Tonight was the first Monday night meeting of the new FTTL term. Praise the Lord for a new beginning and a fresh start!
We enjoyed pray-reading Philippians 3:12-13, and a brother shared how the Christ we enjoy is so all-inclusive and all-extensive. He is so universally spacious and infinitely vast. His dimensions are the dimensions of the universe – the breadth and length and height and depth – always expanding! This is the Christ that we should be deeply rooted in, experiencing and enjoying!
So the encouragement for this term is to not think that we have already obtained, but to be obtaining. Not to consider we have already been perfected, but to be open to being perfected. Not to hold on to anything, even to the previous experiences of Christ, but to be forgetting the things behind. Not lingering in the past, but pressing on. And not being limited in our appreciation of Christ, but pursuing the limitless Christ!
Let the pursuit begin! Let the enjoyment of Christ begin!
(And for those of us not currently in the training, this is an encouragement to us also. Every day is a new beginning to gain more Christ!)
So quickly, a brief introduction to the four first-term and two short-term trainees, so you also can get to know them:
- JH from New Zealand: “There was a tremendous opportunity with a job. But the Lord said, ‘No, you are consecrated to Me.'”
- NH from Australia/NZ: “I gave it to the Lord, and He spoke to me. He knows what to give us when we need it.”
- SS from Norway: “This was the Lord’s sovereignty through the environment…At this time my heart was open to the Lord.”
- RE from Australia: “Are you going to work and do everything before you consecrate fully to Me?”…”Lord, You have to give me the absolute peace.”
- AT from Spain: “I was so afraid to lose the presence of the Lord.”
- D from Slovakia: “When we are willing to give ourselves to the Lord then He will remember it.”
The overall impression I had from the testimonies tonight is that although these dear brothers and sisters come from different backgrounds, their story is the same. God is sovereign, and He arranged all the details in their lives to cause each one to open to Him and to bring them to where they are today.
It is so precious that they all had many specific experiences of contacting the Lord and receiving His personal speaking and clear leading. It is also precious to hear of their fellowship and prayer with the members of the Body. As one brother mentioned, there needed to be the Lord’s leading personally, the way opened practically, and the feeling confirmed in the Body.
May each trainee, both new and returning, have many more sweet and significant experiences with the Lord this term!
I really enjoyed the campus Bible studies this week! On Thursday, we read the footnote for John 19:34, and a few paragraphs from the first message from Life-study of Romans.
But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.
So, I had read this footnote before, and appreciated that the blood is for redemption, the purchasing of the church, and that the water is for imparting life, for the producing of the church. It’s pretty amazing to see that, to realise that it is not random or even just for biological reasons that both blood and water came out of the Jesus’ side, but that both are so significant. But in our fellowship at the Bible study, I saw in a fresh way that the blood was for the purchasing of the church, and that the water was for the producing of the church.
- Yes, He loved the whole world (John 3:16)
- He died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 9:22)
- He died to terminate everything of the old creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), the old man (Romans 6:6), and the flesh (Galatians 5:24), Satan (Hebrews 2:14), the world (John 12:31), sin (John 3:14), and death (2 Timothy 1:10).
(I enjoyed looking up these verses! I hope you enjoy reading them too. :) Hover over the links to read the verses, and click on the links to go to the footnotes in the Recovery Version!)
But He didn’t do this just for us as individuals, He did this to redeem, to purchase the church, and to produce the church. The church is what is on God’s heart!
So, we also looked at the picture of Adam and Eve, and how Eve was built from a rib out from Adam’s side. Adam and Eve had the same source, the same nature, the same life, and even the same living. We also, as the church, have come out of the Lord’s pierced side, we have His life and His nature, and now we are learning to have one living with Him!
This couple is the secret of the universe. The secret of the whole universe is that God and His chosen ones are to be one couple. Hallelujah! We, God’s chosen ones, and God are of one source, of one nature, and have one life. Now we also need to have one living. We are not living by ourselves or for ourselves; we are living with God and for God, and God is living with us and for us. Hallelujah!Life-study of Romans, message 1
What about us? Is the church also on our heart? I realised that I need to see a fresh vision of the church, to see the church as God sees the church, to love the church as Christ loves the church!
Here is a very sweet song that matches this thought. (You can click on the link below to listen to it and sing along!)
1. Don’t you want to know your God?
What’s hidden in His heart for you?
How much He longs for you to come
And open up—
To let Him in to every part
Let Him reveal what’s on His heart
What was the joy set before Him?
It was for her the church—His bride
It was for her, willingly He died
She is the joy deep in His heart
2. The Lord chose you to be a part
Of His great plan, His work of art.
What wonder! What a privilege!
His yearning to share all He is—
Divine, unsearchable riches!
What wisdom, multifarious expressed!
3. As we enjoy and enter in
To all He is then we’ll begin
To understand the feeling in
His heart toward us.
What love that motivated Him
To come to us, despite our sin
Why did He go and sell all that He had?
Lord Jesus, cause my heart to be a duplication of your heart, that I would see the church as You see the church, and love the church as You love the church.
Along with many others here in the UK, I’ve been starting to get into the book of Romans a little this year. If you’d like to join in, you can find a suggested schedule here.
Having said that, in reading the Life-study of Romans, I’ve been finding it a little difficult to get into it. But this portion today really encouraged me:
The more we look at ourselves and examine ourselves, the faster our faith disappears. Faith is not our invention; it can never be initiated by us. It is impossible for us to generate faith. Faith is an aspect of Christ Himself. In fact, faith is Christ. Galatians 2:20 says that we live by the faith of the Son of God. I do not live by my faith—I have no faith of my own—but by the faith of the Son of the living God who has faith and who Himself is faith to me. If you look at yourself, you will never find faith, but if you forget about yourself and say, “O Lord Jesus, I love You,” faith will immediately rise up within you.
We believe in Christ by His faith, not by our own. Christ is our faith. Never say that you cannot believe, for you can believe if you want to. Do not try to believe by yourself, because the more you try the less faith you have. Simply say, “O Lord Jesus, I love You. Lord Jesus, You are so good.” If you do this, you will have faith immediately.
Life-study of Romans, message 5
Amen, thank You Lord! Faith comes out of hearing, and faith is Christ Himself infused into us!
I really liked this point on “Never say that you cannot believe”, and it matches something else we were enjoying earlier in the week:
Christ is the interceding Spirit who joins in to help us in our weakness as we are groaning (Romans 8:27). We probably don’t think that groaning is a very positive thing. Yet this verse doesn’t say we shouldn’t groan, but rather that the Spirit joins in to help us when we are groaning!
And I was reminded that our groaning is similar to our crying out (listen to message 7 from the Winter Training on the Crystallization-study of Exodus). It’s an opening to the Lord!
So our proper response to realising how much of a failure we are shouldn’t be “I can’t do it and will never do it, so forget about it” or “I don’t have faith, I can never believe”… Instead, we should open, groan, and cry out. “Oh Lord! Oh Lord! I can’t do it. I can’t make it. I can’t even believe. But oh Lord, I open!”
With the winter video training starting this evening, here are the verse sheets I have prepared to go along with the messages. I find these helpful in the messages and study times to quickly see the verses for each point together. I also find that asking why each verse supports that part of the outline helps me to see that point in the Word more myself.
Over the past few years, I have received feedback from others that they find these helpful too, which is why I make them available here. Some saints like to print them out, others like to look at the electronic copy on their device, but however you use it, I hope it is helpful to you too.
These verse sheets are for the Crystallization-study of Exodus (1) and all verses are taken from the Holy Bible Recovery Version. In order to conserve some space for those who like to print these, I haven’t quoted whole chapters, so you will need to look those up.
In the past, preparing these sheets has been quite a tedious process, however this year I tried to automate some parts of it… did you know you can do regular expression replacements in MS Word? I do now! So on the plus side, these are all available now instead of spread out over the next couple of weeks. However, this also means there is more room for errors (I already found some chunks of missing verses… hmm, one of my regular expressions must have been wrong), and I won’t notice them till I use these sheets myself. If you spot any errors, please drop me an email or leave a comment so I can correct it for others who may come across this later.
Verses for Message 2
Verses for Message 3
Verses for Message 4
Verses for Message 5
Verses for Message 6
Verses for Message 7
Verses for Message 8
Verses for Message 9
Verses for Message 10
Verses for Message 11
Verses for Message 12
As an alternative (or supplement) to these verse sheets, I recommend purchasing the iSilo version of this HWMR from LSM as the outlines are included in it. Then if you also have the Electronic Edition of the Holy Bible Recovery Version you can click on the verse references to go straight to where they are in the Bible, and also have easy access to related footnotes and cross references and the context of where those verses are. Of course you can use a regular printed Bible :) but time is precious both in the messages and study times!
Thank you Lord, for so many tools to dive into the Bible, the Word of God! Lord, we give this training to You, open Your heart more to us and constitute us with Your Word!
PS: This “series” of posts seem to be the most regular on this blog… given that I really haven’t posted much in the past couple of years. So you can easily find the other verse sheets for past trainings just by looking at my recent posts (or the automatically generated related posts). We’ll see if I can make it a bit harder to find this post this time next year by posting a lot in 2015…
“Although the people had no faith, faith came when God came in to speak a word.”Life-study of Exodus, message 29
Lord, speak to us more in 2015!
PS: I really enjoyed the Winter School of Truth. The Bible is the Word of God! Hopefully I’ll share more on it soon :)