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!”
I do hope that I could be such a person, doing nothing and being nothing, just walking with the Lord until the day I am taken to be with Him.
Having heard that the upcoming Summer Training is going to be on the book of Genesis, and having received a lot of encouragement recently to get into the Life-studies in a regular way, I’ve decided to pause my sporadic reading of the New Testament Life-studies (but I have made it to Luke now!) and start with Genesis. Let’s see how far I can get before the Summer Training starts!
So, also in attempt to get back into posting (sorry for my silence), I thought I’d share from my enjoyment of message one. In this message, the first part was on how the Bible is a wonderful book. And it really is! It is the breath of God, it is spirit and life, and it mainly reveals life to us. Thank You Lord, for the Bible.
I enjoyed this one sentence from today’s Holy Word for Morning Revival, and thought I would quickly share it with you :)
The best way for us to swim in the river is to put our trust in the flow of the river, forget our own efforts, and let the flow carry us along.
And I just was reminded that the flow is the Spirit, and we can trust in this wonderful, all-inclusive, all-sufficient, all-fitting, life-giving and bountifully-supplying Spirit, Who is waiting just to fill us and meet our every need!
1. We work together with God by a life,
We work together with God by a life:
(Brothers) Able to fit
(Sisters) All situations,
(Brothers) Able to endure
(Sisters) Any kind of treatment,
(All) To accept any kind of environment;
(Brothers) All-fitting life!
2. Able to work
In any condition,
To take any kind
For the carrying out of our ministry;
We work together with God by a life,
We work together with God by a life:
Ok, so I’ve mentioned the Life-study of the Bible in a few posts now, such as here and here, and often quote little snippets of my enjoyment from it, such as here and here. Life-study of the Bible is a book-by-book commentary by a brother named Witness Lee, and it really helps to open up the truth and life in the Bible.
A few years ago, an older brother encouraged me to read the Life-studies because they are according to the teaching of the apostles in the New Testament, and therefore the result is that they cause us to love the Lord more. They certainly do not replace the Bible, not at all, but they do open up the Bible. Although I’ve been reading the Life-studies somewhat inconsistently over the past few years, I’ve certainly experienced that the more I read, the more I love the Lord, and the more I love His Word as it is opened up to me.
Now, my motivation for posting this is not at all commercial, I’m simply sharing something I’ve discovered and am enjoying :) The great thing is there are so many ways to dive into the riches in these publications:
- If you like physical books you can purchase the Life-studies (from Amana Trust Books in the UK, and look out for the 30% discount on a particular Life-study each month, and from distributors in other countries).
- If you like the convenience of handheld devices you can purchase them as ePublications (from Living Stream Ministry).
- If you are anywhere in the world with an internet connection you can read them completely free online at ministrybooks.org.
- If you like to hear rather than (or as well as) read you can listen to them as short radio programmes (broadcast in the UK on Premier Christian Radio, with the complete archives available online).
You can also make your own schedule to read the Life-studies. If I stick to the schedule I made (which I know I won’t, but hopefully I won’t stray too far off) and read one message a day, I’ll finish reading the New Testament Life-studies in August 2014. It seems like a long way off, but the more I am reading, the more I am encouraged to keep going!
And feel free to share with me your enjoyment from reading the Life-studies also! You can post in the comments or email me, or tell me about your blog or twitter account, or even share with me face-to-face if you know me. And thank you to all those who are so faithful to reply to my posts in these various ways, and are encouraging me to keep writing :)
Well, I didn’t plan on making another post so soon, yet here I am.
I was just reading my Life-study message for today and thought I would share a couple of paragraphs I liked. This is based on Mark 9:14-29.
The back story is that as the Lord Jesus was coming down from the mountain, he saw the crowd disputing with some of his disciples because they (the disciples) had been unable to cast an evil spirit out of a boy. Of course, the Lord was able to cast out the spirit, and then when they entered the house, His disciples asked Him why they were unable to do it. Here was the answer He gave:
And He said to them, This kind cannot come out by any means except prayer.
I had always been a little confused by this verse, wondering if it meant that there was a kind of evil spirit that could come out without prayer (but that didn’t make sense to me), or how the Lord had cast out the evil spirit without apparently praying (but that seemed contradictory to what He said). But as always, the Life-study turned me from my wandering and wondering mind, back to the enjoyment.