June Pursuit – The Cycle of Life – Opening Word

June Pursuit is here! During the month of June we will be getting into Loving the Lord’s appearing and growing in life (by being in the “The Cycle of Life”)

We will be pursuing through Bible reading, a daily devotional, small group readings, and ministry video meetings. The following video is the opening word for the pursuit, enjoy!

“Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, with which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will recompense me in that day, and not only me but also all those who have loved His appearing.” – 2 Tim. 4:8

Prayer and the Gospel – Persevere in Prayer

PERSEVERE IN PRAYER

Col. 4:2 Persevere in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving
John 14:13-14 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

We must learn to pray continually. George Müller is a good example of someone who prayed continually. According to his autobiography, everyone for whom he prayed eventually was saved. At the time of his death, only one or two were not saved. Later, however, even they were saved. There is the need for persistence in prayer. If we pray for a short time and do not see immediate results, we may be disappointed. Instead, we should pray continually and not give up. We do not know when the people in our prayers will be saved. George Müller even prayed for one person over a period of about forty years. We also should persistently pray for our contacts and even pray for them together with other saints. The ones that we mention before the throne of the Lord, asking in His name, will be saved (John 14:13-14). We must fulfill our priestly service by praying to bring people to the Lord. We should put them on our breast and shoulders (Exo. 28:29-30), bearing them in love and in power into the presence of the Lord. After we pray in this manner, we will be authorized and filled with the word. The word is our authority to go to the people as kings. We are both priests and kings (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6). We are priests, so we can pray for the sinners to bring them to God, and we are kings, so we can bring God to the sinners. First we bring sinners to the Lord, and then we bring the Lord to sinners. When we go to the Lord with sinners by praying, we are priests. When we come to sinners with the Lord by preaching, we are kings. As kings, our speaking has authority. People will realize that our speaking is not ordinary but weighty.

Prayer and the Gospel – The Importance of Prayer

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER

1 Pet. 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Ephesians 6:12 For our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies

We need the preaching and the speaking of the word, but first we have to pray. As Christians, we are priests and kings (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6). When we pray, we are functioning as priests. When we preach, we are functioning as kings. As priests, we should bring people to the Lord in our prayer. We have to bring all the people on the campuses to the Lord, and if possible, pray for them by name. While it may not be possible to name every name, we can still pray, “Lord, we do not know all the names of the people on campus, but You know them. We offer them all to You according to Your knowledge.”Prayer is also necessary to deal with the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12). Our fighting is against the evil spiritual forces in the heavenlies. Men do not reject the gospel because of its content. There is nothing offensive about the content of the gospel. The content of the gospel is good, bright, glorious, sweet, and rich. People reject the gospel because they are in the captivity of the strong man, the devil (Matt. 12:29). Before the young people go to the campuses, they must pray and bind the strong man (v. 29); otherwise, the demons will control and even frustrate their efforts to preach the gospel. The prayers of the saints will cause all the demons to tremble. We have to be one with the Lord to fight the spiritual warfare against His enemy. (Preaching the Gospel on the College Campuses)

Companions – Members of The Body of Christ

Higher Ground | Day 19

MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST

1 Cor. 12:12 For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.
1 Cor. 12:27 Now you are the Body of Christ, and members individually.

Everyone who is saved is a member of the Body of Christ. Is the life in each one of us, then, a life pertaining to the members or to the Body? The Bible and our experience prove that though each one of us is a member of Christ, the life in each one of us is not a member life but a Body life. All the members of our body are sharing one life. Each member shares in common the same life together with all the other members, that is, the life of the entire body. For example, an ear, unless it has been cut off, shares the same blood that flows through the eye, the nose, and the whole body. Similarly, in the Body of Christ, when one member is joined to the Body or having fellowship with the Body, his life is the life of the Body, and the life of the Body is his life. It would not do for him to be separated from the other members, or vice versa, because the life in him and in the other members is of the same Body; it can neither be distinguished nor separated. It is this life that joins us together to become the Body of Christ; or, to say it more precisely and emphatically, it is this life that mingles with us to become the Body of Christ. (The Experience of Life, Chapter 15)


Companions – The Divine Fellowship

Higher Ground | Day 18

THE DIVINE FELLOWSHIP

1 John 1:2-3 (And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us); 3 That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

Just as the current of electricity is the electricity itself, the fellowship of the divine life, the flow of the divine life, is the divine life itself. We can say that electrical appliances live an “electrical life,” a life of the current of electricity. Similarly, our Christian life is a life of the fellowship of the divine life. The New Testament reveals that the Christian meeting, the Christian married life, and the Christian work are just the divine fellowship. The divine fellowship is everything in the Christian life. Those who were saved in Acts 2 were brought into and continued steadfastly in the apostles’ fellowship (v. 42). Later in the New Testament, the divine fellowship is called the fellowship of the Father and of His Son (1 John 1:3), the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14), and the fellowship of spirit (Phil. 2:1).

In John’s first Epistle, he speaks of the divine fellowship. First John 1:2-3 says, “(And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us); that which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” The apostles wanted to have fellowship with the believers; this is horizontal fellowship. Then the apostles stated that their fellowship was with the Triune God; this is vertical fellowship. The vertical fellowship brings us into the horizontal fellowship. The horizontal fellowship then brings us into the vertical fellowship on a larger scale. This larger scale of fellowship is the meetings. (The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man, Chapter 18)


Higher Ground: June Pursuit Transition

How should we view our transition from one pursuit to another? May these verses and the included short podcast encourage you!

Brothers, I do not account of myself to have laid hold; but one thing I do: Forgetting the things which are behind and stretching forward to the things which are before, I pursue toward the goal for the prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward. – Philippians 3:13-14

… And exercise yourself unto godliness. For bodily exercise is profitable for a little, but godliness is profitable for all things – 1 Timothy 4:7-8

If you haven’t done so, we encourage you to sign-up for the June Pursuit!

Companions – Looking for Three Kinds of Companions

Higher Ground | Day 17

LOOKING FOR THREE KINDS OF COMPANIONS

Mark 10:30 But that he shall receive a hundred times as much now at this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming age, eternal life.
1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, genuine child in faith: Grace, mercy, peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

We should look for three kinds of companions. The first kind should be those who are at our spiritual level. This kind of friend is for mutual help—we can help him, and he can help us. The second kind should be more experienced in the Lord; he can lead us. We need to listen to such a one and receive his help, be restricted by him, and even be subject to him. I believe that Paul was such a companion to Timothy and to Titus; Paul was like their father. For this reason Timothy and Titus had to learn submission, and they had to subject themselves to his authority (1 Tim. 1:1-2; Titus 1:4). We should also look for this kind of companion. The third kind of companion should be one who is younger and weaker. We should render him help and lead him like a big brother leading his younger siblings.

We should have these three kinds of companions. It is best for every believer to have two companions who are at the same level, a companion who is younger, and a companion who is older. The brothers should look for companions among the brothers, and the sisters should look for companions among the sisters. They should look for all three kinds of companions. (Knowing and Experiencing God as Life, ch. 2)

Companions – Benefits of Having Spiritual Companions

Higher Ground | Day 16

BENEFITS OF HAVING SPIRITUAL COMPANIONS

1 Thess. 3:7-8 – Because of this we were comforted because of you, brothers, in all our necessity and affliction, through your faith; 8 Because now we live if you stand firm in the Lord.

The best way to have spiritual growth and receive spiritual benefit is to find a few brothers and sisters to be our spiritual companions so that we can open to one another, seek one another, help one another, and solve one another’s problems in all spiritual things. On one hand, we should regularly seek the Lord on our own, and on the other hand, with a pure heart we should frequently have open fellowship with a few brothers and sisters. We would be blessed if we would fellowship concerning our weaknesses or problems, concerning matters that we cannot overcome, and concerning matters that cause us to fall. We often cannot overcome a certain sin alone, but if we are willing to fellowship about it, the sin will be overcome. This is quite marvelous.

Spiritual companions are such a great benefit because of the principle of the Body. God is our life, but He is not only in us individually; He is in us corporately. Therefore, whenever we fellowship, we will be helped by the other members, and they will be helped by us.

In order to kindle wood in a stove, there must be at least three pieces of firewood. It is very difficult to start a fire with only one piece of firewood, and if a fire is started, it will easily be quenched. This is an example of our condition before God. In order to pursue the Lord in a good way, we must find three to six brothers and sisters with whom we can come together regularly. We should be open and fellowship with one another without any reservation concerning our condition toward the Lord and our situation before Him. If we would practice this, our weaknesses will be swallowed up, our problems will be solved, the light in us will become brighter, our spirit will be strengthened and refreshed, and our love for the Lord will be more fervent. The benefits of having spiritual companions are too great. (Knowing and Experiencing God as Life, Chapter 12)

Higher Ground: Numbering Our Days

Ministry Reading for the 3rd Week

Paul the apostle says in Philippians 3:14…

I pursue toward the goal for the prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward.

We, too, are being called by our dear Christ Jesus to a higher experience of Him. May this final ministry reading urge every one of us upward and may this third week be full of our giving our heart and even our whole life to Him!

 Read: 8. “Numbering Our Days” (Chapter Forty-Five)