Archive for November, 2012

The Supremacy of Jesus Christ

November 29th, 2012

He will glorify Me . . . —John 16:14

The holiness movements of today have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them. There is nothing about them that needs the death of Jesus Christ. All that is required is a pious atmosphere, prayer, and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous. It did not cost the sufferings of God, nor is it stained with “the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:11). It is not marked or sealed by the Holy Spirit as being genuine, and it has no visual sign that causes people to exclaim with awe and wonder, “That is the work of God Almighty!” Yet the New Testament is about the work of God and nothing else.

The New Testament example of the Christian experience is that of a personal, passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other kind of so-called Christian experience is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration— no being born again into the kingdom in which Christ lives and reigns supreme. There is only the idea that He is our pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is the Savior long before He is the pattern. Today He is being portrayed as the figurehead of a religion— a mere example. He is that, but He is infinitely more. He is salvation itself; He is the gospel of God!

Jesus said, “. . . when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, . . . He will glorify Me . . .” (John 16:13-14). When I commit myself to the revealed truth of the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit, who then begins interpreting to me what Jesus did. The Spirit of God does in me internally all that Jesus Christ did for me externally.

The Riches of the Destitute

November 28th, 2012

. . . being justified freely by His grace . . . —Romans 3:24

The gospel of the grace of God awakens an intense longing in human souls and an equally intense resentment, because the truth that it reveals is not palatable or easy to swallow. There is a certain pride in people that causes them to give and give, but to come and accept a gift is another thing. I will give my life to martyrdom; I will dedicate my life to service— I will do anything. But do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God through our own efforts. We must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest spiritual blessing we receive is when we come to the knowledge that we are destitute. Until we get there, our Lord is powerless. He can do nothing for us as long as we think we are sufficient in and of ourselves. We must enter into His kingdom through the door of destitution. As long as we are “rich,” particularly in the area of pride or independence, God can do nothing for us. It is only when we get hungry spiritually that we receive the Holy Spirit. The gift of the essential nature of God is placed and made effective in us by the Holy Spirit. He imparts to us the quickening life of Jesus, making us truly alive. He takes that which was “beyond” us and places it “within” us. And immediately, once “the beyond” has come “within,” it rises up to “the above,” and we are lifted into the kingdom where Jesus lives and reigns (see John 3:5).


November 28, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, whatever it takes to make me understand that I need Jesus more than anything else in this world is what seems to come my way lately. This lesson is the constant and ongoing lesson. I find myself right at the foot of the cross every day Lord; in need, in pain or simply acutely aware of my hopeless condition without Jesus. You bring me right back to the same place, the place of surrender. Thank you God.

And God says…”All things work for the good of those that love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose. When you delight yourself in the Lord, acknowledge Me in all your ways and seek first the Kingdom of God which is Jesus, all things are become new and possible. All hurts and pain become bearable, and you engage the day with the positive and enlightened view of the Holy Spirit. Seek Me in all you see, do and think and notice the change.”

The Consecration of Spiritual Power

November 27th, 2012

. . . by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world —Galatians 6:14

If I dwell on the Cross of Christ, I do not simply become inwardly devout and solely interested in my own holiness— I become strongly focused on Jesus Christ’s interests. Our Lord was not a recluse nor a fanatical holy man practicing self-denial. He did not physically cut Himself off from society, but He was inwardly disconnected all the time. He was not aloof, but He lived in another world. In fact, He was so much in the common everyday world that the religious people of His day accused Him of being a glutton and a drunkard. Yet our Lord never allowed anything to interfere with His consecration of spiritual power.

It is not genuine consecration to think that we can refuse to be used of God now in order to store up our spiritual power for later use. That is a hopeless mistake. The Spirit of God has set a great many people free from their sin, yet they are experiencing no fullness in their lives— no true sense of freedom. The kind of religious life we see around the world today is entirely different from the vigorous holiness of the life of Jesus Christ. “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). We are to be in the world but not of it— to be separated internally, not externally (seeJohn 17:16).

We must never allow anything to interfere with the consecration of our spiritual power. Consecration (being dedicated to God’s service) is our part; sanctification (being set apart from sin and being made holy) is God’s part. We must make a deliberate determination to be interested only in what God is interested. The way to make that determination, when faced with a perplexing problem, is to ask yourself, “Is this the kind of thing in which Jesus Christ is interested, or is it something in which the spirit that is diametrically opposed to Jesus is interested?”

The Focal Point of Spiritual Power

November 26th, 2012

. . . except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . —Galatians 6:14


If you want to know the power of God (that is, the resurrection life of Jesus) in your human flesh, you must dwell on the tragedy of God. Break away from your personal concern over your own spiritual condition, and with a completely open spirit consider the tragedy of God. Instantly the power of God will be in you. “Look to Me. . .” (Isaiah 45:22). Pay attention to the external Source and the internal power will be there. We lose power because we don’t focus on the right thing. The effect of the Cross is salvation, sanctification, healing, etc., but we are not to preach any of these. We are to preach “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). The proclaiming of Jesus will do its own work. Concentrate on God’s focal point in your preaching, and even if your listeners seem to pay it no attention, they will never be the same again. If I share my own words, they are of no more importance than your words are to me. But if we share the truth of God with one another, we will encounter it again and again. We have to focus on the great point of spiritual power— the Cross. If we stay in contact with that center of power, its energy is released in our lives. In holiness movements and spiritual experience meetings, the focus tends to be put not on the Cross of Christ but on the effects of the Cross.

The feebleness of the church is being criticized today, and the criticism is justified. One reason for the feebleness is that there has not been this focus on the true center of spiritual power. We have not dwelt enough on the tragedy of Calvary or on the meaning of redemption.


November 26, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, thank You for bringing me right back to the focal point; the cross. Sometimes I get so caught up in my own mind and heart, chasing my own idea of spiritual connection. Other times I chase You in hopes of answered hopes and prayers, requests and pleadings. Then You pull me right back to the focal point; the cross and I am sweetly broken and surrendered once again. Once again Your cross can have its impact on my connection and life. Thank  You for bringing me right back to the focal point.

And God says…”Whatever it is you think you need, bring yourself back to the cross of Jesus. Whatever help and hope you think you require, whatever prayer you believe you need answered, bring yourself to the cross of Jesus. It is here at the cross that you become fully surrendered and open to the life of Jesus living in and through you. When  you live like this, all things are new, all things are possible and all things available to you. Seek first the kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and all things will be added unto you. Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will make your paths straight. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. When you come to the cross surrendered the Holy Spirit can and will reshape your morning, day and life. Your thoughts, hopes and prayers become brand new as you are transformed.”

“It is Finished!”

November 21st, 2012

I have finished the work which You have given Me to do —John 17:4

The death of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment in history of the very mind and intent of God. There is no place for seeing Jesus Christ as a martyr. His death was not something that happened to Him— something that might have been prevented. His death was the very reason He came.

Never build your case for forgiveness on the idea that God is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us. That contradicts the revealed truth of God in Jesus Christ. It makes the Cross unnecessary, and the redemption “much ado about nothing.” God forgives sin only because of the death of Christ. God could forgive people in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted as Savior because of His death. “We see Jesus . . . for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor . . .” (Hebrews 2:9). The greatest note of triumph ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ— “It is finished!” (John 19:30). That is the final word in the redemption of humankind.

Anything that lessens or completely obliterates the holiness of God, through a false view of His love, contradicts the truth of God as revealed by Jesus Christ. Never allow yourself to believe that Jesus Christ stands with us, and against God, out of pity and compassion, or that He became a curse for us out of sympathy for us. Jesus Christ became a curse for us by divine decree. Our part in realizing the tremendous meaning of His curse is the conviction of sin. Conviction is given to us as a gift of shame and repentance; it is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the sin in people, and Calvary is the measure of His hatred.

The Forgiveness of God

November 20th, 2012

In Him we have . . . the forgiveness of sins . . . —Ephesians 1:7


Beware of the pleasant view of the fatherhood of God: God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That thought, based solely on emotion, cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament. The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ. To base our forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive our sin and reinstate us to His favor is through the Cross of Christ. There is no other way! Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony at Calvary. We should never take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification in simple faith, and then forget the enormous cost to God that made all of this ours.

Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. To forgive sin, while remaining a holy God, this price had to be paid. Never accept a view of the fatherhood of God if it blots out the atonement. The revealed truth of God is that without the atonement He cannot forgive— He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God through the atonement of the Cross. God’s forgiveness is possible only in the supernatural realm.

Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is small. Sanctification is simply the wonderful expression or evidence of the forgiveness of sins in a human life. But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.


November 20 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, I do not understand the depths of your grace and mercy. When I stray and willfully disobey, You are right there to catch me, love and comfort me just when and as I need it. Your forgiveness, mercy and grace is something I could not and do not earn. And You show me that those around me that need my forgiveness may not deserve it either, but that is not the question or point.

And God says…”Indeed it is not the point. The point is You need to forgive and extend love, mercy and grace, because it will make you whole. Just as My love, mercy and grace makes you whole. The very definition of life and  life more abundantly begins with unconditional love, the very extension of Jesus. Be connected to Jesus and observe His love and forgiveness for you and through you……and look back to see how this has made your life much more  abundant.”

“When He Has Come”

November 19th, 2012

When He has come, He will convict the world of sin . . . —John 16:8

Very few of us know anything about conviction of sin. We know the experience of being disturbed because we have done wrong things. But conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit blots out every relationship on earth and makes us aware of only one— “Against You, You only, have I sinned . . .” (Psalm 51:4). When a person is convicted of sin in this way, he knows with every bit of his conscience that God would not dare to forgive him. If God did forgive him, then this person would have a stronger sense of justice than God. God does forgive, but it cost the breaking of His heart with grief in the death of Christ to enable Him to do so. The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. Once we have been convicted of sin, we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary— nothing less! The love of God is spelled out on the Cross and nowhere else. The only basis for which God can forgive me is the Cross of Christ. It is there that His conscience is satisfied.

Forgiveness doesn’t merely mean that I am saved from hell and have been made ready for heaven (no one would accept forgiveness on that level). Forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a newly created relationship which identifies me with God in Christ. The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One. He does this by putting into me a new nature, the nature of Jesus Christ.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
Today’s devo differentiates between a full Conviction of Sin by the Holy Spirit and the twinges of guilt which are the more common experience. With these minor twinges of guilt, we are tempted to do “guilt management” and try our best to clean up our act. This is an exercise of will power and although we may manage our sin for a while, it never achieves the glorious realization of your love that David had after being busted by Nathan the prophet. I wonder how many times per lifetime we can expect an experience of that magnitude. … And if the ones of lesser magnitude can add up to the impact and revelation that is referred to here?

The key to remember is that I deal with all my children differently. It is dangerous to count and compare experiences. I put them in the Book so you could know some of my ways. But I don’t fit in a recipe book. or a spreadsheet, or bar graph and your experiences shouldn’t either. The main thing is to stay tight with me and I will show you great insights. I don’t usually shout. I mainly whisper … The busy-ness and stress of your life can drown it out and you will miss it. Come away with me … even in a crowd, and I will show you my ways.

“What Is That to You?”

November 15th, 2012

Peter . . . said to Jesus, ’But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ’. . . what is that to you? You follow Me’ —John 21:21-22

One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. You see someone suffering and say, “He will not suffer, and I will make sure that he doesn’t.” You put your hand right in front of God’s permissive will to stop it, and then God says, “What is that to you?” Is there stagnation in your spiritual life? Don’t allow it to continue, but get into God’s presence and find out the reason for it. You will possibly find it is because you have been interfering in the life of another— proposing things you had no right to propose, or advising when you had no right to advise. When you do have to give advice to another person, God will advise through you with the direct understanding of His Spirit. Your part is to maintain the right relationship with God so that His discernment can come through you continually for the purpose of blessing someone else.

Most of us live only within the level of consciousness— consciously serving and consciously devoted to God. This shows immaturity and the fact that we’re not yet living the real Christian life. Maturity is produced in the life of a child of God on the unconscious level, until we become so totally surrendered to God that we are not even aware of being used by Him. When we are consciously aware of being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, we have yet another level to reach— a level where all awareness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is completely eliminated. A saint is never consciously a saint— a saint is consciously dependent on God.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
It is counter intuitive that being conscious of our Christ-Likeness isn’t really the objective … but rather being unconsciously aware of the Christ-motivated things that we do … and then realize when looking back, that our connection with you was functioning and your love and blessing came thru. Usually to someone else, but also to us. It is similar to the same concept in business, being unconsciously competent, where the desired responses become second nature.
Prayer: Lord, help me stay connected so closely today that you are able to flow your love and blessings thru me to those you send across my path, and at the end of the day, show me some of what we’ve done together.

Discovering Divine Design

November 14th, 2012

As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me . . . —Genesis 24:27


We should be so one with God that we don’t need to ask continually for guidance. Sanctification means that we are made the children of God. A child’s life is normally obedient, until he chooses disobedience. But as soon as he chooses to disobey, an inherent inner conflict is produced. On the spiritual level, inner conflict is the warning of the Spirit of God. When He warns us in this way, we must stop at once and be renewed in the spirit of our mind to discern God’s will (see Romans 12:2). If we are born again by the Spirit of God, our devotion to Him is hindered, or even stopped, by continually asking Him to guide us here and there. “. . . the Lord led me . . .” and on looking back we see the presence of an amazing design. If we are born of God we will see His guiding hand and give Him the credit.


We can all see God in exceptional things, but it requires the growth of spiritual discipline to see God in every detail. Never believe that the so-called random events of life are anything less than God’s appointed order. Be ready to discover His divine designs anywhere and everywhere.

Beware of being obsessed with consistency to your own convictions instead of being devoted to God. If you are a saint and say, “I will never do this or that,” in all probability this will be exactly what God will require of you. There was never a more inconsistent being on this earth than our Lord, but He was never inconsistent with His Father. The important consistency in a saint is not to a principle but to the divine life. It is the divine life that continually makes more and more discoveries about the divine mind. It is easier to be an excessive fanatic than it is to be consistently faithful, because God causes an amazing humbling of our religious conceit when we are faithful to Him.


November 14, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord I wonder why I doubt You? Why I seem to revert to my own strength when I have lived lesson after lesson. I know the scriptures and have experience after experience to remind me that You are the Great I AM. And yet when I see the raging sea or waterfalls approaching, I feel fear and uncertainty.  How can I live outside my own strength, just trusting You?

And God says…”You have a fallen nature, and  are living in a fallen world, surrounded and bombarded by messages that tell you to “stand on your own two feet”, “take the bull by the horns”, and “face your issues head on”.  It is not natural for you to surrender everything to Me; it requires the work of the Holy Spirit and your own surrender every day, every hour, every minute. Begin your day acknowledging your own weakness and desire to surrender your will to Me, through Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you through this every day… not rely on your own devices. Seek first the Kingdom of God, (which is Jesus) and everything you need will be given you.”


Faith or Experience?

November 13th, 2012

. . . the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me —Galatians 2:20

We should battle through our moods, feelings, and emotions into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus. We must break out of our own little world of experience into abandoned devotion to Him. Think who the New Testament says Jesus Christ is, and then think of the despicable meagerness of the miserable faith we exhibit by saying, “I haven’t had this experience or that experience”! Think what faith in Jesus Christ claims and provides— He can present us faultless before the throne of God, inexpressibly pure, absolutely righteous, and profoundly justified. Stand in absolute adoring faith “in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God— and righteousness and sanctification and redemption . . .” (1 Corinthians 1:30). How dare we talk of making a sacrifice for the Son of God! We are saved from hell and total destruction, and then we talk about making sacrifices!

We must continually focus and firmly place our faith in Jesus Christ— not a “prayer meeting” Jesus Christ, or a “book” Jesus Christ, but the New Testament Jesus Christ, who is God Incarnate, and who ought to strike us dead at His feet. Our faith must be in the One from whom our salvation springs. Jesus Christ wants our absolute, unrestrained devotion to Himself. We can never experience Jesus Christ, or selfishly bind Him in the confines of our own hearts. Our faith must be built on strong determined confidence in Him.

It is because of our trusting in experience that we see the steadfast impatience of the Holy Spirit against unbelief. All of our fears are sinful, and we create our own fears by refusing to nourish ourselves in our faith. How can anyone who is identified with Jesus Christ suffer from doubt or fear! Our lives should be an absolute hymn of praise resulting from perfect, irrepressible, triumphant belief.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
Once again, Oswald paints the picture of a perfect walk with You … one that I compare my everyday life with and find that I dont measure up. Can I observe that without guilt? Not that I’m not guilty, It’s just that guilt by itself doesn’t do anything to make me better or more Christlike.
You can stay on the path and journey along the path and get farther with less angst if you just let me drive. Keep me in the center of your picture. When circumstances come your way that are not what you wanted or expected … you can stress out over it …or you can stay expectantly curious about how I am going to work it out for good as I promised in Romans 8:28.
OK, that is where I will try to live when challenges and stress come my way … Expectantly Curious.