Archive for February 2016

Fruitfulness Through Limitation

February 24, 2016

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Shame, reproach, and limitation are often God’s way of enriching the whole Body of Christ. This has always been so. The measure of approximation to the fullness of the revelation has always been accompanied by a relative cost. Every instrument of the Lord’s testimony has been laid under suspicion and reproach; it has meant a comparable human limitation. Many have withdrawn, fallen away, held aloof, doubted, feared and questioned. This is God’s way of securing for Himself a spiritual garden-plot. If ever there was such a garden-plot, it was Paul’s prison in Rome.

T. Austin-SparksT Austin Sparks (1888-1971)
A Witness and a Testimony (January, 1964)
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The Long, Steady Process of Spiritual Growth

February 19, 2016

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… Growing in the growth of God (Colossians 2:19).

Spiritual growth does not occur at the rate, or in the methods that are traditionally accepted. Instead, God works steadily and effectually for His Own purpose. He is in no rush by human schedule. He is the Potter, and you are His clay. He molds and fashions you according to His own will and design (Romans 9:21).

Make no mistake about it: the Master Potter is faithfully and steadily at work in you. He works all things after His Own will (Ephesians 1:11). His hand in your life leaves no place untouched. Even that which seemingly is working against you is used by your Father to fulfill His Own good purpose in your life.

The fact is simple – you can trust God. He alone is truly trustworthy; and He has a definite goal in sight for you. His current goal is to bring you to a place where you find your completeness, satisfaction, contentment, glory, thanksgiving and rejoicing in Him alone, and not in your circumstances.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Man’s Way vs. God’s Way

February 6, 2016

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There are two kinds of starting points – man’s and God’s. Man usually starts with big frameworks, with a big plant, machinery, structures, and so on. That is how man usually starts when he is going to do something for God. It is a propensity; it is our way. We may argue that God is worthy of something big. That is man’s way.

God’s way is never like that – it never was. You search in vain to find any instance of God beginning like that. God’s beginnings seem so small, they appear so little. But so does a seed; it is a small thing, a little thing. Yet look at the potentialities in one seed, in one grain of wheat. Everything really of God has a long and hidden history of deep dealings on His part.

The thirty years of our Lord’s hidden life has a great bearing on the three and a half. The forty years of Moses away back there in the desert, looking after those sheep of his father-in-law, had a great bearing on the rest of his life. They were not lost, wasted, futile years. So we could take up one after another – Abraham, David, and others, who had a long deep, secret, hidden history; it was out of that that the effectiveness came.

Very often more is done, when God has been at work, in the last few years of a life than in all the years previously. That does not mean that all the previous years have been of no account, having no place. It means that God has been at work to get intrinsic values, and now at last these values are coming out.

God takes a lot of time and a lot of pains in secret history. It may be that, though you are thinking the years are going, soon life will be past, all over, and you have missed the way, everything being a problem, an enigma; yet it may be that in a few years an infinitude of spiritual value will come out of the time through which you are going, out of this which you think is lost time. You must adjust yourself to this, that God is not careful at all about our standards of values, either in time or in method or in any other way.

T Austin SparksAustin-Sparks (1888-1971)
Toward The Mark
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