“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:16)
“Redeeming in the original text means “buying back.” Brothers and sisters, God gives us time. It is like capital to a businessman. Time is our capital…this year we have to redeem our time. God has given us time and expects us to make good use of it in the same way that businessmen make good use of their capital. May we all use our time properly, and may we not allow it to pass by vainly and to become wasted.” (Collected Works of Watchman Nee Vol.17)
In the month of January, over 1000 saints from all over the world signed up to read the Life-Study of 1 Thessalonians. During the course of the 30 days, 680 comments were left, flooding the internet with the riches of Christ from 1 Thessalonians.
First Thessalonians unveils a holy life for the church life–a holy life whose structure consists of the work of faith, the labor of love, and the endurance of hope, whose fostering requires the cherishing mothers and exhorting fathers, and whose encouragement and establishing is for our faith and love. This holy life is lived out by the saints who are dwelling “in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” participating in all that Jesus has experienced and all that Christ has obtained and attained. Their hearts, having been turned and purified, are now being established blameless in holiness and their entire tripartite being is undergoing sanctification to be preserved complete. Such an epistle was written to a church comprised of new believers. How much we need to have these points constituted into our being for our sake and for the sake of those we shepherd into the church life.
As we conclude our reading of the Life-Study of 1 Thessalonians, we would like to suggest two ways of continuing our pursuit from February 6th to 14th:
1) Catch up and finish the messages from 1 Thessalonians, or
2) Continue on to the seven Life-study messages of 2 Thessalonians.
Livingtohim.com will continue the daily posts containing the outline of the message and a place for comments. Perhaps we can all learn to pick up the burden in these messages according to the fellowship from brother Chris Wilde posted here.
In addition, a new thirteen-and-a-half minute video fellowship from brother Andrew Yu is now posted here concerning our Life-study reading. This fellowship is very timely and beneficial to all of us.
Finally, we would like everyone to share their experience, enjoyment, successes, or even failures related to reading the Life-studies for our mutual learning and encouragement. You can do so by leaving comments below.
“I am a little concerned that many who have bought the Life-studies of the New Testament have just put them on their shelves. You have to get yourself soaked with the Life-studies. Every day at every available time you should read the messages. Do not put them on the shelf.” (Witness Lee, Being Desperate and Living Uniquely for the Gospel, Qualifications of Door-Knocking for Fruit-Bearing)
14 thoughts on “Continuing in the Life-Studies”
I really enjoy this corporate pursuit. For a long time I have been telling myself to read the life study but i just couldn’t get myself to start. This corporate pursuit is great. It helps me to start reading the life study and it also encourages me to keep going as I am not doing it by myself, I am doing it with a large number of saints all over the would. Praise the Lord. How great it is we can pursue Christ together with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
The corporate motivation to know the truth is quite encouraging and inciting. The more we are in the word spontaneously there will be the increase and spread. “When of Thy Person we partake, The one new man is shown.” “Constitution, Appreciation, Propagation.” The co-workers are burdened to Gospelize, Truthize and Churchize America. This is not hard. We already know of one strategic city that will be fully truthized in the millenium–“Jerusalem will be called the ‘City of Truth'” (Zech. 8:3).
Amen! I have bin reading thru all the Life-Study’s of the miner Prophets in the Month of January.How marvelous. In Zechariah Message 8 which com from Chapter 8 vv.21 22 it says: Peoples, Even the Inhabitants of Many Cities and strong Nations will come to seek Jehovah of hosts in Jerusalem saying, Let us go at once to entreat the favor of Jehovah. And the Brother is saying: I hope that one day in all the Local churches the situation will be like this.Whenever someone would say, “Let us go to the meetings,” and another would say,I Will go too, “this will be the situation in the Millennium. Hallelujah!
I have really enjoyed this corporate pursuit of reading the Life-Study messages every day. It’s has been a wonderful way to get me into the habit of getting into the ministry daily. I even missed having something to read on the weekends so I picked up another book to have as my weekend reading! The Lord has shown me very much about redeeming the time. I thank the Lord for this fellowship and coordination in the Body that has encouraged me to build healthy habits of being soaked in the word and the ministry of the age.
Just a few thoughts on how much I appreciated participating in this program:
1) For the first time in a long time, I had something constituted into my being almost every day. I felt I could pray with the saints in a deeper way. I could fellowship with more substance. Without a doubt, the constitution in my being increased.
2) I liked having the weekends off. There were many times where I needed and used the weekends to catch up.
3) When I couldn’t manage an entire message, I tried my best to read at least a portion of one. If anything, this at least preserved the habit of reading and helped me continue on the next day.
This corporate pursuit has really helped me. It’s the first time I managed to read through the life studies of the same book right through to the end. And it’s because I know there are all these saints who are pursuing at the same pace as me.
My favourite part is to read the responses of all the saints. It makes the life studies so much richer. It helps me see the main burden of the message, and it helps me appreciate the precious points that I have missed when I read through the chapter myself.
As I’m circulating between work and an unbelieving home environment everyday, sometimes I feel that my only source of supply through the body is through the saints on this website. Eventhough I don’t know any of the saints here, seeing their names recurring message after message tells me that there are saints pursuing with me, and it encourages me to carry on.
This corporate pursuit has been so helpful to me. I hope it carries on for my entire life.
Wow! Amen! This is also my experience. Yes this corporate pursuit has been so helpful to me too. I am enjoying a lot reading the life – study and listen to the broadcasts of LS – especially I am enjoying reading of LS from time to time with some sisters by phone or skype. And even if still I can not pick up the main burden of the message I am not discourage because I can learn from others 🙂
Praise the Lord that in the Body we are members of one another to pray for one another, stay with one another to encourage, support and supply by ministering His life to one another. This is so mutual.
Dear Saints so let’s keep loving the Lord, pursuing Him, gaining Him, enjoying Him – and share this joy with others for His corporate expression for His glory!
I so enjoyed reading the messages together with all the saints!! The quote that was posted the first few days about being a changed person in just 50 days of reading the Life Study Messages really was wonderful! It’s so encouraging that as we gain the Lord, little by little we can express more of Him and every bit we gain of Him never goes away!
I enjoy the reading very much. knowing that there is so many saints reading the life study together keep me reading til today. there has been much nourishment, word of encouragement and strengthening word in every message. Lord, strengthened us to keep pursuing after You.
REDEEMING THE TIME TO LEARN THE TRUTH
I hope that not one among us would say that he does not have time. Some people say that they are really busy, but once they get on the telephone, they spend half an hour to an hour gossiping. If we would save our time to learn the truth, we would have more than enough time. It is very easy for us to waste time in our daily life. Hence, Paul told us to redeem the time (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5) and understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:17). To redeem the time means to grasp every opportunity, and the way to redeem the time is to not make any casual telephone calls, to not gossip, and to not waste time. Instead, we should save all our time to learn the truth.
I’ m really encourage to continue reading the life studies with all the saints. It’s been such a blessing.
AMEN! WE NEED TO REDEEM THE TIME! We need to take opportunity to do GOOD! What does it mean to do good?
1) To forgive others
“First, I need to talk about forgiving others. We should realize that God gives us opportunities to forgive others. These opportunities to forgive others will pass away. Perhaps in the twinkling of an eye you will die or he will die. Brothers and sisters, I do not know if anyone among us today is unwilling to forgive others. If there are some, please forgive now. If you wait until later, the opportunity may be gone.”
2) To Love God and man
“Second, we should do our best to love others. There was a wife who had died. Her husband carefully put a bunch of flowers into her hand. A little child, leaning against the wall, said coldly, “This is the first time he gave flowers to her.” Oh, if you give someone flowers when he is dead, why do you not give him flowers while he is still alive? I have seen many people neglected when they were alive, but when they died people sent them flowers! We should do good when there is still the opportunity. Many people are waiting for us to do good to them. One poem says:”
3) To give
“Third, we have to help other people with our money. A rich man said, “Whenever there is money it should be given away.” Do not think that your money can be saved for some better use in the future, and that you will give more money when there is a better use. Actually, the “good use” of the present time is better than the “better use” of the future. Many people want to save fifty or a hundred dollars and take it out when there is a real need. But I must tell you that you may not be able to take it out on that day. Why not give the ten, twenty, or thirty cents to the beggar today? Perhaps when the real need comes, it will already be too late.”
4) To save man
“Mr. Moody was preaching at one time in a chapel in Chicago. At the end of the meeting he said, “Friends, if there is anyone here who has not believed in the Lord today and has not repented, I hope that you will come again.” That same evening, there was a big fire in Chicago. Even the chapel was burned down. Afterward, Mr. Moody preached again in a rebuilt wooden house. At the beginning of his speaking, he wept because those who were there that day were not the same ones who had attended the previous meeting. From then on, Mr. Moody always exhorted the people to believe immediately and not wait for another time because there might not be another time.”
5) To study the truth
“Who can say that the Lord Jesus will not come this year? Who can say that the Lord Jesus will not come today? Perhaps the Lord will come today. Perhaps today is the very last opportunity. Therefore, we should consecrate to the Lord today. There is only today. On that day when you meet the Lord, even if you had ten thousand hearts, you would surely give all of them to the Lord. Even if there were ten thousand worlds, you would gladly forsake them all. But it would be too late, for you would have missed your opportunity. You should serve the Lord while you still have the opportunity.”
What a mercy to have the ministry of the age! I have been in the recovery for 32 years and my goal has always been to read all of our dear Brother Lee’s writings. If he could speak it in his life time, we can read it in our life time. So since 1980, I have read through the ministry books and wrote down the dates when I finished reading them in the Living Stream Ministry Retail Catalog. Now I am reading through “The Collected Works of Witness Lee.” I know which books I have read already and only read the books that I haven’t read. I am currently reading 1969, Volume 2. I have read through the Life Studies.
“Therefore having this ministry as we have been shown mercy, we do not lose heart.” (2 Cor. 4:1) The ministry has always been my salvation and my supply. Praise the Lord!
I’ve really been enjoying this life study reading.I enjoyed the encouragement and corrections in 2 Thessalonians.O Lord, I want to live a holy life for the church life!