Many Christians thinks it’s all right if they pattern after Jesus in a sort of way. They imitate Him, and they do the things which He did; that is, they outwardly do them. They perform kind acts, and they do other things which Jesus did. But the secret of Christianity is not in doing, the secret is in being. Real Christianity is in being a possessor of the nature of Jesus Christ. In other words, it is being Christ in character. Christ in demonstration. Christ in agency of transmission. When one gives himself to the Lord and becomes a child of God, a Christian, he is a Christ man. All that he does, and all that he says from that time on, should be the will and the words and the doings of Jesus just as absolutely. just as entirely, as he spoke, and did the will of the Father.
God’s winds do effectual work. They shake loose from us the things that can be shaken, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain, those eternal things which belong to the Kingdom which cannot be moved. They have their part to play in stripping us and strengthening us so that we may be the more ready for the uses of Eternal Love. Then can we refuse to welcome them?
Every Christian sees around him sorrow and suffering which he cannot help, and his perplexity at the sight is the Lord’s prompting for him to take the very uttermost care of his own soul, lest he stumble and fall through doubt and discouragement. By the care of his soul I do not mean that he shall coddle and pet and pity himself, nor work himself up into some pleasant feeling. But I mean that he should pray and pray and pray, and seek the presence and teaching of the Holy Spirit, until his soul is filled with light and strength, that he may have unquestioning faith in the wisdom and love of God, that he may have unwearied patience in learning His will (Heb 6:12), and that his love may be equal to the great need he sees all about him.
Like a young eaglet that gets pushed out of the nest at the appropriate time, a young man must learn to fly on his own. If the nest is too cushy, if all of his creature comforts are there for his enjoyment, then he may set up his high-definition television and perch for a while.
The church of our Lord began with a group of frightened men in an upper room. Allow Jesus to come into your upper room and stand before you. Run your fingers over his feet. Place your hand in the pierced side. And look into those eyes. Those same eyes that melted the gates of hell and sent Satan running. Look at them as they look at you. You’ll never be the same.
Grace is the divine enablement of God upon your life that can show you what Jesus would do in your situation. Sometimes people teach a lazy grace, like: “It’s all been done for us, so we don’t have to do anything!” Does that sound boring to anyone else?! Grace is the very energy and fire of God that enables you. Grace gives you the power to work harder than anyone else, and not fry out!
We cannot let our past circumstances redefine our present reality and reduce our God-given destiny to what we feel we can handle.
Don’t focus on what you can’t do today, do the things you can do. If we spend all our time thinking about what we have lost, we will not see what we have in our hands right now. God works with what we have, not with what we don’t have. The miracle is in your hands.
When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time, that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award – yet receives such a gift anyway – that is a good picture of God’s unmerited favour. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.
Too often we say, “I have no talent to teach a Sunday school class.” “My home is not nice enough to have a Bible study here.” “I don’t cook well enough to help with Meals on Wheels.” “I’m a businessman, not a carpenter. I wouldn’t know the first thing about building a house for Habitat for Humanity.” When we step out in faith and offer all we have, God will use it in powerful ways. How much is enough? Just what we have when God is with us!