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Rick Bates
Rick Bates
Charlestown, R.I. US
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#57221 Wed Dec 15, 2021 4:11 PM
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Journeyman
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The three Nazarites, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walked with God in the king’s palace; and God walked with them in the king’s furnace. Is it not worth passing through a fiery furnace to enjoy more of the presence of the Lord Jesus, and the sympathy of His loving heart? Is not a furnace where He is, better than a place where He is not? Nature says, “No!” Faith says, “Yes!”

It is well to bear I mind that this is not the day of the Lord Jesus’ power; but it is the day of His sympathy. When passing through the deep waters of affliction, the heart may at times, feel disposed to ask, “Why does not the lord display His power and deliver me?” The answer is, this is not the day of His power. He could avert that illness—He could remove that difficulty—He could prevent that catastrophe—He could preserve that beloved and fondly cherished object from the cold grasp of death.

But, instead of putting forth His power to deliver, He more often allows things to run their course, and pours His own sympathy into the oppressed and riven heart, in such a way as to elicit the acknowledgement that we would not, for worlds, have missed the trial, because of the “abundance” of the “consolation” (2Co 1:4-6). Such is the manner of the Lord Jesus just now. By and by He will display His mighty power; He will come forth as the Rider of the white horse (Rev 6:2; 19:11); He will unsheathe His sword; He will make bare His all-powerful arm; He will avenge His people (Israel), and right their wrongs forever.

But now His sword is sheathed, His arm covered. This is the time for making known the deep love of His heart, not the power of His arm, nor the sharpness of His sword. Are you satisfied to have it so? Is the Lord Jesus’ sympathy enough for your heart, even amid the keenest sorrow and the most intense affliction?

The restless heart, the impatient spirit, the unsubdued will, would lead one to long for escape from the trial (relief eventually comes—NC), the difficulty, or the pressure; but this would never do. It would involve incalculable loss. We must pass from form to form in the school (2Co 3:18); but the Master accompanies us, and the light of His countenance, and the tender sympathy of His heart sustain us under the most severe exercises.

What remains? Just this: live unto the Lord Jesus Christ! Seek to be faithful (strong in Him and not in self - Eph 6:10—NC) to the One who is your very Christian Life (Col 3:4). Be not discouraged by the fragmentary state of everything around you. Let the example of Daniel and his honored companions encourage your heart to seek after an elevated course here below. It is your privilege to enjoy as much if not more of companionship with the Lord Jesus (now “having the mind of Christ” - 1Co 2:16), as if you were cast amid the best days of apostolic testimony.


—C H Mackintosh (1820-1896)




MJS devotional excerpt for Dec. 15

“It is one thing to drop off or renounce certain things, and quite another to be engrossed with the right thing. Monks renounce much, but they are not engrossed with the Lord Jesus Christ. It must be not only ‘forgetting those things which are behind,’ but also ‘reaching out unto the things that are above’ (Phl 3:13). It is that which you give yourself to, not what you have abandoned, that colors you and which imparts character to you.” -J.B.S.
http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/day/2021/12/15/


The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS
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Journeyman
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Journeyman
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Nice. Thank you for posting this.

I have had suffering in my life, but it has been mostly self-inflicted, largely the result of my own sin.

Yet I have not suffered very much for Christ. Not thus far.

I hope and pray that somehow He will be glorified in and through me, from this point forward, both in my life, and in my death. Even if that is through suffering for Him. And I hope I will have the courage to seek not deliverance, but His Glory, that He might be known and praised, that He might thereby draw people to Himself.

And also the courage to say, "My God is able to deliver me . . . nevertheless . . . I will not (by His Grace) bow down to any form of evil." Especially, the evil that remains within me.


Aspiring student of Christ
jta #57236 Thu Dec 16, 2021 4:41 PM
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Journeyman
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Journeyman
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Originally Posted by jta
Nice. Thank you for posting this.

I have had suffering in my life, but it has been mostly self-inflicted, largely the result of my own sin.

Yet I have not suffered very much for Christ. Not thus far.

I hope and pray that somehow He will be glorified in and through me, from this point forward, both in my life, and in my death. Even if that is through suffering for Him. And I hope I will have the courage to seek not deliverance, but His Glory, that He might be known and praised, that He might thereby draw people to Himself.

And also the courage to say, "My God is able to deliver me . . . nevertheless . . . I will not (by His Grace) bow down to any form of evil." Especially, the evil that remains within me.
Hi, and appreciate your reply and sensitive comments! One truth I've learned that helps me, probably the most, is knowing it has been wisely said that "disappointment means we have trusted in the arm of flesh, instead of the arm of God, for God never disappoints."

We can continue to "put off the old man (sin nature) - Eph 4:22; Col 3:9. To me it's the same as putting of something someone wants you to do--and not do it later!


The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS
1 member likes this: jta

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