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← Sensitivity to the Voice of Christ - Tim Conway

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Showing Revision 5 created 09/15/2017 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. I'm absolutely convinced what we need
  2. in our families more than anything else
  3. are men and women who are putting on the new man
  4. in the power of God.
  5. Men that are living by faith,
  6. women that are living lives looking to Christ.
  7. Full of the Spirit. Full of the power of God.
  8. Full of joy.
  9. I really believe that this is the heart and soul of healthy families.
  10. That's why I don't believe, brethren, that I've strayed at all.
  11. Last week, as I've been progressing through Ephesians 4
  12. I came across that verse there in 4:30
  13. that has to do with grieving the Spirit.
  14. Well, from there I jumped back into Ephesians 3,
  15. simply because one of the main operations
  16. of the Spirit is described there.
  17. And if we grieve the Spirit,
  18. then we quench such operations.
  19. So it's key.
  20. If we live in families where the Spirit of God is quenched,
  21. true Christians though you may be,
  22. you can not survive spiritually without the power of God.
  23. Jesus said it. "Without Me, you can do nothing."
  24. And of course, what He means by that
  25. as we look at His teaching,
  26. when He said that He was leaving,
  27. How can we live with Him -
  28. without Him we can't do anything.
  29. How can we live with Him when He is departed?
  30. Well, He said, "I'm not going to leave you orphans."
  31. And what He did was He sent us the Spirit of God
  32. to be with us.
  33. And He lives with us.
  34. And in us, by way of that Spirit.
  35. That Spirit is the channel by which,
  36. that Spirit is the Person of the Godhead
  37. that puts the fire and the energy
  38. into the life of the child of God.
  39. Now, brethren, I'm not ready to leave it.
  40. What we dealt with last week and not grieving the Spirit.
  41. Then I went back to Ephesians 3.
  42. I'm not ready to leave there.
  43. In fact, I'm probably going to stay there next week as well.
  44. And then after that, Mack Tomlinson's coming in.
  45. I don't know if this is going to just be more
  46. of a devotional this morning.
  47. I don't know what this is going to turn out to be.
  48. I know where I want to go with it.
  49. And I guess where I'd like us to go right now...
  50. there's that simple passage there in Ephesians 4:30,
  51. it says, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God."
  52. And by which we've been sealed
  53. to the day of Redemption.
  54. Now, brethren, let me just say something about that.
  55. Sealed. It's interesting - you find this idea 3 times
  56. in the New Testament, twice in Ephesians,
  57. that we've been sealed by the Spirit.
  58. Well, actually, the first time Paul talks about this concept...
  59. What's a seal? Before I jump any further?
  60. What's a seal?
  61. Basically, if you had a document,
  62. and they would have taken some melted wax possibly,
  63. and put it on that document right where it folded over,
  64. and pressed a ring into it or something.
  65. Basically, that seal would have been a mark
  66. as to who that document was composed by,
  67. or who it belonged to.
  68. Whose authority stood behind it.
  69. Now here's what the apostle says, the first time
  70. to the Ephesians back in chapter 1
  71. when he talks to them about the fact that they're sealed.
  72. He says that the Spirit of God has sealed them,
  73. and then He says this Spirit is the guarantee
  74. of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it.
  75. Brethren, the idea is this:
  76. The Spirit of God has been given to us
  77. who have not yet reached glory,
  78. as a guarantee.
  79. And I can tell you this:
  80. Something is not a guarantee unless
  81. you know it's there.
  82. It's basically the idea of a down payment.
  83. It's basically the idea of that pre-payment
  84. that's made that gaurantees that
  85. all the rest is going to come.
  86. And I can tell you this,
  87. if you were selling something and you demanded
  88. a down payment from somebody, and they say,
  89. "Well yes, I've given it to you, but you can't see it."
  90. It's invisible, it's hidden.
  91. There's no clear and visible marks to it.
  92. Well, that doesn't do any good.
  93. What guarantees us, what brings us that assurance
  94. in this life is that the Spirit of God is in our lives.
  95. He's within us; He's with us; He empowers us.
  96. He does things within us that we see,
  97. we feel, we experience, they affect us.
  98. And in so doing we look at that and we say,
  99. "Wow, I'm one of the Lord's."
  100. Have you never read right there in Romans 5
  101. that it says that the Spirit of God
  102. pours the love of God into our heart?
  103. Have you never read there in Romans 8,
  104. that it says that that Spirit bears witness with our spirit
  105. that we're children of God.
  106. That's what happens. We have a witness bearing.
  107. We have love being poured in.
  108. We have operations.
  109. The very heart of God is communicated to us
  110. by way of the Spirit.
  111. And that's exactly what we were looking at
  112. in Ephesians 3 last week,
  113. so let's go back there and read that.
  114. Ephesians 3:14 - you see, brethren,
  115. the reason I jump back here is
  116. because if we grieve the Spirit Who pours
  117. the love of God into our hearts,
  118. if we grieve the Spirit Who
  119. proclaims to us that we are children of God;
  120. if we grieve the Spirit Who makes
  121. the love of Christ comprehendable,
  122. then His fiery influences are quenched.
  123. And we don't want to do that.
  124. Oh, if there's anything that's key to healthy families,
  125. brethren, it's right here.
  126. I'll tell you this, the most transformed families,
  127. the most growing families, the most blessed families,
  128. are where the Spirit of God is most powerfully
  129. and actively demonstrating His influences.
  130. No question about it. Brethren, we want to be sensitive
  131. that we do not grieve Him.
  132. So let's go back there, Ephesians 3:14
  133. "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
  134. from Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
  135. that according to the riches of His glory,
  136. He may grant you to be strengthened with power
  137. through His Spirit in your inner being,
  138. so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith,
  139. that you being rooted and grounded in love
  140. may have strength to comprehend with all the saints
  141. what is the breadth, and length, and height and depth
  142. and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
  143. that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
  144. Now brethren, I don't know whether
  145. it occurred to you just now,
  146. But this is a prayer.
  147. Do you all see that?
  148. Paul is bowing his knees in verse 14.
  149. Why?
  150. Because he's praying. This is a prayer.
  151. You bow your knees when you pray.
  152. He's lifting up the Ephesians
  153. in the sight of God.
  154. He's praying for them.
  155. Brethren, let me ask you this.
  156. Why?
  157. Why do you think he's praying for the Christians at Ephesus?
  158. Brethren, probably because as an apostle
  159. who had visited many churches and started many churches
  160. and planted many churches, and as one
  161. who was a Christian himself,
  162. he likely understood that the people at Ephesus
  163. were just like you and me.
  164. Struggling people. Real people.
  165. Brethren, I think sometimes we can get to thinking
  166. that because somebody - you know, the Ephesians,
  167. there they are, they're addressed by an apostle of Jesus Christ.
  168. They're called faithful.
  169. And I think sometimes we get the idea
  170. that because people are mentioned in the Bible,
  171. and they lived a long way away, a long time in the past,
  172. and because we don't know them personally,
  173. we can make super-Christians out of them.
  174. We can think them to be something that they weren't.
  175. You know what? Look, I know reality.
  176. Reality in this church.
  177. You know what reality in this church is?
  178. Men and women get married.
  179. They find out that Paul, when he said that
  180. he would spare people from difficulties,
  181. they get into marriage, and they find out,
  182. wow, that was true, we've got difficulties.
  183. We've got men who are striving to learn
  184. how to love their wives,
  185. women who are striving to learn how to
  186. submit to their husbands.
  187. Love their husbands.
  188. Men and women that are struggling to figure out
  189. how to raise their children; love their children.
  190. Properly discipline their children.
  191. I mean, you haven't had children if you think it's easy
  192. to just tow the line with regard to spanking and discipline
  193. and basically to set up the boundaries and to keep that perfectly,
  194. and to not compromise.
  195. Brethren, you know what?
  196. The ravages of divorce were real in that day.
  197. There were families without fathers, families without mothers.
  198. There were families where deaths occurred.
  199. There were people that were struggling.
  200. Look! Sometimes we have problems in our marraiges
  201. that we feel embarrassed.
  202. Sometimes there's sexual issues
  203. and there's struggles between husband and wife.
  204. Things that a lot of times we're embarrassed.
  205. Brethren, I'll tell you, it was real life back then.
  206. The same things that you struggle with,
  207. that you get angry over, that you have problems with,
  208. making ends meet, getting angry over your wife
  209. because she spent too much money,
  210. you don't know how you're going to be able to pay the bills
  211. and she's out there buying this and that.
  212. Men can do the same thing.
  213. Brethren, the realities, the things that cause frustration
  214. in your life, in my life, the greatest hindrances
  215. to moving and excelling in our families,
  216. they were real back then, brethren.
  217. The people back then were just like us.
  218. Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesians.
  219. When you and I read it, we find,
  220. wow, it helps us. It's really tremendous.
  221. It's helpful. You know what?
  222. It was to them too.
  223. Why? Because they're just like us.
  224. Brethren, the same thing...
  225. the reason Paul's words seem so real,
  226. so alive, so applicable to us,
  227. when they were in fact first spoken to the Ephesians
  228. is because we're the same.
  229. There's nothing new under the sun.
  230. But here's the thing.
  231. Brethren, think with me.
  232. Here we are. We're in prayer meeting.
  233. It's not Sunday morning anyways, it's Wednesday evening.
  234. We meet here. We get together to pray.
  235. Let's just say, a sister says,
  236. "I'm married to a lost husband."
  237. She's here by herself, with her children.
  238. I'm married to a lost husband.
  239. Church would you please pray for me?
  240. I'm really having problems.
  241. Maybe the husband hits her.
  242. Maybe the husband is just lazy.
  243. Maybe he's a heavy drinker.
  244. Any number of these kind of problems can come up.
  245. Brethren, think about how we typically pray.
  246. How do we typically pray?
  247. Think. How would you?
  248. We have several brethren and they pray,
  249. "Lord, please help our sister."
  250. There's nothing wrong with that. That's good, that's fine.
  251. I mean what I'm about to say is just an example.
  252. I've been to prayer meetings for the last twenty years of my life.
  253. I've heard lots of them. I know how the brethren pray.
  254. And I'm not fault finding at all.
  255. It's fine. It's good. It's well.
  256. We'll get together and we'll pray.
  257. And there are different levels of maturity
  258. obviously in the prayers that come forth.
  259. But how often the prayer is, "Lord, bless them."
  260. That's a very common thing.
  261. "Lord, bless them." That's kind of where the new Christian goes.
  262. There's not a whole lot of depth there, but just "bless them."

  263. "Lord, help them." "Lord, our sister..."
  264. we recite back the things that are happening.
  265. "Lord, please protect her."
  266. A lot of times we pray, "correct the problem, Lord."
  267. She's got a lazy husband - make him work.
  268. She's got a drunk husband - make him quit.
  269. She's got a husband that beats her - make him stop.
  270. Lord, save him.
  271. Those are very common ways to pray.
  272. Listen. You know this is true.
  273. The ways that Paul prays
  274. they almost stagger us.
  275. It's almost like, "what?"
  276. It's like his words are so profound and so deep
  277. and he's got so many thoughts in there,
  278. it's like you almost have to read the thing for six weeks
  279. to even draw out what he's saying.
  280. Brethren, listen to this:
  281. "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father."
  282. Ok, so far we're good. Right? We kind of get that.
  283. "From Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named."
  284. Now there I stop getting everything.
  285. "Every family in heaven and on earth is named."
  286. It's crossed my mind, I need to look at the original there
  287. and really scope that out.
  288. There's some concepts there that Paul's hitting on
  289. that I think are probably phenomenal.
  290. "That according to the riches of His glory, He may grant you
  291. to be strengthened with power..."
  292. Strength. Now, just catch that.
  293. That's a good thing. We want to be strong.
  294. And he's of course speaking about spiritual strength.
  295. And that spiritual strength comes from power.
  296. Right? Power. Energy.
  297. Power is what brings strength.
  298. "Through His Spirit." So the Spirit is that Person
  299. Who dispenses this power of God to us.
  300. "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith,
  301. that you being rooted and grounded in love."
  302. So, I mean, he's saying this stuff,
  303. "That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."
  304. We get that. By faith, He dwells in us.
  305. Of course, He dwells in us by this very Spirit.
  306. "You being rooted and grounded in love."
  307. So it's like you're planted. You're a plant of God's planting,
  308. and you're planted in the soil of love.
  309. And in this soil of love, with by faith Christ and His Spirit
  310. dwelling within you, the Spirit Who is this power giver,
  311. That gives strength, to do what?
  312. What's all this strength about anyway?
  313. Verse 18, "may have strength to comprehend with all the saints
  314. what is the breadth and length and height and depth
  315. and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge
  316. that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
  317. Now brethren, this is the way to pray.
  318. Because let me tell you something.
  319. Think with me here, brethren. Think with me.
  320. You've got a mother. This is real life.
  321. A mother who is about going over the edge.
  322. Her head's about going under the water.
  323. I mean, here she is, she's trying to figure out how to be a mother.
  324. Trying to figure out how to raise some little children.
  325. She's trying to figure out how to dish out her time.
  326. And then her husband comes home.
  327. He wants her attention. He wants to talk to her.
  328. He wants to communicate with her.
  329. He wants dinner. He wants intimacy.
  330. He wants this... she's just staggering all over the place.
  331. There she is at home one day,
  332. and you come along and pray like this.
  333. I come along and I call her up pastorally,
  334. and say, "Sister, I know you're struggling here,
  335. I'm going to bow my knees before the Father,
  336. I'm going to begin to pray to Him from Whom
  337. every family in heaven and on earth is named.
  338. That according to the riches of His glory He may grant
  339. you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit
  340. in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your heart
  341. through faith, sister, so that you being rooted and gounded
  342. in love may have strength to comprehend with all the saints
  343. what is the breadth and length and height and depth
  344. and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge
  345. that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
  346. Now I don't know, typically, but I'm thinking that
  347. if I just rattled that off, it'd just be like whew...
  348. that's nice, brother.
  349. But I think she gets off the phone
  350. and she goes back to being overwhelmed, right?
  351. Brethren, we can look at this and we can think,
  352. "Come on, Paul! You're dealing with real people
  353. here with real problems. Can't you just pray,
  354. God, help the ladies in the church that are
  355. struggling with raising children?
  356. Can't you just come down off your theological high horse here
  357. and just meet us where we live?
  358. Brethren, I can only imagine Paul might answer
  359. something like this, you know, you read it there
  360. 1 Thessalonians 2, he had a nursing heart,
  361. like a mother who nursed her children.
  362. He said that he was like a father to his children.
  363. I'll tell you this, he'd come along and he'd say,
  364. "Oh, my precious, precious children,
  365. in the midst of all your struggles and trials,
  366. do you not realize that the reason I pray this way for you
  367. is this is exactly what you need more than anything else."
  368. Now it's true there may be complexities here,
  369. and there may be depth here,
  370. but brethren,
  371. this is what we need.
  372. More than anything else.
  373. If you could just comprehend.
  374. Brethren, I want you to see what's going on.
  375. Paul is praying for comprehension.
  376. He realizes this: He realizes that when that mother,
  377. in that place, is sitting there with those children
  378. in that home, with her certain set of
  379. struggles and trials,
  380. or that man as he's trying to make ends meet
  381. as he's trying to provide for his family,
  382. lead his wife, love his wife, lead his children,
  383. instruct his children - in all these things,
  384. as he feels his failures, he feels the struggles of the flesh,
  385. he feels these things.
  386. Singles that are trying to keep single
  387. and to do it with contentment,
  388. as you feel these struggles of life.
  389. What Paul breaks in there and says,
  390. Look, it's fine to pray that God bless one another,
  391. it's fine to pray that God help one another,
  392. but what you folks need more than anything
  393. is what I'm praying for right here.
  394. You need a comprehension of certain realities.
  395. But if you could just see them, if you could feel them
  396. if you could touch them,
  397. if you could have the hope in those things,
  398. you would come back to this world's cares and troubles
  399. as one has said, like giants refreshed with new wine
  400. caring nothing for anything that might happen.
  401. Christ would be so sweetly and blessedly within you
  402. that you could bear the burden and think nothing of it.
  403. Brethren, that's precisely where Paul is going,
  404. that's what he's praying for.
  405. The ability in you, in me, to be able to comprehend.
  406. The greatest realities -
  407. the love Christ has for His chosen people.
  408. Brethren, what was it it said in that song?
  409. It was that last stanza of "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing."
  410. It said something about, "Lord, don't deny me Yourself."
  411. Brethren, the love of Christ...
  412. it was Spurgeon that said that giant thing.
  413. He's right.
  414. You will be like a giant refreshed with new wine,
  415. if you'll be struck by the love of Christ.
  416. You see, Paul wasn't trying to drown us theologically.
  417. He was bypassing the lesser things,
  418. the more trivial things,
  419. and he was going right to the heart of the matter.
  420. He knows if that sister with the lost husband
  421. would realize her true and heavenly Husband,
  422. and the love that He had for her,
  423. Oh, brethren, has it ever just swept into you
  424. where Christ is like there in John 17,
  425. and He's saying, "Father, I pray that they may be where I am."
  426. "I pray that they may see My glory."
  427. Brethren, I'll tell you this, have you ever read
  428. where it talks about the love that a man ought to have
  429. for his wife, but then Paul pulls back and
  430. shows us the love that Christ has for the church.
  431. Brethren, Christ - His whole heart is set on it.
  432. You have to understand something,
  433. God has chosen to put an infinite love on you.
  434. Do you know why Christ went to that cross
  435. and bore infinite wrath? He did it out of love.
  436. Scripture repeatedly tells us it's love that
  437. drove Him to that cross.
  438. It's love that as in the garden, He just trembled
  439. under that coming horror.
  440. He sorrowed nigh unto death.
  441. Why did He keep going?
  442. Yes, there was a joy there, brethren,
  443. but I'll tell you this, it's the joy.
  444. It is that joy to be with His people.
  445. It is that joy to have them and be with them.
  446. He longs for that.
  447. The Christ longs for it.
  448. He prayed to His Father for it.
  449. He wants you with inexpressible love to be where He is.
  450. Brethren, I'll tell you this, if it wasn't for love,
  451. for the purposes of love, and for the sake of love
  452. to leave you right here where you have your present struggles
  453. love would bust open right now
  454. and He would pull you into His arms and take you to glory.
  455. It is only love that keeps you here.
  456. Brethren, the love...
  457. and Paul is saying if you could just comprehend
  458. that Christ is there and His heart longs for you.
  459. He wants you to be where He is.
  460. He is your heavenly Lover.
  461. And He loves you with a love that this world does not know.
  462. That your husband and wife relationships don't know.
  463. He loves you passionately.
  464. He means to make you pure and spotless,
  465. and to bring you to Him an undefiled, chaste virgin.
  466. A virgin, brethren.
  467. A virgin pure.
  468. And He will take you to Himself,
  469. and He will love on you,
  470. and pour His love into you forever
  471. and forever and forever and forever.
  472. Brethren, you'll go to Him a virgin but you will not stay a virgin
  473. because He will love you in ways that what we have
  474. in the human realm, in the physical realm, are only but glimpses.
  475. And I'm telling you, brethren, He'd break through right now
  476. and come get you, if it wasn't for the fact
  477. that love stays His hand.
  478. Because it is the very temporary light afflictions
  479. that work in you the eternal weight of glory.
  480. And it's working. You see, brethren,
  481. you suffer now because it's granted you to suffer,
  482. because it's good for you right now.
  483. We're following that path where He went.
  484. And Paul's coming in and saying, "Brothers and sisters,
  485. I am not trying to lose you theologically.
  486. I am simply trying to pray that you would have the best thing,
  487. the greatest thing, brethren, we need to pray this way!
  488. When you see that brother, that sister, struggling,
  489. you pray that God open up to their comprehension
  490. an understanding of the love that Christ has for them.
  491. Because brethren, Spurgeon's right:
  492. Giants you will be,
  493. refreshed with the wine of Christ's own vintage.
  494. And you will face those things, and you will be able
  495. to march through them, and have victory.
  496. Brethren, when you're overcome with love,
  497. the problems and the struggles and the trials in this world
  498. they just, they don't disappear and go away altogether,
  499. but they become small in comparison.
  500. Brethren, do you realize it?
  501. I went out front this morning of my house.
  502. And I've planted various trees there
  503. to try to recreate Michigan.
  504. Hey, don't laugh, it's kind of worked.
  505. I have maples that are red, and yellow, and orange.
  506. And I was out there looking at them,
  507. and I was admiring the beauty,
  508. and brethren, the love of Christ is like a garden,
  509. where as you walk through, there is beauty,
  510. there's roses, and the scents that comes, and there's fruits.
  511. And let me tell you something, brethren.
  512. Those that find eternal life,
  513. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.
  514. Brethren, those that find Him are few.
  515. Do you realize, brethren, not just anybody can tread that garden.
  516. Only a few.. brethren, only a chosen few can tread there.
  517. In that garden, there is beauty and there are flowers.
  518. It is full of healing and singing and color and wonder.
  519. And I'm telling you folks, if you have license to walk there,
  520. Oh brethren, why do you forfeit it?
  521. Only a very choice few, select few, can walk there.
  522. How often we purposely do not walk there, brethren!
  523. But to walk in the air of that place, in that garden.
  524. Only the redeemed of the Lord can walk in that place.
  525. Only the redeemed of the Lord, brethren,
  526. can go up and smell those roses! Or pick that fruit!
  527. And you have the opportunity.
  528. Are you going to be like the man in Pilgrim's Progress
  529. where you're just raking the muck, raking the muck,
  530. here the garden is all about you.
  531. We're Christians, brethren, we're Christians!
  532. Christ loves us!
  533. And even in this world, there is a comprehension.
  534. If you don't grieve the Spirit, the Spirit has a power
  535. that He endows upon the children of God
  536. to cause us to comprehend such vastness,
  537. such breadth and length and height and depth, brethren,
  538. to stagger us, even in this life!
  539. We don't have to wait for heaven to get all of it.
  540. And oh, brethren, if we've been invited to walk here, why?
  541. Why so much of the world? Why so much of just raking,
  542. brethren, raking the muck?
  543. When it's held out there to us?
  544. Brethren, I just say in light of all this,
  545. don't grieve the Spirit.
  546. Brethren, when you grieve the Spirit,
  547. the scent wafts away.
  548. All of a sudden, in your sight, the fruit shrivels.
  549. The Spirit is the One that gives the comprehension.
  550. Brethren, listen to this:
  551. I came across this in my reading.
  552. And I really want to finish out this message on this note.
  553. A man by the name of Edward Payson,

  554. anyone ever hear that name? Edward Payson.
  555. He was a godly man who lived here in the United States
  556. during the time just after the American Revolution.
  557. Listen, listen to him describe how the ungrieved Spirit...
  558. the Spirit wasn't grieved in his life - ungrieved.
  559. How that Spirit flooded His comprehensions.
  560. He says this, "The Son of Righteousness has been
  561. gradually drawing nearer and nearer."
  562. Brethren, I know we've been talking about revival.
  563. And I know that there have been times in history
  564. where the Spirit of God has fallen suddenly.
  565. But brethren, one of the things I'm encouraging
  566. and arguing for here is that you make it a practice
  567. to seek to habitually live with the Spirit ungrieved.
  568. Habitually living in the beauties of this garden.
  569. Oh, revival's great.
  570. And when people are smothered by the love of God
  571. instantaneously and miraculously and extraordinarily
  572. that's great, but brethren, there are people who walk
  573. in these choice places far more than others.
  574. They tend to live there. They tend to dwell there.
  575. And here's a man, brethren, here's a man
  576. that didn't always know it was so.
  577. He didn't know the realms into which it was possible.
  578. Listen to how he expresses this.
  579. It's like he gets to the end and he's just kicking himself.
  580. He's saying, "Oh, if only I would have realized
  581. twenty years ago that this was all real! That it was so!"
  582. Listen to him, "the Son of Righteousness
  583. has been gradually drawing nearer and nearer.
  584. Appearing larger and brighter as He approached."
  585. I mean, through his spiritual senses he feels
  586. and senses and sees and hears and smells
  587. the approach of Christ.
  588. "And now Christ fills the whole hemisphere.
  589. Pouring forth a flood of glory in which I seem to float,
  590. like an insect in the beams of the sun.
  591. Exalting yet almost trembling while I gaze on this almost
  592. excessive brightness and wondering with
  593. unutterable wonder why God should deign to shine
  594. upon a sinful world."
  595. Listen, he goes on,
  596. "Christians might avoid much trouble and inconvenience
  597. if they would only believe what they profess.
  598. That God is able to make them happy without anything else."
  599. Do you know what he's saying, brethren?
  600. He's saying take everything else away.
  601. Take all your comforts away. All your enjoyments away.
  602. All your pleasures away. All your toys away.
  603. All the idols away. All the stuff. Clear it all out.
  604. All the relationships.
  605. And walk through this garden.
  606. And it's enough. It will make you happy
  607. with a joy that only comes from heaven, folks.
  608. "They imagine that if such-and-such a dear friend were to die
  609. or if such blessings were to be removed,
  610. they would be miserable.
  611. Whereas God can make them a thousand times
  612. happier without those things.
  613. To mention my own case,
  614. God has been depriving me of one blessing after another.
  615. But as each one was removed,
  616. He has come in and filled its place.
  617. And now, when I'm a cripple, and I'm not able to move,
  618. I'm happier than ever.
  619. I'm happer than ever I was in my life
  620. before or ever expected to be.
  621. And if I had believed this twenty years ago,
  622. I might have been spared much anxiety."
  623. So here it is.
  624. Listen to this.

  625. Here's a test put forth by the same man.
  626. He gives a very practical way to examine ourselves,
  627. in order to test where we're at with regards
  628. to the love of Christ.
  629. And whether we may have grieved the Spirit away
  630. from pouring the love of God into our hearts.
  631. Now listen to this:
  632. Brethren, I know this is true.
  633. It caught my attention because I know it.
  634. I know it. I've seen it as a Christian.
  635. I've felt it in my own life.
  636. I've gone through seasons.
  637. I've met other Christians.
  638. I've read of other Christians.
  639. Not just people who've had the Spirit of God fall on them,
  640. and been filled with the Spirit,
  641. and had some sensation of the love of Christ
  642. that was just momentary or for a short season.
  643. Now that's happened, and we certainly don't want
  644. to despise that, but I'm talking more here
  645. about a way of life.
  646. Listen to what Payson says,
  647. "Suppose professors of religion,
  648. (those who profess to be Christians),
  649. to be ranged in different concentric circles around Christ."
  650. So He's imagining Christ in the center,
  651. and then you have these concentric circles.
  652. A concentric circle is another circle with the same center.
  653. But they're getting bigger.
  654. Same center. Which is Christ. There He is in the middle.
  655. But then you have these concentric circles moving out from there.
  656. And he says each of these concentric circles is
  657. like different Christians.
  658. Different Christians live at these different concentric circles,
  659. moving out and away from the middle.
  660. He says, "Some value the presence of their Savior so highly
  661. they cannot bear to be at any removed from Him.
  662. Even their work, they will bring up and do it
  663. in the light of His countenance."
  664. And I want you to see what Payson recognized,
  665. you don't have to be a pastor or a missionary
  666. or in some certain designated church ministry
  667. for this to happen.
  668. That's not the case.
  669. Remember, brethren, remember!
  670. That you might have strength to comprehend
  671. with all the saints
  672. what is the breadth and length and height and depth.
  673. It's for all the saints, brethren, it's not just for the pastor.
  674. "They cannot bear to be at any removed from Christ,
  675. even their work they will bring up and do it
  676. in the light of His countenance. Whatever work that is.
  677. Whether it's in ministry, whether it's building,
  678. construction, plumber... and while engaged in it
  679. will be seen constantly raising their eyes to Him
  680. as if fearful of losing one beam of His light."
  681. Brethren, here's the truth, every child of God
  682. definitely knows the love of Christ.
  683. But not every child of God definitely knows that love
  684. to the same degree.
  685. Not all of us walk in the same circles.
  686. Not all of us live as close to Christ as others do or have.
  687. That's just a reality.
  688. Brethren, the innermost circle represents those...
  689. I can tell you this,
  690. when you live in the innermost circles,
  691. you are sensitive to Christ's love.
  692. Brethren, Christ saved us to love us.
  693. He loved us and He saved us,
  694. and He saved us to love us.
  695. And those that live closest, they are sensitive
  696. to His approaches, they are sensitive.
  697. That's what characterizes people here.
  698. They watch for that love.
  699. They watch to respond to that love.
  700. Brethren, this is the real test of whether you're
  701. maturing as a Christian.
  702. It isn't simple whether today you can articulate
  703. limited atonement where you couldn't a year ago.
  704. Brethren, the real test, the real key to maturing
  705. in the Christian life is how close to Christ you're walking.
  706. How close to Him you live.
  707. How much of His love you're bathed in.
  708. And I gaurantee this, just that reality of 2 Cointhians 3:18
  709. Brethren, the closer you live to the glory,
  710. the more you behold His glory,
  711. the more you are becoming conformed to that image.
  712. Brethren, some just live closer.
  713. That's a fact.
  714. They live where there's greater apprehensions of Christ's love.
  715. And I'll tell you this, children of God that live
  716. in this innermost circle, they must be careful.
  717. You say, what do you mean?
  718. Have you ever thought about Moses?
  719. God would say if I'm going to speak to one
  720. of the prophets, I'm going to do it through a vision,
  721. through a dream.
  722. He says when I speak to Moses, it's face to face.
  723. Can I tell you this?
  724. Moses struck the rock.
  725. How many of us have done some fool thing like that?
  726. in disobedience to God?
  727. Yet the consequences were not so severe. Why?
  728. Brethren, I'll tell you what, when you live
  729. in those inner circles, you must walk carefully.
  730. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says the air here is very pure
  731. and very rarified,
  732. and slight changes are immediately felt.
  733. Responsiveness to Christ's approaches must set us to
  734. a careful watch, brethren.
  735. Think about Moses.
  736. Those who walk in the innermost concentric circles,
  737. must develop a holy sensitivity to the advances of Christ.
  738. They must be sensitive to sin. Sensitive to their conscience.
  739. Sensitive to any grieving of the Spirit of God.
  740. Brethren, do you remember how it was?
  741. There in the Song of Solomon 5?
  742. We find that the woman there,
  743. she had taken her clothes off.
  744. She had removed her garment, it says,
  745. and she had washed her feet.
  746. And she was there at the bed,
  747. and her beloved came to the door.
  748. And you get that wonderful intimacy, that language there,
  749. that just flows out of that first part of Song of Solomon 5.
  750. But what happened? He's knocking on the door.
  751. Here's the advance. He's come to just immerse her in love.
  752. And there was hesitation. Did you catch that?
  753. There was a hesitation.
  754. She had the thought go through her head.
  755. Wait, I've put my garment off, I've washed my feet.
  756. There was the hesitation.
  757. Brethern, the people that walk in those
  758. innermost concentric circles...
  759. By the way, that lady was not at that moment
  760. living in the inner circle.
  761. There was a hesitation.
  762. And when she got to the door, her beloved was gone.
  763. Brethren, I guarantee you, there are times in life
  764. that Christ waits to smother you in His love.
  765. But you do not respond to His advances.
  766. You say, can you prove that from the Scriptures?
  767. Well, brethren, it's everywhere.
  768. But how about this?
  769. I mean, speaking to a church,
  770. speaking to a group of covenant people,
  771. not the lost indiscriminate masses.
  772. He's speaking to a church, brethren.
  773. And He says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock."
  774. And He says, "if you will open to Me, I will come in."
  775. And do what?
  776. "Dine with you." Brethren, in that near Eastern,
  777. middle Eastern mindset, to have somebody
  778. come into your house and dine with you
  779. was a sign of intimacy.
  780. You know in the Muslim world,
  781. for them to bring you in
  782. and have you for dinner in their home
  783. means that they are now under an obligation now to protect you.
  784. Brethren, there's an intimacy I think that sometimes
  785. we don't feel in our culture.
  786. But Christ was saying, "I stand here."
  787. Brethren, those that have used that illustration for
  788. Christ calling the lost multitudes,
  789. that's just simply not what this is talking about.
  790. Don't use that verse in that context.
  791. That's not what it means.
  792. He's speaking to His covenant people,
  793. and He's saying, "Look, I stand here."
  794. He just got done saying, "Those that I love, I chasten."
  795. And He's saying, "I stand here."
  796. He's been talking to those He loves, brethren.
  797. Brethren, to live in this inner circle,
  798. here's what it takes:
  799. the slightest tug of heart...
  800. I mean, you're sitting down to a meal,
  801. and you feel "Christ wants me to fast,"
  802. "He wants me to go be with Him."
  803. You're laying down on your bed,
  804. you feel Christ wants me to put my clothes on
  805. and go out and walk the fields and commune with Him.
  806. You're at work, you're in the middle of something,
  807. but you feel like God wants me to pray right now,
  808. the Lord is calling me.
  809. Brethren, we put it off. No, just not yet.
  810. But when we go there, it's like the young lady,
  811. she goes to the door and He's gone!
  812. Brethren, that happens. That happens when
  813. you put off the loving advances of a lover.
  814. That happens. That's how we cause grief.
  815. Brethren, it's not like Christ is somehow foreign
  816. and far removed. He's a Lover of His people.
  817. And we know what grieves two people that are in love.
  818. We know where the grief comes from.
  819. We know the kind of things...
  820. Brethren, when one lover is making an advance to another,
  821. and it's put off, and it's resisted.
  822. Or something is deemed to be more important,
  823. then we come to the door and He's gone.
  824. Boy, if we would have gone right when He called us.
  825. He was calling us to His Word. He wanted to speak to us.
  826. And when we get there...
  827. well, it's not there now.
  828. Brethren, if we're going to live in the innermost
  829. concentric circles, there must be sensitivity.
  830. Sensitivity, brethren, sensitivity!
  831. Too many of us have too much noise,
  832. too much clutter.
  833. We can't hear when He's knocking at the door.
  834. And brethren, you know how it is,
  835. when two people are in love,
  836. sometimes it's just - what?
  837. You catch a glance from one another, right?
  838. I mean, come on, you that are married...
  839. it's just a look. It's a fleeting glance of the eyes,
  840. and you saw something in your wife's eyes
  841. or your husband's eyes that just shot back to you,
  842. "I love you."
  843. Brethren, Christ is the same, and His ways
  844. of communicating His love are manifold.
  845. But brethren, so often we've got so much noise,
  846. we don't hear His voice.
  847. We don't hear the knock.
  848. Or we're so preoccupied with other things.
  849. Brethren, Payson's describing the people in
  850. these innermost circles, not as reading their Bibles perpetually.
  851. But even when they're in the workplace,
  852. they constantly have their eyes lifted up.
  853. "Lord, is this pleasing to You?" "Lord, is this right?"
  854. They're constantly talking. They're constantly singing.
  855. Their minds are constantly set on things above.
  856. They're constantly looking. They're constantly going there.
  857. They're afraid - they don't ever want to get to the place
  858. where they look up and "where is He?"
  859. "He's gone," or "I've drifted away,"
  860. "I've wandered away."
  861. There's a fear, brethren, there's a fear
  862. to live in this circle.
  863. That you don't want to strike the rock
  864. and now I can't go into the land of Canaan.
  865. There's a sensitivity here. We need to be careful.
  866. Remember Moses, brethren, remember.
  867. The apostle Paul was one who sought to live in this realm.
  868. Do you know there in 1 Corinthians 4:4, he says,
  869. "I know nothing against myself."
  870. Paul was a man who lived with a conscience
  871. that was undefiled, all the time, before God and man.
  872. Nothing, brethren, nothing.
  873. I'm not saying he lived a perfect life,
  874. but I'm saying he kept his conscience clear.
  875. He let nothing stand between Him and Christ - nothing!
  876. No idol in his life. No sin in his life.
  877. Short accounts. He dealt with it right away, right away.
  878. People that dwell in this innermost circle
  879. of the love of Christ, that bask in that glow
  880. more perpetually than all the rest of us.
  881. Brethren, they're sensitive. They're sensitive.
  882. They don't want to grieve Him, they don't want to
  883. grieve His Spirit at all.
  884. And this power just floods them.
  885. And the more we strive, the more we give ourselves,
  886. the more we try to be attentive to His advances,
  887. and His glances, and His voice, brethren,
  888. the more we will find that voice being heard.
  889. And we will find that glance coming to our eye.
  890. The more, brethren, the more.
  891. Christ is not slow, brethren.
  892. We need to be sensitive.
  893. Brainerd. You guys know David Brainerd, many of you.
  894. He worked among the Indians in the 1700's.
  895. Brethren, he would confess his pride somewhat hourly
  896. trying to keep sensitive, trying to keep short accounts,
  897. trying to keep in the Presence.
  898. Oh, brethren, as you are more and more
  899. responsive to Christ and all His loving approaches,
  900. your comprehension of His love will grow.
  901. Don't let a frown of grief come across that Spirit at all.
  902. Keep all the channels open. All of them flowing.
  903. It's like that song says, "Nothing between, nothing between."
  904. All of it out of there.
  905. As Jude says, "Keep yourselves in the love of God."
  906. Brethren, that's not about being saved.
  907. That's about people, as our missionary in China loves to say,
  908. brethren, it's a sensible sense of God's love.
  909. Keep yourselves in the love of God.
  910. That doesn't mean that once God loves me,
  911. I can get away from His love.
  912. His love is eternal. His love is everlasting.
  913. When He lays His love upon somebody,
  914. nobody can pluck them out of His hand.
  915. That's not what He's talking about there.
  916. The idea is, brethren, there is a place
  917. where the love of Christ flows.
  918. Get you there. Get there. Sit there. Find that place.
  919. It takes sensitivity. It takes awareness.
  920. I'll tell you this, the lazy aren't going to find that place.
  921. Those that aren't committed to this;
  922. those that are in love with the world;
  923. those that would rather play at Christianity...
  924. you're not going to find this place.
  925. Keep yourselves sensitive, keep yourselves alert
  926. in this rarified air, brethren, of the inner circles.
  927. But then, here's Edward Payson.
  928. "Others, to be sure,
  929. would not be content to live out of Christ's presence,
  930. but they're yet less wholly absorbed by it than these first ones
  931. and may be seen a little further off,
  932. engaged here and there in other various callings;
  933. their eyes generally upon their work,
  934. but often looking up for the light which they love."
  935. You see, people, as we fall and we move further out
  936. of these concentric circles,
  937. the Spirit's work is somewhat more resisted.
  938. We allow somewhat more of the grieving of the Spirit.
  939. People in this category allow more noise,
  940. more distractions.
  941. Christ's knock at the door is less obvious.
  942. It gets mistaken for other noises.
  943. Their minds tend to stray from Christ for longer periods.
  944. The young lady from the Song of Solomon,
  945. at least at that point there where she put off her lover,
  946. at least at that moment, she was in more
  947. of these outward circles.
  948. Brethren, you know what happens?
  949. There's a hesitation in our obedience.
  950. There's a hesitation in our love.
  951. Isn't that what happened?
  952. That lady when her lover came to the door,
  953. she hesitated. Isn't that what happened?
  954. She got to thinking, "well, I put my garment off,
  955. I washed my feet." There was a hesitation.
  956. Brethren, that is often what characterizes
  957. what the difference is that characterizes
  958. those in the innermost circles from the outermost.
  959. We tend to move more outward from those
  960. concentric circles of the love of Christ
  961. when there's more hesitation.
  962. There's more justifying that which probably
  963. isn't good in our life.
  964. They may be somewhat neutral things, but they're just stuff.
  965. They're just filler.
  966. We move more into the realm -
  967. you know how it says in Philippians,
  968. we need to approve what is excellent.
  969. The ones in the innermost circles, they approve
  970. what is most excellent.
  971. As you begin to move out, people tolerate stuff that's good
  972. at the expense of stuff that's excellent.
  973. People in this realm, to be sure,
  974. they're people that do love Christ.
  975. People in this camp, the love for Christ is full,
  976. it's rich, it's strong.
  977. But that recently put off garment; those freshly washed feet,
  978. often are the kinds of things that give rise to
  979. such the hesitation that puts them in a class
  980. as to where they get to the door and they don't enjoy
  981. the overwhelming embraces of Christ.
  982. He's gone.
  983. Brethren, some of us are too calculated.
  984. Over much calculation, over much deliberation,
  985. over much hesitation - hesitations of doubt,
  986. distractions by the world.
  987. Brethren, it costs.
  988. But moving outward still, Payson goes on to describe
  989. this last category. He says this,
  990. "A third class beyond these, but yet within the life-giving rays."
  991. In his estimation, as he lived his life when he's writing this,
  992. he's at the end of his life. He's observed,
  993. there are people who are genuinely saved.
  994. They're within the life-giving rays.
  995. It includes a doubtful multitude.
  996. "Many of whom are so much engaged in their worldly schemes,
  997. that they may be seen standing sideways to Christ,
  998. looking mostly the other way, and
  999. only now and then turning their faces towards the light."
  1000. Brethren, you can see the picture, right?
  1001. Christ is here in the center, and they're in these fading
  1002. concentric circles, and they're standing sideways.
  1003. Which means, they can turn and glance.
  1004. The people in the inner circles,
  1005. they've got their eyes on Christ.
  1006. They're just afraid, lest they take them off.
  1007. The people as you move out, they tend to turn.
  1008. They tend to turn more and more to the side.
  1009. Until you get in the outer concentric circles
  1010. of what still remains to be true Christianity.
  1011. And brethren, a lot of people live there.
  1012. It's kind of like that picture that Spurgeon paints
  1013. of the love of Christ being an ocean to swim in.
  1014. And that most Chrsitians wade ankle deep.
  1015. Very, very few dive in to find it an ocean to swim in.
  1016. Brethren, what I want to ask you right now
  1017. is let's just bring it home.
  1018. Where are you at?
  1019. I mean is this true of you?
  1020. Where are you living? What are you content with?
  1021. Brethren, what happens in our life?
  1022. Can I tell you this?
  1023. Can you be a Christian and grieve the Spirit?
  1024. Obviously, or Paul wouldn't be telling those Ephesians not to do it.
  1025. Can you grieve the Spirit
  1026. and then His fiery influences are quenched?
  1027. And now this power doesn't flow in us, to comprehend this love?
  1028. Obviously, brethren, that's why there's danger
  1029. in quenching the Spirit.
  1030. That's why there's danger in grieving the Spirit.
  1031. We woudn't be told not to do it if it didn't matter.
  1032. It does matter.
  1033. It greatly matters.
  1034. But think about grieving the Spirit.
  1035. Think about it. What happens?
  1036. Brethren, I can remember one time as a kid,
  1037. my brother and I, we went to this carnival,
  1038. up there in Michigan, and we got on this
  1039. thing that went around in circles.
  1040. And what made it fun was that once it got going around,
  1041. it would shoot you way up in the air.
  1042. So there we were. My brother and I got in this thing,
  1043. we were spinning around, and every time we went around
  1044. by the ride operator, he'd shout something at us.
  1045. All the other cars are going up, ours wouldn't go up.
  1046. We just kept going in circles.
  1047. What made the ride fun was the fact you got to go up in the air.
  1048. But he kept shouting something. We couldn't hear him.
  1049. So we're moving around, moving this way,
  1050. going over here, we thought he wanted us
  1051. to move further in, further out.
  1052. We're moving all over, we're doing all this stuff.
  1053. In the end, the ride's over, and we never got to go up.
  1054. But you know that's a lot like a lot of Christians.
  1055. You know what he was saying,
  1056. "Pull the safety bar back."
  1057. We never did hear it.
  1058. But it's like that with a lot of Christians.
  1059. Brethren, you're being told by the apostle.
  1060. He's the ride operator. You're on the ride.
  1061. He's shouting to you:
  1062. "Don't grieve the Spirit."
  1063. "Pull into the inner circles,
  1064. that you might comprehend the love of Christ."
  1065. The vastness of it.
  1066. To be filled with all the fullness of God.
  1067. It will bring you power, folks.
  1068. It will help you. It will pull you through this life.
  1069. It will pull you through the problems.
  1070. Brethren, what does grieve the Holy Spirit?
  1071. And it comes back to this aspect of love.
  1072. It really does.
  1073. Somebody will come along and say,
  1074. well, the only possible thing that could grieve
  1075. the Holy Spirit is sin.
  1076. You know what I find?
  1077. I find even when there's sin, such as,
  1078. remember the prodigal son?
  1079. He lived in all sorts of sin.
  1080. And when he came back to his father,
  1081. his father didn't meet him with a grieved smile.
  1082. Remember, what grieves the Father, grieves the Son,
  1083. grieves the Spirit. They're all One.
  1084. As far as what grieves them. What grieves the Spirit
  1085. would be the same thing that grieves the Father.
  1086. But here's the picture Christ is painting for us of the Father.
  1087. Despite all the sin, the Father did not welcome him back
  1088. with a frown of grief.
  1089. There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents,
  1090. than over 99 that need no repentance.
  1091. Brethren, you cannot just nail it down to the fact
  1092. that sin...
  1093. brethren, it comes back to the intimacy thing.
  1094. The Father's rejoicing because here comes one now,
  1095. a repentant sinner, that's seeking the intimacy.
  1096. Coming back, returning to the Father,
  1097. the Father throws His arms, kisses, robes, sandals,
  1098. fatted calf, rings on finger...
  1099. brethren, again, it's intimacy.
  1100. You want to know what grieves the Spirit?
  1101. Listen to this, you say, well
  1102. certainly not keeping His commandments.
  1103. Yeah, but He says, listen to how He says it.
  1104. Yes, that's true, but that's not all the truth of it.
  1105. The truth is, if you love Me, keep My commandments.
  1106. Even there, Christ is making it an intimacy thing.
  1107. A relational thing. He's appealing, brethren.
  1108. If you love Me, keep My commandments.
  1109. I'm not so much interested in people
  1110. walking around through life who coldly
  1111. and mechanically just try to be law keepers.
  1112. I'm looking for people who are like these people
  1113. in the innermost concentric cirlces; they're afraid
  1114. they fear lest they should fall out of His love,
  1115. out of His loving beams, out of His gaze.
  1116. Keep yourselves in the love of God.
  1117. The reason that they're wanting to be so meticulous
  1118. is lest they should have any cloud come between them.
  1119. Brethren, when that's what drives you,
  1120. look how pleasing that is to Him.
  1121. Brethren, He says, have you ever read
  1122. what was said of the Ephesian church there
  1123. in Revelation 2?
  1124. Brethren, they were a good church. They were good.
  1125. If you go through the list of everything that Christ says,
  1126. positively about them, they are a tremendous church.
  1127. But in the end, He says this,
  1128. despite all that looks tremendous,
  1129. despite all that may seem to the contrary,
  1130. "You've lost your first love,
  1131. and that I hold against you."
  1132. Brethren, you want to know something that grieves the Spirit?
  1133. When you begin to lose this first love.
  1134. That in itself is grieving.
  1135. It's grieving.
  1136. Brethren, when you look at these things?
  1137. Where are we?
  1138. Where are you?
  1139. Where have you been?
  1140. Where have you been living?
  1141. Brethren, if we can press in. Press in. Press upward.
  1142. Brethren, I not only love reading about these guys
  1143. that have this burst of love come upon them.
  1144. But these men, these women, who lived
  1145. year in, year out, in the blazing glory.
  1146. Samuel Rutherford, I'll just end on this:
  1147. Spurgeon says of him,
  1148. "Old Samuel Rutherford used expressions sometimes so rapturous,"
  1149. Spurgeon says, "I won't even quote them."
  1150. And here's why. Spurgeon said,
  1151. "Love letters are not to be read in the streets.
  1152. And the words which souls inflamed with heavenly fire
  1153. sometimes use towards Christ are not fit for public repetition.
  1154. For there are passages of love, there are
  1155. sweet embraces of affections of which we must not tell.
  1156. For this were to commit treason such as Paul might have done
  1157. if he had told on earth those things that He had heard in heaven.
  1158. And which it would not be lawful for a man to utter here."
  1159. Brethren, do you know anything of that?
  1160. Do you know anything of such words, such exchanges
  1161. between you and Christ that it's almost unfit for the public?
  1162. They're there in the inner circles.
  1163. That you might be able to comprehend with all the saints
  1164. that you might be able to press into these inner circles
  1165. that's what that means.
  1166. Brethren, the power of the Spirit of God is there.
  1167. Don't grieve Him.
  1168. This is your life.
  1169. This is it. Basking in the glow of Christ's love is it.
  1170. That's what fills us with all the fullness of God.
  1171. You can't go in further.
  1172. There's no more further in than the innermost circles, brethren.
  1173. Now we will get swept, unless it's just to go into Christ Himself,
  1174. which we are in there.
  1175. We'll just be swept off into glory forever and ever,
  1176. just to be ravished by this love.
  1177. Well, I'm sorry I can't - I can guarantee you
  1178. there is a glory here to be brought out
  1179. that I feel I fail tremendously to be able to do,
  1180. but seek to dwell on these things.
  1181. Go after them.
  1182. Brethren, walk carefully.
  1183. Strive to know nothing against yourself, nothing at all.
  1184. Be careful.
  1185. Don't hesitate.
  1186. When Christ beckons you, go at once.
  1187. When He calls you to prayer, jump.
  1188. When He calls you to the Word, jump.
  1189. When He calls you to fast, move, brethren.
  1190. When He calls your name... don't be slow.
  1191. "Here am I."
  1192. When He puts that tinge in your conscience, don't go that way,
  1193. brethren, don't go that way.
  1194. When He knocks at the door, run to that door and open it.
  1195. And may God help us.