In Message 10 of the recent Summer Training, Brother Ed Marks shared some parallelistic phrases from the Word which describe to us the proper living of a vital person. We should keep these and other similar phrases (in bold below) in view as we consider how to be useful in the church life.
The way to be vital, to be useful to the Lord, is to live a life that is “day by day” (Psalm 68:19; 2 Cor. 4:16). We should not be those who are looking at our past, as pitiful or as successful as it may be, nor those who are only looking to the future, as bright or dim as it may appear. Rather, we should seek the Lord “morning by morning” and “evening by evening” (Isa. 50:4; 2 Chron. 13:11).
Such a life is not beyond our capacity. It should be “little by little” (Exo 23:30) and “here a little, there a little” (Isa. 28:10). Although we may deem it impossible to have a full 30 minutes of time in the Word every morning, why allow the enemy to defeat us? Set aside two minutes to fight him and touch your spirit each morning. Two to three minutes of revival with the Lord each morning can eventually grow to longer times. Dinner and fellowship in a home one night a week can easily grow to two to three nights a week so that our church life is “house to house” (Acts 2:46), where we can function “one by one” (1 Cor. 14:31).
We should not improperly apply the saying, “Be what you are until the Lord changes you,” by taking it as an excuse to accept our fallen condition as permanent. Rather we should say, “Be what you are, and allow the Lord to change you.” While it is certainly not up to our own effort to improve our inward condition, we need to learn to be open and willing to allow the Lord the way to change us. With such a willingness, our Christian life will gradually become “brighter and brighter” (Prov. 4:18) and go “from strength to strength” (Psa. 84:5-7).
This is an act of “grace upon grace” (John 1:16), which culminates in our transformation “from glory to glory” (2 Cor 3:18) and brings us into a realm which is from “eternity to eternity” (Psalm 41:13).
“Amen and amen.” (Psalm 41:13).
15 thoughts on “Keys to the Normal Christian Life and Church Life”
For over a year I have had a big struggle, trying to study the truth every day. Recently the Lord really helped me to consecrate, and now I make sure I study something before I eat dinner every day.
The problem is, I am going through the life-studies and I wanted to cover a message a day, yet at the moment I can only study one or two paragraphs. However, I know that the habit is more important because the amount I study can increase more and more, but the precious thing is the daily supply.
So my thought now is, if I can’t study for 30 minutes, then I will spend 10 minutes, or if I can’t even do that, I will at least pray read a verse and read its footnotes. Little by little the Word of God is growing in me!
Regan, I agree, the habit is more important than the amount. This has been my experience also. We just need a little bit more each day. Oh Lord! A little more today!
these little phrases carefully selected from the Word of God are an encouragement to me also… it’s not BIG things but “little by little”, even “here a little and there a little”… If I spend time with the Lord in the word “day by day” and with the saints “from house to house”, both “morning by morning” and “evening by evening”, then indeed our pathway will be “from glory to glory”!
Excellent word brothers. In response to the comment above, there are several websites which are very helpful in getting into the Word and ministry every day. One is readhisword.com. The other is ministrybooks.org/reading. The latter lets you schedule a portion of a Life study, whether it be a full message or just a page, for reading every day, and it keeps track if you miss a day.
Also, the verse for “here a little, there a little” is Isaiah 28:10, not 28:23.
Amen and Amen, hallelujah!
Thank you TM for pointing that out. It’s been corrected. Praise the Lord!
In reference to seeking and staying in the Lord’s presence by spending time with Him in His word, I just like to add that the supply of life to do so comes from the Lord Himself and is in his Divine life dispensed into us as we abide in Him continuously in every practical aspect of our day by day living. By obeying the Lord in His commandments and in His moment by moment instruction to us concerning every detail of our life, the Lord is given a way to infuse more of Himself, The Triune God into our being (John 14:23-24,15:10), then in 1st John 2:5 and 5:3 (with footnotes below)we will have the very essence of the Triune God who is love dwelling in us. In this way His divine essence of love and His Life becomes constituted into us by which we love Him and His word to spend time in His presence and also His Divine life becomes the very strength within us by which we are empowered to stay in His presence loving our Lord.
May the Lord Have mercy on us to help us keep His Word and obey His commandments that we will day by day receive of His divine essence for our continual seeking and enjoyment of Himself,our all in all.amen.
1 John 2:5
5 But whoever keeps His word, truly in this one the love of God has been perfected. In this we know that we are in Him.
Love: The Greek word denotes the love that is higher and nobler than human affection (see notes 71 and 72 in 2 Pet. 1). Only this word with its verb forms is used in this Epistle for love. Here the love of God denotes our love toward God, which is generated by His love within us. The love of God, the word of the Lord, and God Himself are all related to one another. If we keep the Lord’s word, God’s love has been perfected in us. It is altogether a matter of the divine life, which is God Himself. God’s love is His inward essence, and the Lord’s word supplies us with this divine essence, with which we love the brothers. Hence, when we keep the divine word, the divine love is perfected through the divine life, by which we live.
1 John 5:3
3 For this is the 1love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
Burdensome: Lit., heavy. To the divine life with its capability, the commandments of God are not heavy.
Praise the Lord for His daily supply. He is so GREAT, so HUGE, but He made Himself available for us! Though we are very much busy in our work here in the Middle East, He is also busy providing us His grace by grace supply as our day by day enjoyment!
here’s a great hymn to go along with this message: http://www.hymnal.net/hymn.php/ns/157
Lord renew us morning by morning!
We really should seek the Lord morning by morning. We may not able to do it on our own but the Christ in us could do it.
I remember seven years ago when I was still new to the ministry, I was really touch by the testimony of believers of having morning watch. Even though I work in health related field that require me to wake at 6:30 am to start work, I just could not wake up at even 7 am on my non working days to have morning revival. I felt like a failure but somehow in my heart I prayed to the Lord.
Our Lord Jesus is a Wise Administrator.
He arranged the environmemt over the years to cause me to be so desperate that I really need to collect the manna every morning for sustenance.
Thank you Lord.
Amen, O how we need to have a time with The Lord to allow Him to shine on our conscience. Yesterday, br. Andrew Yu gave the message at the ministry meeting on having a heart that is soft, pure, loving, and a heart at peace. The part that touched me was the matter of confession. He said that confession is “wholesome,” “healthy,” it “invigorates you” and “liberates you.” He said that as soon as we get up from our bed and start living “our life :(” “Things” start getting on us. He also said that if we daily exercise our heart in the morning and confess our sins, we will have a healthy heart, just as if we exercise our physical heart daily. One sister then shared with me that The Lord uses physical things so we can understand the spiritual ones. So, just as the blood passes through the heart and then it brings nourishment to all the parts of our body, so the spirit passes through our heart. However, if our heart is not exercised, if it is full of “other things” and sin, then our spirit is imprisoned there and cannot permeate our mind, emotion and will. O Lord, grant us a heart that is pure, soft, loving and at peace. May we come to You morning by morning, by turning to our spirit, exercising our heart, confessing all that You shine. Thank You Healing Lord. You are faithful to sanctify us. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 SO THAT HE MAY ESTABLISH YOUR HEARTS BLAMELESS IN HOLINESS BEFORE OUR GOD AND FATHER AT THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS WITH ALL HIS SAINTS.
I realised after reading through this message that I need to seek the Lord daily.
praise The Lord. coincidentally right now I am reading these two books together: The Normal Christian Life and The Normal Christian Church Life. For years and even now I always look at myself and also look at my past. The things I did not achieve, how late I am. Spiritually also I see how much of a failure I. am. I ask if I am truly saved?
But praise The Lord, I pray that after reading this I will also experience it that I may have a fulfilling Christian life.