the Spirit) of it never had it, but is merely professing it, i.e. "A man may say" (Jam 2:18); attempting to honor Him with their "lips" but the "heart is far from" Him (Mat 15:8). God Be Blessed!
  4. As to the study of the truth, or its investigation, it must be with intent to obey, and not to speculate. “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine” (John 7: 17). The disciple’s place, and the Master’s, belong to every student of the truth. Moreover, if success is to crown the study, truth must be sought for its own sake, or rather for its Author’s. If the secret bent and purpose is to feed the imagination, or to gratify the lust of knowing, then know this, that thou shalt be “ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tin 3:7). On the other hand, “if thou criest after knowledge (understanding thy lack of it), and liftest up thy voice for understanding (in earnest to possess it), if thou seekest her as silver (with an estimation of it value), and searchest for her as for hid treasures (willing to dig the field over rather than fail in your search), then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee” (Pro 2:3-5, 10, 11). It is the heart’s estimation of the truth that quickens diligence in pursuit; and it is this also, and not the mind’s dry activity, that determines the rate and measure of advancement in it. As to the communication of the truth, when it is drawn directly from the divine Word, or, it may be, learned from others, and verified by the Word (for all are not alike successful diggers in the mine, though all should alike possess a value for the ore), it is definite and determinate. When the teaching ceases to be definite, it ceases to be effective. Teaching that swerves from this may not cease to be exciting or attractive, but it ceases to edify. “He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord” (Jer 23:28). Confidence is the truth, or faith, is content to let God work, and to open His own doors for its reception! But there is a bustling activity that is ever thrusting itself forward—a running where there are no tidings prepared; which, though it may put on the guise of zeal for the truth, is in the issue not better than sowing on unploughed land. There is divine wisdom in the exhortation of the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, when He says, “Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among the thorns” (Jer 4:3). Especially let those who are teachers of the truth beware, for the stream will not rise higher than the level of the spring; and there is always (more or less definite) correspondence between the character and condition of the teacher and the taught. People that are caught by the imagination, the sentimental, the shallow and the wordy, as well as those captivated by the comprehensive and earnest, will infallibly bear its stamp. What, then profits in writing, or in oral teaching? The definiteness of the truth; truth, doubtless applied by the Spirit to the conscience and heart-still! That there may be an effect where this is absent, I do not deny. But what is it? The effect of making people think, if they think at all, that Scripture is as vague and pointless as any exposition of its declarations. Where its definiteness is not presented and grasped, uncertainty and unpreparedness for action are the necessary result. Easy going orthodox profession may be satisfied with vagueness and generality, nay, with vapidness and insipidity; but if the truth of the Word is to detach souls from themselves and the world, to bring into peace and liberty, and to direct to the just hope of a Christian, it must be definite! - W Williams Excerpt from MJS devotional for Sept. 5: "We are not only pardoned, but justified—made righteous; and this is not merely by that which He has done, or by what He has procured or bestows—but in what He is. ‘As He is, so are we in this world’ (1 John 4:17). The believer must never lose sight of this fundamental truth: that the basis of his fellowship with the Father is not his own personal holiness, or what the Lord Jesus is in him, but his judicial position before the Father, or what the Lord Jesus is for him. He, ‘the Lord our righteousness,’ is the foundation and source of everything—of walk as well as of position." -E.H.http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  5. Peace Personified

    This article (some of which I’ve shared in my Sunday Bible study) is a good reminder how that all things godly are not to be sought from ourselves but from God within us (through His Spirit, in the life of Christ via the new nature). Discouragement can often result when we forget to wait on Him for it, which teaches us one of, or maybe the most important virtue—patience. I say this because I can see how our trust (faith) is tested the most (which strengthens faith) in the hardness of our trials. I’ve learned that the more you believe God concerning Romans Eight Twenty Eight, the greater will be the strength of your faith before, during and after a trial. Similar to gold enduring the fire, it can only get stronger and purer each time! When the trials come (big or not so big), you can know ahead of time, or at least before it passes (they always pass) that He has already caused it to benefit your good, esp. concerning the strengthening of your faith, and this is the only life in which it will be used! You may have heard it said that patience is merely a two-step method: Don’t sweat the little things, and everything is little things—with God! BobH (NC) Peace Personified “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isa 26:3). The last time I was in Glasgow, a lady said to me after preaching, “I do not understand it. I have been seeking peace with God for many months, indeed for some years, and I cannot find it.” My answer was simply, “Peace with God is a thing that you will never find in yourself. God never produces it in any human heart.” “I do not know quite what you mean,” she said. “Well, suppose you had a garden,” I said, “and in that garden an old dead apple tree, and you tried to produce apples on that dead tree. You could not. But suppose a friend brings a basket of apples from a living tree, and gives them to you, it is a very different thing, is it not? In fact, peace is a thing you cannot grow in your garden, it is not produced in our hearts (our old heart – old nature—NC), but given by the Father to you” (via the new nature—NC). The poor women said, “Why, then, I must go home and pray for it!” “No,” I said, “peace is preached to you, not prayed for*; God gives it to faith as distinctly as a person gives you a basket of apples.” He came and preached peace to you who were afar off” (Eph 2:17). Peace (this type—NC) is not something grown in the heart, but made by the Blood of the Lord Jesus’ Cross, and given to the believer. Are you without spot in the presence of your Father? Are you quite sure there never can be a cloud or spot upon you there? Unless you have got the Lord Jesus thus, you have not solid peace. “For He is our peace” (Eph 2:14). The Lord of glory has finished the work given Him to do, and the Father has raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His own right hand. Was it not “for us”? Do you think He has peace with His Father? Look not at yourselves, but at Him. There is One seated in the unclouded presence of the Father, where cloud or shadow can never come; that One, the Beginning and Head of a new creation, crowned once with thorns, now with glory. Can sin and death have any more to say to Him? Do you not think He has peace? Assuredly, and “He is our peace.” If He is our peace, the peace that He has in the presence of the Father is ours, not as a thing apart from Himself, but His very Person in glory is the believer’s peace. The very One who is our peace is our life, and we are hid with Him in the Father (Col 3:3, 4). Heavenly peace for the earthly path. I ask not if you feel at peace, but if He who suffered for your sins, the Just for the unjust, made peace and is peace? Joyfully you will answer that since the Cross no cloud can come between the Father and the Son of man, who glorified Him. I believe, and am sure; I know and enjoy it. The peace of the Lord Jesus has with His Father is my peace, and there is no other; for the peace He has with the Father is the peace He made and is for us. As to the past, we have perfect peace; as to the present, we have absolute favor; and as to the future, nothing short of the glory of God to hope for, and even now to rest in. Instead of it being, as before, my sins between myself and the Lord Jesus, it is Himself who is now between me and my sins, and the One who has thus interposed has given me to know that in the doing of it He has brought me to Himself, and tuned my heart to His own peace. In the Person of my Lord I am clear, and carried beyond the judgement for ever; the power of death is annulled, of Satan finally broken. I raise, with joyful heart, a song of victory; for sin, and death, and judgement, that gnashed their teeth upon me, are behind me now. - C Stanley Poster’s Note: *peace is preached to you, not prayed for: concerning the passage, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psa 122:6), it is my understanding that this is referring to seeking for the peace of Jerusalem in an earthly sense and not necessarily in a godly sense, i.e. “Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good” (vs 7-9). I believe the article is referring to a godly peace that is from God which all believers have in their faith, which is a peace that is beyond comprehension (Phil 4:7), and which cannot be derived from our nature and therefore is given for us to “let (allow) the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Col 3:15). Excerpt from MJS devotional for Aug. 25: “Christians have a poor self-image simply because they are thinking and looking upon the condemned and crucified first-Adam life within, instead of being occupied with their glorified Last-Adam life above. “Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18).” - MJS http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  6. “As He Is”

    Thanks Willa - Good stuff!!
  7. “As He Is”

    Thanks Rein for your encouraging compliment! Blessings!
  8. “As He Is”

    Yes, I agree about our differing here. Concerning repentance, I believe it's a permanent mindset which is established during rebirth, we live in repentance and therefore are always doing so. From there on, it is like salvation, it does not admit in degrees but rather we are just progressing in our learning concerning understanding more of it's meaning, same for everything we received at rebirth (2 Pet 1:3), except faith, which is progress in strength, commensurate with our understanding (maturity).
  9. “As He Is”

    True, and I believe our "owning up" is done at rebirth when we repented. From there on it's according to how we are maturing in our understanding. Though unbelievers do everything in unbelief, any unbelief in the believer is not out of desire (which is the issue), but out of the old nature due and done in ignorance, i.e. concerning things God is teaching us but have yet to learn.
  10. “As He Is”

    Hi Y, and good to hear from you! Yes, there is much need in our understanding concerning sins by believers, but in my opinion there are no sins committed by the believer that are his will and desire. Our condition is that we still have the sin nature and is why we still sin, but this is not the issue with God because He has not provided a way to live apart from sinning, which would require the removal of the sin nature. As I mentioned in the thread, the issue now for us concerning sin is that He causes us to be apart from the sinning; in the lack of desire for it (Gal 5:17) and instead in the desire for His "pleasure" (Phil 2:13). Man needs no devil to supposedly cause him to sin. Our old nature is what causes us to sin and the devil just attempt to exacerbates it. When Jesus was rebuking the scribes and Pharisees (Jhn 8:44) He revealed that the nature of man is of the like nature of the devil. God bless!
  11. “As He Is”

    Once I discovered the use of the terms “position” and “condition” to help explain the Christians relation to God I quickly understood more specifically the status concerning fellowship with Him in Christ. Positionally, Christians are “as He is” (1 Jhn 4:17); Conditionally, we have a sin nature (Gal 5:17) and a “new “ nature (Eph 4:24; Col 3:10), but even though the sin nature yet affects us (cannot be avoided - Pro 6:27, 28), we are not desirous of it, e.g. not after or “in” the sin nature (Rom 8:9). We still sin due to the sin nature but it’s “no longer I,” e.g. me in my new nature, “but sin that dwelleth in me,” e.g. me with my old nature - Rom 7:17, 20). This conflict reveals in our condition the infinite difference between sinning “willfully” (Heb 10:26; Num 15:30) or “unintentionally” (Num 15:24-29), which is all a manifestation of the Father’s “work in you” (Phil 2:13). In our condition we still sin but much more importantly, in our position we stand “spotless” (Eph 5:27; 2 Pet 3:14). Where we are in our condition is what the Father uses to glorify Himself (Mat 5:16); Who we are in our position is with what He uses to fellowship. As it has been well said that, “God does not fellowship with our sin,” that is, not with us in our sin nature (though we’re not in our sin nature - Ron 8:9 - it is in us) but with us in our “new” nature, because it is after the Lord Jesus’ nature (Col 3:10). Who we are in our new nature is all that the Father regards, thus we need not allow what we are in our sin nature and its affects to distract us in our understanding that it’s us in our position (Heb 1:3; 9:9, 14; 10:2, 22) with which He fellowships. What we are in our condition is used to teach us and to manifest Himself to ourselves and others. May God give us to always remind ourselves of who we are in our position, more than what we might consider ourselves to be in our condition! One’s position is always vastly more significant than one’s condition! Similarly to the captivity of a king’s son; though restrained—yet a prince! Bob Hall (NC)
  12. I Feel Unworthy

    You too YCF!
  13. I Feel Unworthy

    Hi LK - "Through faith" (Eph 2:8) we are in Christ's position (guiltless), even though we are in our sin-stained condition. When we feel guilt we loose thought of God's promise that we are always in a forgiven position. When we're confused or discouraged, esp. for no apparent reason, we loose thought or have yet to understand that we retain the "old man" (sinful nature) and its affects (Pro 6:27, 28). I've concluded that the reason why sin yet "dwelleth in me" is for the same reason related to its original presence--to encourage dependence upon God, instead of relying on anything from ourselves. Those reborn have two natures (new and old man) and God uses them "for our good" (Rom 8:28). When we allow guilt feelings to affect us it's because we loss thought of, or have yet to understand the fullness of our forgiven position. Paul shows the activity of the new and old natures in Romans 7:17, 20: "it is no more I (in his new nature) that do it, but sin (in his old nature) that dwelleth in me." There are often things believers do that are not fellowship-related with God, and the most significant cause (of course unknowingly to us) in my opinion, is that of misunderstanding the fullness of our being "accepted in the Beloved" (Jesus -Eph 1:6), thus we unintentionally and out of ignorance challenge God's promise of perpetual forgiveness when we allow ourselves to be discourage concerning any guilt. He never punishes those reborn but instead He "chastises" us (same as the Laodiceans , thus we are never in trouble with Him regardless of what we think! It's the old nature in us that is guilty--in which (though still in us) we are no longer considered (Rom 8:9). When we error it is "unwillful" (Heb 10:26) and due to the sin nature (but that's not why were blameless), therefore we often need to remind ourselves that we are already forgiven--being in the same blameless position in which the Lord Jesus has always been. "For as He is (guiltless and blameless) so are we in this world" (1 Jhn 4:17). Your Brother In Christ
  14. "Alive Unto God"

    When is the believer “alive unto God”? Of course it’s at rebirth, which occurs during the receiving of faith in the Lord Jesus. What does “alive” mean? It means one is no longer in the “second death,” which is the eternal “lake of fire,” for the saved have “passed from death unto life” (Jhn 5:24), e.g. “eternal salvation” (Heb 5:9). At rebirth the believer possess “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3), thus the issue now is in the lifelong lessons learning to walk in this new and holy realm, in order to manifest it, which glorifies God to others; for the drawing of the lost and the strengthening of the saved. How believers live their lives reveals at what level of maturity in Christ the Father has them. The encouraging and comforting thing to realize is that since the blessing of salvation possessed by the redeemed has come not by their effort nor performance (other than being a recipient) but in the way of a gift. Therefore the gift cannot be affected by anything the saved will do (thankfully). A grave misunderstanding is in the concept that believers are to first live in the manner which God desires of them in order to possess and retain salvation. This stops short of the conception that living unto God requires first possessing His Spirit and then learning—via His Word—to understand and apply what God desires. - NC “Alive Unto God” “Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (Rom 6:11). It is an immense thing to see how we are “alive unto God.” I think a great many are trying to live to God. That is, they want to reach it in their responsible life, instead of seeing that it is “in Christ Jesus” (already living unto God via the life of the Lord Jesus – Col 3:4, which is progressively manifested by the manner of walk—NC). I believe that many conceive of living to the Father as being in their responsible (in their own efforts—NC) life down here; that is, they think that it is in a life of practical righteousness and holiness (legalism—NC) that they are to live to the Father. The “likewise” is either forgotten or misunderstood, it would seem (“likewise reckon” intends that the believer, since rebirth is also already dead to sin, which will be manifested by the life lived—NC). The Lord Jesus has died unto sin, and lives unto God. He lives not only personally free from sin (He was ever this), but He is outside the whole range of sin. He lives unto God in scenes where sin can never come, and where all things are of God. His death and risen life are my title to live unto God in the same sphere. Such is the grace of God that I may appropriate the Lord Jesus’s death, and count that I have died unto sin. It is appropriation that tests us. How often we stop at admiration! It is as we appropriate that we become spiritually robust. It is only thus that I could reach “alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” Death unto sin is not the terminus—it is the station in route—the terminus is “alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” I could not live in sin, that is, in the life of Adam (sinful nature; old man—NC) and live unto God in Christ Jesus at the same time (Mat 7:17, 18; Jam 3:11, 12). I must have died unto sin, by reckoning upon my death in Him (understand my present death in Christ—NC) in order to be able to live unto God in Him. “Dead unto sin” is not that I abstain from sinning (though it be a great desire, it’s an impossibility—NC), but I quit the life of sinful Adam altogether, by the appropriation of the last Adam’s death unto sin (not practically but considered now being in the position of Jesus’ sinless life—NC), and count myself as a new creation alive unto God in Christ Jesus. The result of this is that in my responsible life I yield myself to God, and my members as instruments of righteousness to Him. It is because I know what it is to be “alive unto God” that I can do this. A good many are reversing the process. They are trying to live to God by putting the responsible life right (counting on their efforts instead of realizing we are already “alive”—NC). What a blessed thing it is to be under grace! As we are attracted to the Lord Jesus by His love, we find His death between us and our “old man,” and between us, the world and Satan. This is the way of real deliverance (not only actual in our position but also in our conscience—NC), and happy freedom from what is evil here in ourselves and in the scene around. - C A Coates Excerpt from MJS devotional for Aug. 17: “Paul devoted two full chapters to establish our freedom from the fallen Adam. Romans Six sets forth our freedom from the dominion of Adamic sin; Romans Seven explains our freedom from Adamic law. Whereas our liberty was won on the Cross, it is worked out in our daily life and experience by the Holy Spirit. On the Cross, by the Spirit, in the Lord Jesus Christ.” - Miles J Stanford http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  15. Heart-felt Mind-set

    Heart-felt Mind-set Risen with the Lord Jesus; such is the believer’s position. “For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). These are the great truths of Christianity: The believer dead with Christ; risen with Christ and in possession of a life which is hid with Him in the Father and therefore safe and secure. These facts constitute the controlling motive of the believer’s life on earth. If apprehended in faith they will lead the soul to seek the things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of the Father. The mind will then be constantly set on the things above and not on things which are on the earth. The more a believer enters into those blessed truths, making them his own by reckoning himself dead with the Lord Jesus and risen with Him, with his life hid with Him in the Father, the more will the things above be for him the great attraction and the things on earth will lose their charm. The things above are the Lord Jesus and His glory. The things on earth include all the deceiving things mentioned in Colossians 2, such as the rudiments of the world, philosophy and words of vain deceit, legalism, ritualism, ordinances, as well as worldly ambitions, honors, pleasures and achievements. All these will fade away when the believer’s heart is occupied with Him who fills the Throne of glory. This is the true and only way of spiritual growth—heart occupation with the risen Lord Jesus Christ. When the eyes of the heart see the glorified One and faith lays hold of the wonderful meaning for us who believe, then we learn to walk in that separation into which the Father has called His people. What the believer therefore needs is an ever increasing realization in faith of his position on the Lord Jesus, and then to be energized and enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit to seek those things which are above and not the things on earth. Such a life means joy and peace. It is a life of obedience and quietness, victorious over all earthly circumstances; and because it is a life which is hid with the Lord Jesus in the Father, it is hidden from the world. “Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not” (1 Jhn 3:1). The world, which lieth in the wicked one, cannot understand nor estimate such a life of separation through faith in an unseen Person, a life which reaches out after an unseen goal and which spurns the world and things which honor the natural man. But, it will not be always thus. A day is coming when this life, hidden now, will be fully manifested. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” “When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day” (Col 3:4; 2 Thess 1:10). To be constantly in holy anticipation of this promised glory-event, is inseparably connected with the statement of the preceding verses. What blessed links these are: dead with Christ; risen with Christ; a life hid with Christ in God; a life to be manifested when He comes to earth again! May the Father’s own know the reality of all this, and be kept from a mere profession—lifeless and powerless, of these fundamental facts of the Gospel. - Arno C Gaeblein Excerpt from MJS Aug. 10 devotional: “It is perhaps the most alarming symptom of decay to be seen amongst evangelical believers today, that so many have accepted (at any rate mentally) the fact that they cannot be justified before God except by the sacrifice for sin once made for all upon Calvary, but proceed to build a new legal code by which to live, and seek to be sanctified by their own efforts and endeavors. “The more conscientious, when faced with the failure of this scheme of things, become the victims of the condemnation of the ‘accuser of the brethren’; and take their place among the great company of Christian men and women who are constantly beset with doubts and fears, and who, often in spite of intense activity in the cause of the Gospel, are living in the conscious bitterness of defeat“. - J.C.M. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/