Our Human Spirit – Another Life

Our-Human-Spirit-Another-Life

Our Bible study on the human spirit is becoming more personal. We explore the following questions:

What is your understanding of how one becomes a Christian?
What does the Bible call the life of God – which He gives to us?
How can we receive this life?
Where does the Lord live?
Where is the Lord Jesus right now?

We invite you to dive right in as we think that you will really enjoy this Bible study titled: “Another Life”.

Download the full Bible Study in your preferred format:

Another Life – PDF

Another Life – PowerPoint Slides

Our Human Spirit – The Breath of Life

Our-Human-Spirit-The-Breath-of-Life

The human spirit is mysterious. Various people have characterized it in their own special way. What would you say about the human spirit?

Our first topic deals with where our human spirit comes from. By taking a close look at the creation of man in Genesis, we not only see the fact of where our spirit comes from, but we can see how God Himself is so closely related to the human spirit.

Then, before going too deep into our study of the human spirit, we recognize that the Bible makes a clear distinction between the human spirit and the soul.

Download the full Bible Study in your preferred format:

The Breath of Life –  PDF

The Breath of Life – PowerPoint Slides

Our Human Spirit

Our-Human-Spirit -Title

Welcome everybody to a new series on our human spirit. We wouldn’t capitalize the word spirit here because we are not talking about the Holy Spirit who is God Himself but rather that special invisible spiritual part that every human being possesses.

The human spirit is most important.  Zechariah 12:1 ranks the creation of the human spirit with the creation of the heavens and the earth.

Thus declares Jehovah, who stretches forth the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him – Zechariah 12:1

The human spirit gives us a way to contact God and have fellowship with Him. With our human spirit we worship God, receive God, and serve God. A Christian is a person who has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Having such a beginning this one needs to know their human spirit and exercise it. The human spirit is also where the church life takes place. Everything in the Christian life and church life is only real in the human spirit.

Inspired by the book OUR HUMAN SPIRIT, published by Living Stream Ministry, we hope you join us in this most interactive and eye opening Bible study. You can join us live or catch up on your own with the published materials below.

Spring Get Involved Fair – Thursday January 13, 2022

2022 Spring Get Involved Fair - Zoom University of Utah Christians Club
Welcome back to school! 
Drop by and Meet us
Thursday January 13, 2022
Time:
 10AM – 2PM
Students who are not in the club are welcome to come talk with us.
Find out:
What Activities we have planned for this semester
What have current members experienced while being part of the club
How to find motivation for our Campus Life
What is true love
What does the Bible say about the meaning of human life

The Word of God – Showing us that God is Pure

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Verses for Today

Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and greediness, which is idolatry;

Luke 22:41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet, not My will, but Yours be done.

Fellowship

The commandment that tells us not to covet reveals that God is pure. Being pure has to do with your inward person. God is pure because within Him there is no contamination, no selfishness, and no evil desire. This commandment shows us that because God is pure, He not only looks at our outward actions but also at our inward motives. You can hide your inward desires from people. But you cannot hide your inward desires from God. God looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b says, “For it is not how man sees that matters; for man looks on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looks on the heart.”

To be pure is related to our motives. A pure person does not do things with an ulterior motive. When this person says something nice about another person he does not say it with the intention of obtaining something in return (Church in Irvine, Lessons, Character – Pure).

Here is something more concerning coveting. To covet means to want something that belongs to somebody else. There is a craving within for others’ possessions. Greediness is very similar to covetousness and includes selfishness. Being greedy means you want things not for the sake of anybody else but for yourself. Coveting others’ possessions includes coveting material things as well as desiring others’ skills, spiritual gifts, and responsibilities.

This commandment is such a high requirement. We should be in awe at how high God is. How noble. How pure. Psalm 113:5 says, “Who is like Jehovah our God.” This God who became a man exemplified the God who is pure. In His human life, Jesus Christ wanted nothing for Himself but only everything for God. He even gave up His own life for God’s will. Before going to the cross He prayed to the Father, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42)

[The words of Exodus 20:17] also reveal that God is pure. His purity touches our inner being. Whereas the first nine commandments are related to outward conduct, the tenth is related to the sin hidden within us, mainly in our thoughts. Actually, the first commandment is also related to our inward condition. To have another God besides the true God is primarily an inward matter. However, to make an image or likeness of something is an outward deed. Hence, the first commandment touches our inward condition, and the commandment about coveting likewise touches our inward condition. The first and the last commandment together expose the idolatry and covetousness within us. Inwardly we are filled with idols and coveting. Colossians 3:5 says that covetousness [or greediness] is idolatry…

…The fact that we are covetous indicates that we are not pure. Only God is pure, for those who are pure do not covet. We covet because we are impure and unclean. If our heart, desire, and intention were pure in every way, we would not be covetous.

The commandment about coveting reveals God’s purity. Under the light of this commandment, we all need to see that inwardly we are not pure. We all have a certain amount of covetousness. But because God is pure, with Him there is no covetousness (Life Study of Exodus, Msg 51, Section 3).

God’s intention in making Himself known to us through His word is that He would be dispensed into us and make us His habitation, the place where He lives. In order for us to be purified within, we need the God who is pure to inhabit our being and fill all our inward parts. Ask Him to come in. Read His word a little, and ask Him to occupy you more. Our heart can be God’s house.

That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17a)

Open up all the parts of your heart to God. Let Him do His house work. You can bring your feelings on any matter to God. That thing that you desire, God wants to hear about it. As you tell Him the things, God moves in.

In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; And the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

The Word of God – Showing us that God is Truthful

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Verses for Today

Ex 20:16 You shall not testify with false testimony against your neighbor.

1 John 1:5 And this is the message which we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

Fellowship

We have previously pointed out that the 10 commandments reveal to us who and what God is. We want to see that our God is truthful and He is even light itself.

Exodus 20:16 says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” This commandment reveals that God is truthful. To refrain from bearing false witness means that we must speak the truth and not lie….As the truthful God, God is the God of light. We are even told that He Himself is light and that with Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). This means that with God there is no falsehood….With our God there is both faithfulness and truthfulness. Because He is light, He cannot lie. Light is the source of truth (Life Study of Exodus, p. 600).

Testifying with false testimony against your neighbor means to lie about someone. Such lies inflict harm. Satan, the enemy of God is behind all lies and his aim is to to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). Lies and any form of falsehood are in the realm of darkness. Any time that we lie or any time that we hear a lie, it brings us into darkness. Our God is the real life giver. With Him there is life and peace. The peace and glory we receive from God gets robbed from us whenever there is falsehood. That is Satan’s work and we can all testify, we’ve been there.

The Lord Jesus is the truthful God who became a man. The Jews argued with Him many times and sought to catch something false from the Lord but they never could. Mark 12:13 says, “And they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and Herodians that they might catch Him in His speech.” and Luke 11:53 and 54 say, “And when He went out from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to provoke Him to speak concerning many things, lying in wait for Him in order to catch something out of His mouth.”

The Lord’s words are full of light and they break through the darkness. We do well to read His word and pray over it. Here are the Lord’s words, from the gospel of John, when He was dealing with the ones who rejected Him and opposed Him.

I know that you are Abraham’s seed; but you seek to kill Me because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; so then, you also do the things which you have heard from your father. (John 8:37-39)

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks it out of his own possessions; for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. (John 8:44-45)

Thank the Lord for His word. Thank the Lord for the 10 commandments. Because God is light, His words are full of light. The truthfulness of God is the expression of the God of light. All the 10 commandments, like 10 words, reveal to us who God is. He is light and He is truthful. With Him is no falsehood and no darkness. When we touch the truthful God in His word, we are first enlightened of our real condition and then we are freed. We are freed from sin, falsehood, and darkness. John 8:32 says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

The Word of God – Showing us that God is Righteous

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Verses for Today

Exodus 20:5b visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

Exodus 20:6 Yet showing lovingkindness to thousands of generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; / Lovingkindness and truth go before Your face.

1 Peter 2:23 Who being reviled did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten but kept committing all to Him who judges righteously;

Isaiah 56:1 Thus says Jehovah, / Preserve justice and do righteousness, / For My salvation is about to come / And My righteousness is about to be revealed.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, both to Jew first and to Greek.

Romans 1:17a For the righteousness of God is revealed in it

Fellowship

The Ten Commandments also reveal that our God is righteous. Because He is righteous, He will visit those who hate Him for three or four generations. If He failed to do this, He would not be a righteous God. He must act in this way in order to indicate that He is righteous. If you hate Him, He will deal with you according to His righteousness. At the same time, however, He is merciful and loving. (Life Study of Exodus, p. 599)

When God says He will do something, He is bound by His righteousness to carry it out. This should encourage all of us. No matter what is happening around us, God is righteous. He will reward the loving seekers and He will judge the evil. The Apostle Peter said of the Lord Jesus: “Who being reviled did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten but kept committing all to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). Because God is righteous we can be like the Lord Jesus and commit all things to Him.

God is just. He judges fairly. It is therefore quite reasonable that we also come to fear God for His righteousness. This is a healthy fear of God.

God is righteous. Although He loves us, when we do something that is not right in God’s eyes, there are consequences. We should heed God’s word and be mindful that there are consequences if we do not obey His word (Church in Irvine, Lessons, God is Righteous).

With this understanding of God’s righteousness, that it is an encouragement to us in the midst of the suffering in the world, and that it is something to be feared, we want to see another awesome application of God’s righteousness. It is because God is righteous, that we are ultimately saved.

According to John 3:16, salvation is out of God’s love, and according to Ephesians 2:5 and 8, salvation is by God’s grace. But in Romans 1:17 Paul says that salvation comes by the righteousness of God. Neither love nor grace is related to the law. No law forces us to love or to give grace. Whether we love or not we are still lawful, and whether we extend grace or not we are still legal. In a sense, God is not bound to love us. Furthermore, He is not legally bound to show us grace. Righteousness, on the contrary, is very much related to the law.

Because Christ has fulfilled all the righteous requirements of God’s law, God is bound to save us. If you say, “Lord Jesus, You are my Savior,” you can turn to God and say, “God, You must forgive me, whether You like it or not. You are righteous if You forgive me, but You are unrighteous if You do not forgive me.” We can say this to God because Christ has fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law, and, as a result, God is bound by His righteousness to save us. Righteousness, therefore, is a mighty bond God cannot escape—He must save us because He is righteous. (The Conclusion of the New Testament, (Msgs. 001-020), Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)

Even if we don’t understand the depths of God’s salvation, we should all at least see this: We are saved because of God’s righteousness. 1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you want to study this application of God’s righteousness a little more, we invite you to read more on this topic.

The Word of God – Showing us that God is Loving

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Verses for Today

1 John 4:8 He who does not love has not known God, because God is love.

1 John 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested among us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might have life and live through Him.

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God has loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another.

Fellowship

The 10 commandments are found in chapter 20 of Exodus. In verse 12 God commands us to honor our father and mother. In verse 13, that we shall not kill, in verse 14, that we shall not commit adultery, and in verse 15, that we shall not steal. Look through all the rest of the commandments. You will see that they strongly testify that our God is loving.

[Exodus 20,] verses 12 through 14 reveal that God is a God of love. If we do not honor our parents, it means that we do not love them. Likewise, if we love others, we shall not steal from them. In Matthew 22:37-40 the Lord Jesus answered His opposers by implying that the whole law is fulfilled in loving God and man. We must not only love the Lord with our whole being, but we must also love others as we love ourselves. In Galatians 5:14 Paul says, “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If we consider the Ten Commandments in depth, we shall see that God’s love is revealed in them (Life Study of Exodus, p. 598).

If the whole law is fulfilled in loving God and man, then this really is telling us that God’s law testifies that our God is a God of love.

God’s nature is love, and therefore His love is unconditional. God loves everyone, even the unlovable ones… We love those who love us but what about those who are mean to us or different from us? God loves everyone including those who are not like us or those who do not always obey Him. (Church in Irvine, Lessons, God is Love).

The highest expression of God’s love is revealed in the New testament. God loves us and does not want us to suffer the punishment for sin. It was out of His love that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for us. We should all realize the following three things. 

1) We are all sinners; this means that there is something in us that causes us to do the evil that we don’t want to do. The commandments show us a high standard and expose our fallen condition.

2) Jesus paid the price for our sins. When we believe in Him, He forgives us and takes away all our sins (1 John 4:10). Furthermore, He gives His eternal life to us (1 John 4:9). This is the love of God and it is real love. No other love compares to this. 

3) God does not require the sinner to become sinless before coming to Him. God loved the sinners first and took the first step in coming to them. When we consider our close family, our relatives, friends, and even our enemies, we have to realize that God loves them. He loves every human being and even came to be a man to die for them. Keeping God’s love in mind and enjoying and experiencing God’s love affects the way we see and treat others.

With a heart full of respect, honor, and worship for God’s love, you can sing hymn 30. Stanzas 1 and 3 are included here.

1
What love Thou hast bestowed on us,

We thank Thee from our heart;

Our Father, we would worship Thee

And praise for all Thou art.

3
Thou gavest Thy beloved Son

In love to come and die,

That we may be Thy many sons,

As heirs with Him, made nigh.

The Word of God – Showing us that God is Holy

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Verses for Today

Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day so as to sanctify it.

Exodus 20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah your God; you shall not do any work, you nor your son nor your daughter, your male servant nor your female servant, nor your cattle nor the sojourner with you, who is within your gates.

Exodus 20:11 For in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.

1 Samuel 2:2a There is none holy like Jehovah

1 Peter 1:15 But according to the Holy One who called you, you yourselves also be holy in all your manner of life;

1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, “You shall be holy because I am holy.”

Fellowship

Don’t under-estimate seeing God. When we see Him we experience Him. When we see Him we enter into Him, When we see Him, we see ourselves. All things become clear to us. In fact, knowing God and seeing God means everything. Let us beseech our God that we might know Him and see Him. Hebrews 11:6 says that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

God is holy. To be holy means to be separate from common things. For example, God sanctified the seventh day. This means that that day was special, not common. In the Old Testament God wanted His people to set aside that day.

The Ten Commandments also reveal that God is holy. The fourth commandment, which concerns keeping the Sabbath, is related to God’s holiness, to His being separate from all things. According to Genesis 2, God sanctified the seventh day, or made it holy. Thus, the Sabbath as the seventh day is a sign of God’s holiness, of His separation…. As His people, we must have a mark, a sign, of our separation from everything other than God Himself. This reveals that our God is holy (Life Study of Exodus, p 597).  

God is holy and God’s people were chosen to be holy. That means we are also set apart, uncommon, different from everything else around us. We cannot always do what “everyone else” does. (Church in Irvine, Lessons, God is holy)

When we see God as the Holy One, our eyes are opened to see the things around us that are “unholy”. This may include ourselves, our manner of life, certain games or movies, things related to evil characters, music and books with inappropriate words.

Whenever we see who, or what, God is, we see who, or what, we are not. In the Old Testament Job said, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye has seen you. Therefore I abhor myself and I repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). Job previously thought that he was righteous and complete. By seeing God, he realized he was not complete. In fact, he saw Himself as the opposite of God and abhorred himself. The same happens when we touch God’s word today. We come to the Holy God and the light is turned on.

When the Lord touches you concerning anything unholy in your life, repent, confess it, and let the One who is holy fill you and sanctify you. This doesn’t complete our sanctification process instantly, but brings us day by day and drop by drop to be holy as He is holy.

The Word of God – Showing us that God is Jealous

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Verses for Today

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

Exodus 20:4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, nor the form of anything that is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water beneath the earth.

Exodus 20:5a You shall not bow down to them, and you shall not serve them; for I, Jehovah your God, am a jealous God,

Exodus 34:14 (For you shall not worship any other god; for Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with a jealousy of God; for I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

Fellowship

If someone asked you, what kind of God do you have, what would you say? Could you give a faithful testimony of who God is? We all might have testimonies of what God has done for us and this is good. But we want to go further to see God Himself. Let us come to our Lord full of seeking, “Lord Jesus, we love You. We want to know you more. I have a concept of who You are and what You’re like, but I want to see more of You!”.

As an answer to our seeking, God gives us His word. In particular, He gives us the 10 commandments as His testimony. It is here that God Himself tells us that He is a jealous God.

God wants us to love Him and Him alone. If we love someone or something in place of Him, He will be jealous. Thus, the Ten Commandments first reveal God’s jealousy, even His hatred (Rom. 9:13). Jealousy results in hatred. The Bible says not only that God is love, but also that He is jealous. In 2 Corinthians 11:2 Paul refers to the jealousy of God. The ten words, the expression of God, reveal that God is unique. He is a jealous God, and He will not give place to any other god. Do not allow anything else to be your god. Do not take education or wealth as your god. God alone must be your God. (Life Study of Exodus, p 597)

God is jealous over us like the jealousy of a husband over his wife. God cannot tolerate it if our heart is divided or unfaithful. Other gods may rival God in our heart and try to take our heart away from loving God, but it is NOT okay with God if we have other gods. God is like a husband who would not tolerate it if his wife called someone else her husband. (Church in Irvine, Lessons, “God is Jealous”)

When we see that God is such a jealous God, our view of ourselves may change. Previously, if someone asked us, “Do you sin?” “Have you done anything against God?” We might reply, “No”. We might even say, “I’m good.” But by God’s shining in His word, we might now begin to see other things occupying our heart, not necessarily evil things, but things that might be taking a higher position in our heart than the Lord. Here is a practical example of what we are talking about. When called by God to attend the church meetings on the Lord’s day, are there other things that we would rather be doing? Idols are false gods and these are not limited to physical statues.  They can be anything in our heart that we love more than God.

May we pray, “Dear Lord, I turn back to You. Forgive me for loving _______ more than You. I do love You. Reveal Yourself more to me. I want to see You more!”

The Word of God – Life to Us and a Revelation of Who God Is

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Verses for Today

Psalm 119:16 I will take delight in Your statutes; / I will not forget Your word.

Psalm 119:140 Your word is very pure, / And Your servant loves it.

Exodus 34:28c And He wrote upon the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

Fellowship

God’s words are contained in the Bible. When we read a verse, we have to realize that it is God’s speaking. God carries everything out by speaking. His creation was by His speaking; God said, and there was. Today, God nourishes His seekers through His word. The Lord Jesus said that man shall not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Even the 10 commandments can become life-giving to us if we take them as God’s words from out of His mouth.

At least thirty-seven times in Psalm 119 the psalmist refers to the law as God’s word. Instead of simply declaring that he loved God’s law, the psalmist declared that he loved God’s word. This proves that he thought of God’s law as His living word. (Life Study of Exodus, Msg 56, Section 2)

In our Christian life, we start out by receiving the many sweet provisions God has for us. This was also the experience of the children of Israel in the first part of the book of Exodus. They were saved from slavery, separated from Egypt, given water to drink and manna to eat. For us New Testament believers, God gave us His only Begotten Son to die for us and forgive us our sins. We were saved from a life of bondage in which we served sin as slaves. God separated us from the world and gave us living water to quench our thirst and living bread that we might have His eternal life. Our salvation experience matches the salvation experience of the children of Israel coming out of Egypt.  In our experience, we are learning how to come to God’s word for life. We have to turn our heart to the Lord and exercise our spirit to contact Him. We can say, “Thank you Lord Jesus for all you’ve done for me!” May all God’s children enjoy God’s full salvation.

In addition to taking care of all our problems and nourishing us, God’s word functions to reveal to us who God is, and this is most important. Let us now get into this.

Concerning the matter of law, there is an important principle: the kind of law a person makes expresses the kind of person that one is. For example, if criminals could make laws, they would legalize crime. Furthermore, a backward country would have rather barbaric laws, whereas a highly cultured society would have highly cultured laws. This principle applies also to God Himself. God is a Law-giver. In giving the law, He would never legalize crime or sin. He would not legalize theft or adultery, for He is not that kind of God. Only the god of witchcraft would legalize such things. A law is always a revelation of what kind of person has enacted that law.

The first function of the law is…to reveal God to us….I wish to emphasize the point that the primary function of the law is to reveal God to us. After God brought His people into His presence to have fellowship with Him, to serve Him, to contact Him, to worship Him, and even to feast with Him, He made Himself known to them. Prior to this time, God had not revealed to His people what kind of God He is….Only when we come to Exodus 20 do we have a revelation of what kind of God our God is (Life Study of Exodus, pp. 592-593).

We get to know our God in His word. His laws, statutes, ordinances, and all His words are not for us to take as lists of dos and don’ts. Rather, they are there that we might know God. He wants to be known. His laws are often referred to as His testimonies, meaning that they are there because God wants to be known by us. Finally, knowing who God is through His word is not for our mere acknowledgement. When the Bible says that God is love, it conveys God as love into us. By our contacting God in His word to get to know Him, who He is gets infused into us, making us the same as He is. Let us, in a pure way, read God’s word to get to know who He is. This is altogether worthwhile.

The Word of God – Jehovah Make His Face Shine Upon You

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Verses for Today

Numbers 6:24 Jehovah bless you and keep you;

Numbers 6:25 Jehovah make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

Numbers 6:26 Jehovah lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Psalm 119:58 I entreated Your favor with my whole heart; / Be gracious to me according to Your word.

Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? / And why are you disquieted within me? / Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him / For the salvation of His countenance.

Fellowship

God was hidden. No one had ever seen Him. Then one day God became a man just like you and me. The old apostle John spoke of His experience in seeing Jesus as the incarnated God. He said, “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and reality.” God visited man in the person of Jesus Christ. The incarnation was the fulfillment of the blessing in Numbers 6:25, “Jehovah make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.” Men saw the face of Jesus and He shined upon them.

The loving seekers of God, to whom the word of God is life, seek to have the shining of the face of God.

If we are those who seek the Lord in an intimate way, we shall sense the shining of His face. According to 2 Corinthians 4:6, we can experience this shining: “Because the God who said, Out of darkness light shall shine, is the One who shined in our hearts for the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” Praise the Lord that we can experience the shining of His face! (Life Study of Exodus, Message 56, Section 2)

When we believed in Jesus Christ, He came into us to live in us forever. Here is good news for all the believers and lovers of Jesus out there. The face of Christ is now in our hearts!  

Many versions of the Bible use the word “favor” in Psalm 119:58 but in Hebrew it is literally “face”. To entreat someone for their face means that you are asking them earnestly and are pleading with them to show you their face. When someone shows you their face, they are giving you their presence. You are no longer alone, but they are there, fully with you. This can be such a cherishing thing to us.

Furthermore, Numbers 6:25 speaks of Jehovah lifting up His countenance upon you. Now that you have His face, what is the expression on that face. Someone may send you a text; did they include an emoji to indicate their inner feeling? God’s countenance is the emoji of God. You get to know His inner feeling. That His countenance is lifted means that God is full of approval in His feeling. This is why Ephesians 4:30 reminds us, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” May we be those loving seekers of God spending time with Him in His word day by day and may we be like the psalmists of old, entreating the Lord to give us His face and His countenance in our time with Him. His shining, smiling, face is our true daily blessing and salvation.

The Word of God – Seek the Lord while He may be Found

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Verses for Today

Psalm 119:2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, / Who seek Him with all their heart.

2 Timothy 2:22 But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Fellowship

The kind of person we are determines how we receive God’s words that are in the Bible. For the word of God to be life to us, we need to be God’s seekers. This means that whatever we might do, in that thing, we want to gain God. Whether we read or we pray, we are not interested in anything but seeing, touching, and gaining God Himself.

The writer of Psalm 119 was such a seeker. Many Christians are not familiar with the term “seekers of God,” even though this concept is biblical. According to Psalm 119, seeking God is related to keeping the law. If you try to keep the law without having a heart to seek God, your efforts will be in vain. This was the serious shortcoming of the Judaizers at the time of Paul. Trying to keep the law without seeking God with their whole heart, they failed in their endeavor to fulfill the law’s requirements. If we want to walk according to God’s law, we must seek Him with our whole heart. We can pray, “Lord Jesus, show me what it means to seek you with my whole heart.” (Life Study of Exodus, Msg 56, Section 1)

In 2 Timothy 2:22 Paul charged Timothy to flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. This indicates that the Lord’s seekers must be His callers.

We call on the name of the Lord by our spirit, yet it must be out of a pure heart… Our heart must be purified, and the heart includes all these things: motive, intention, purpose, will, decision, sensation, feeling, and thought. The heart must be pure in all of its constituents. Then we can call on the Lord purely.

Second Timothy 2:22 implies that we need to call on the Lord with the Lord’s callers. Sometimes we call on the Lord just by ourselves. This exercises our spirit and we receive more of the Lord, but not as much as when we call with some others. To have a corporate calling on the Lord helps a lot. In order to exercise our spirit, we have to recover the practice of calling on the name of the Lord. We need to exercise our spirit so that we may receive the Lord more. Then we can live a godly life to manifest God. (Basic Lessons on Life, Chapter 18, published by Living Stream Ministry)

Gods seekers love God and call on His name out of a pure heart. Let us open our mouth, full of love for the Lord in our heart, and say, “Lord Jesus!”, “Oh, Lord Jesus”, “dearest Lord Jesus!”. Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek Jehovah while He may be found; / Call upon Him while He is near.”

A song to help us seek the Lord

Seek the Lord while He may be found,

Call upon Him while He is near:

Let the wicked forsake his way,

And the unrighteous man his thoughts:

And let him return to the Lord,

Unto our God,

And He will abundantly pardon,

He will abundantly pardon you—

Return to the Lord.

The Word of God – The Letter Kills but the Spirit gives Life

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Verses for Today

2 Cor 3:6 Who has also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Cor 3:14a But their thoughts were hardened; for until the present day the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant.

Fellowship

Reading the Bible is a necessary practice for all believers. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, That the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.” Therefore, what is found in the Bible is the best content available in the whole world. Do not think that you can scroll on your electronic device until you find something better than what is found in the Bible; you cannot. We wholeheartedly recommend the reading of the Bible.

Having said this, we have to know that there are two ways to take the Bible into us. One way results in life and the other way results in death. Let us check our experience. Why is it that we sometimes don’t delight in reading the Bible as much as we should? If the Bible is so rich in content, why is it that it can sometimes even give us a dead feeling? Some ardent studiers of the Bible can even become enemies of God and begin to breathe out threatening and murder. This is because, when taken in for mere knowledge, the letter of the Bible can become death to us.

On the contrary, when we pray to contact Jesus Christ who is the life-giving Spirit, the words of the Bible can become spirit and life to us. We experience something like a flowing river, refreshing us and supplying us. One way is to take the words for knowledge, and this results in death. This is just like Adam and Eve taking from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The other way is to come to the Lord Jesus while we read, seeking to receive life. This is just like man coming to eat of the tree of life.

As Paul said of the Jews, there is a veil upon their heart in the reading of the Scriptures (2 Cor. 3:14). They are veiled by their tradition and by their natural concepts. In their experience the Bible thus becomes a book of dead letters. Like the ancient Pharisees, scribes, and Judaizers, they handle the Word without directly contacting the Lord. Instead of exercising their spirit, they rely on their natural understanding. Furthermore, they are often zealous to maintain their religious tradition. But whenever we come to the Word, we need to contact the Lord. As we come to the Lord in the Word, we need to hunger and thirst for Him and seek to enjoy Him. This seeking after the Lord is well expressed in the lines of hymn 812:

I come to Thee, dear Lord,
My heart doth thirst for Thee;
Of Thee I’d eat, of Thee I’d drink,
Enjoy Thee thoroughly.

Just to behold Thy face,
For this my heart doth cry;
I deeply long to drink of Thee
My thirst to satisfy.

In our reading and pray-reading of the Word, we should seek the Lord’s glorious, radiant face. Then in our experience the Word of God will be a source of life supply and nourishment… (Life Study of Exodus, Msg 56, Section 4)

The Word of God – And he will be like a Tree

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Verses for Today

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man / Who does not walk / In the counsel of the wicked, / Nor stand on the path of sinners, / Nor sit in the seat of mockers;

Psalm 1:2 Rather his delight is in the law of Jehovah, / And in His law he meditates by day and by night.

Psalm 1:3 And he will be like a tree / Transplanted beside streams of water, / Which yields its fruit in its season, / And whose foliage does not wither; / And everything he does prospers.

John 10:10b I have come that they may have life and may have it abundantly.

Fellowship

The Bible surely tells us that God created us and that He is taking care of all our needs. It even tells us that God sent His Son to die for us that we might be saved from our sins. We should always thank Him for all these blessings. We have so much to be thankful for, but let us not just acknowledge this. Let us practice, “Thank you Lord!”. 

By thanking the Lord thus and even praising Him and loving Him, we come to see that the Bible has an even deeper level, revealing to us God’s very heart and plan. God’s plan is altogether wrapped up with you and me; His plan is that we receive His life and live by Him. He wants us not only to have a human life and to be forgiven, but to have His divine life. 1 Corinthians 15:45 tells us that in His resurrection Christ became a life-giving Spirit. As the Spirit, He gives us Himself as God’s life! The Bible’s primary purpose is actually that we might have God’s life.

God’s intention in His economy [plan] is to dispense Christ into us, and for this dispensing there must be some means. The Bible is the means that God uses to dispense Christ into us (The Holy Word for Morning Revival, Topics for New Believers, Week 3, day 1).

Psalm 1 indicates that the law, when taken in a proper way as God’s word, can minister life to us. Those who delight in the law of the Lord and who muse on it day and night are like trees planted by the rivers of water (vv. 2-3)… If we contact the law of God by musing upon God’s word in worship and prayer, in our experience the law will become a river of water, and we shall be trees planted by the water. This is the indication in Psalm 1 that the law can supply us and water us. (Life Study of Exodus, Msg 56, Section 4)

As we come to His word day by day, and practice contacting Him with our spirit, we shall be those who receive more and more of God’s divine life; we shall be like the trees planted by the rivers of water.