Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
THIS is spiritual discernment. We may test our growth in grace by our expertness in detecting the voice of our LORD.
It is the skill of the saint to catch “the still small voice” amid all the selfish clamours of the day, and amid the far more subtle callings of the heart.
It needs a good ear to catch the voice of the LORD in our sorrows.
I think it requires a better ear to discern the voice amid our joys!
The twilight helps me to be serious; the noonday glare tends to make me heedless.
And they follow Me! Discernment is succeeded by obedience.
That is the one condition of becoming a saint-to follow the immediate call of the LORD.
And it is the one condition of becoming an expert listener.
Every time I hear the voice, and follow, I sharpen my sense of hearing, and the next time the voice will sound more clear.
And I give unto them eternal life. Yes, life is found in the ways of a listening obedience.
Every faculty and function will be vitalized when I follow the Lord of life and glory. “In Christ shall all be made alive.”
My Saviour, graciously give me the listening ear! Give me the obedient heart.
~John Henry Jowett~
There is no Heaven without holiness; for "without holiness no man shall see the LORD," Hebrews 12:14.
Will the gates of pearl be opened to let in dogs and swine?
NO! their place is outside, Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Will GOD take the children of the devil, and permit them to sit with Him in His throne?
Or, will He bring the unclean into the city, whose street is pure gold?
Be not deceived; grace and glory are but two links of one chain which GOD has joined, which no man shall put asunder.
None are transplanted into the paradise of glory above but out of the nursery of grace below.
If you are unholy while in this world, you will be forever miserable in the world to come!
Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The first law of true religion is submission to GOD'S will.
Where it does not exist, there is no piety, and just as truly there is no tranquility of soul.
What a hideous sight to see a human creature in full rebellion against GOD'S providence...
Repining at His allotments, fighting against His dispensations, and cursing His judgments!
The true recipe for miserable existence is this: Quarrel with Providence.
When GOD means to make us happy, He teaches us submission...a resignation of everything into His hands, and an acknowledgment that whatever He does is wisest and best.
O how sweetly even afflictions fall, when there is such a temper to receive them!
Shall we receive good at the hands of the LORD, and shall we not receive evil?
Such dispositions tend to stillness of soul; and even amidst chastisement there is internal quiet.
It is a very great attainment to lie passive in GOD'S hands, and know no will but His!"
1Sa 3:18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.
Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Act 21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
The very first words of Paul when confronted by Christ were: “Who art thou?”
To which the answer came clear and strong “I am Jesus!” It was a startling discovery, and Paul might well have exclaimed, ‘What, Jesus alive?’
Jesus had been put to death, crucified. All that remained to do was to blot out the memory of Him and destroy what represented Him.
To this work Paul (then Saul) had committed himself.
We can hardly imagine, then, what a startling and paralyzing thing it was to be confronted with the fact that Jesus was not dead, but alive, and in glory.
And not only with the fact, but with the Person Himself.
All that this implied and involved has been the teaching of many centuries since.
We begin our Christian life by an experience of this living reality.
Not a Jesus of history, but a Jesus of heart experience.
That He really is alive is the one thing which is open to be proved by us, and it is the most serious matter as to our eternal destiny.
We have only to drop our traditions, our prejudices, our suspicions, our questions, our mental problems, and, quietly kneeling, speak to Him (although unseen) as we would speak to one whom we could see, telling Him out of the honesty of our heart what we would tell Him if we were face to face.
The first step is definitely to speak to Him as to a Person.
This is the way of a discovery.
We learn from the New Testament that the Spirit of GOD is abroad in the world just to bring about this discovery to make real that Jesus lives to save and be our very life.
This wonderful realization, that Jesus lives, comes to the heart of every one who honestly turns and puts it to the test; and everything springs out of that.
There is only one way, really, of knowing Jesus, and that is by coming to Him.
It may seem very unreal and foolish to say something to someone of whose existence you have no inward proof; but might this not be the same in other circumstances?
~T. Austin Sparks~
HE wiped out every living thing that was on the surface of the ground, from mankind to livestock, to creatures that crawl, to the birds of the sky, and they were wiped off the earth!
Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark!
Gen 7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
Finally, the frightful morning began! The heavens gathered blackness. Angry tempests conflicted in the skies.
The lightnings flashed over the world! Word was spread, that Noah and his family had entered into the ark.
The ungodly then began to fear!
Before long, floods of water poured from the sky.
Some now began to turn their eyes towards the ark; others stood doubting; others still dared to scoff!
The waters go on to increase. The rivers fill and start to overflow.
The waters begin to rise in the streets. Some flee into their houses; others, more intimidated, hasten to the hills!
Others are now convinced, and with dreadful fright, are seen wading towards the ark!
The fountains of the great deep are now broken up! The waters rise more rapidly, and begin to rush with impetuous force.
With difficulty they stand against the stream. They struggle for their lives to reach the ark!
Thousands come...some wading, some swimming, some sinking, some hanging onto the ark with the grasp of death...all screaming for admission!
But it is too late!
Time was, when the ark was open and they might have entered in...but that time is past!
Where are now those tongues which derided the enormous vessel and the man who built it?
Now what do you think of him - who for more than a century has borne the character of a fool and madman!
They would give a thousand worlds to be in his condition now!
Those nearest to the ark, cry and plead for admission, but in vain!
The waters roar! The ark is lifted up! They sink and are seen no more!
By this time, every wretch on earth is thoroughly convinced.
Hear their cries from the tops of the houses, which are answered by wails from those on the hills.
See the multitudes who have fled to the mountains.
How like frightened sheep they crowd together! Now the waters, roaring and foaming, have reached their feet!
They flee up to the highest ridge - but the floods pursue them there!
Some are able to climb the lofty oaks and the waves overtake them there!
They flee to the highest branches, and for a moment have time to reflect on their former madness:
How could I disbelieve the Lord's prophet?
Where is now the ark which I scorned?
Where am I going? O eternity! eternity!
What a dreadful God have I despised!
On the topmost bough, the impetuous torrent sweeps them away!
Their hold is broken and they sink to rise no more!
The ark floats by and sails over the heads of the revilers and persecutors!
Only that blessed family in the ark are safe!
The same terrors will seize an unbelieving world when Jesus comes again!
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.