Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew  (Read 11240 times)

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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2018, 04:25:34 AM »
What we look at changes us. Whom we behold will influence us. But only Christ beheld has the power to truly transform us by a miracle of grace. This truth really hit me this morning in my devotions. I can look to other people, I can look at myself--but apart from Christ, there is no power to be changed in mind and character from the natural state of selfishness to selflessness. While I will become more like what I behold, it is only Christ beheld continually by faith who has the power to recreate me into His image. How does He do this? I must look and live, beholding the Lamb of God, who inspires me with contrition and gives me true repentance. Motivated by His infinite love, I choose to yield my will to Christ, and He comes to live in my heart and mind and imbues me with His Spirit so that love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, goodness, faith, and temperance (all the fruits of the Spirit) are manifest. This is a miracle of grace. He is writing a story in our lives, but if we take our eyes off the Author, the story is marred (thankfully He is amazingly good at fixing what we have messed up, because He is gracious). We are to look to Christ continually, realizing our continual need of Jesus abiding in the heart to do any good thing. By receiving His promises into our life experience, we become partakers of the divine nature!

  "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise." Psalm 51:17. Man must be emptied of self before he can be, in the fullest sense, a believer in Jesus. When self is renounced, then the Lord can make man a new creature. New bottles can contain the new wine. The love of Christ will animate the believer with new life. In him who looks unto the Author and Finisher of our faith the character of Christ will be manifest. {The Desire of Ages, page 280, paragraph 4}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2018, 04:52:40 AM »
Amen Pastor Shawn. As I read this morning, I was greatly impressed that every chapter in this most wonderful book, reveals that we need to die to self. This chapter reveals the condition of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as a people. Not all are Laodicean, but many are. And today's reading reveals just what a Laodicean is. Satan has deceived many in the church. A new meaning of what it means to be Laodicean has been brought into the church so that many believe they are saved when in fact, they are not. We must be born again of the Spirit, and if we are born again, saved, we will manifest the character of Christ. A radical new thought for many who have come into God's Remnant Church. But, Jesus does not depart from the church, nor does He leave the lost to suffer eternal damnation. No, He gives in the Laodicean message, the solution. Jesus offers us gold tried in the fire, which in today's reading tells us that this is faith that works by the love of God.

    As it was in the days of Christ, so it is now; the Pharisees do not know their spiritual destitution. To them comes the message, "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." Revelation 3:17, 18. Faith and love are the gold tried in the fire. But with many the gold has become dim, and the rich treasure has been lost. The righteousness of Christ is to them as a robe unworn, a fountain untouched. To them it is said, "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Revelation 2:4, 5.
     "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise." Psalm 51:17. Man must be emptied of self before he can be, in the fullest sense, a believer in Jesus. When self is renounced, then the Lord can make man a new creature. New bottles can contain the new wine. The love of Christ will animate the believer with new life. In him who looks unto the Author and Finisher of our faith the character of Christ will be manifest.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2018, 06:16:52 AM »
"Matthew "left all, rose up, and followed Him." There was no hesitation, no questioning, no thought of the lucrative business to be exchanged for poverty and hardship. It was enough for him that he was to be with Jesus, that he might listen to His words, and unite with Him in His work. .......To Matthew in his wealth, and to Andrew and Peter in their poverty, the same test was brought; the same consecration was made by each........So every soul is tested as to whether the desire for temporal good or for fellowship with Christ is strongest."     Principle is always exacting. No man can succeed in the service of God unless his whole heart is in the work and he counts all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ........ When men appreciate the great salvation, the self-sacrifice seen in Christ's life will be seen in theirs. Wherever He leads the way, they will rejoice to follow."

Those that answered Christ's invitation to follow Him did not do so blindly. They had been beholding Him through His messages and acts of selfless love. Their hearts had been softened and convicted and they desired to know Him personally. Only the Holy Spirit knows when hearts are ready. That is why we must keep sowing the seed through our own lives so that souls will behold Jesus through us and be ready to answer the invitation to fully surrender their lives to Jesus. What a humbling thought to be used of God to bring souls to Him for the kingdom.  Not for knowledge alone but for a testimony of the transforming power of God to make new creatures in Him. Then they too will reflect His character and draw others to Him.

Now that's a MLM program I want to be a part of.  :)
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2018, 03:28:02 AM »
New impulses--how do we get them? We spend time with Jesus! By beholding Him, we become changed, and the change He works in our hearts is nothing short of a miracle. Are you struggling with sin, or having difficulty learning a new healthy habit? Go to Jesus just as you are, behold His infinite loveliness of character morning by morning, invite Him to live in your heart by faith, and watch how He prompts you with new impulses that will amaze you! Cooperate with Him moment-by-moment, and find how He truly fills your life with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (all the fruits of the Spirit, without one missing). He leads you to gladly obey all the light of His law that you know, because His law is a law of liberty and love! He is the Author and Finisher of faith (the faith of Jesus, given you as a gift) who promises to complete the work He has begun in you!

I was so happy and blessed when Jesus woke me up early to spend a wonderful time with Him, and as I reflected on Jesus' interaction with the despised people of His time at the feast of Levi-Matthew (the fifth disciple He called), I was so blessed by this revelation of His character:

"Jesus sat as an honored guest at the table of the publicans, by His sympathy and social kindliness showing that He recognized the dignity of humanity; and men longed to become worthy of His confidence. Upon their thirsty hearts His words fell with blessed, life-giving power. New impulses were awakened, and the possibility of a new life opened to these outcasts of society." {The Desire of Ages, page 274, paragraph 2}

New impulses that are from the divine nature can be implanted in our souls today as we let Jesus come and walk with us, abide with us, and work in and through us. There is no greater joy than to be in constant union and communion with Him by the Holy Spirit! Instead of seeking the unsatisfying pleasures of sin, the converted heart will find that the presence of Jesus alone can make one happy!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2018, 05:51:30 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. This is a mystery hard to understand until you have allowed God to work this miracle in your own life by full surrender and then by beholding His character every day. He does not force anything on us. He wants us to give our hearts willingly.

" The Pharisees thought themselves too wise to need instruction, too righteous to need salvation, too highly honored to need the honor that comes from Christ. The Saviour turned away from them to find others who would receive the message of heaven. In the untutored fishermen, in the publican at the market place, in the woman of Samaria, in the common people who heard Him gladly, He found His new bottles for the new wine. The instrumentalities to be used in the gospel work are those souls who gladly receive the light which God sends them. These are His agencies for imparting the knowledge of truth to the world. If through the grace of Christ His people will become new bottles, He will fill them with new wine."

I want to be a new bottle today filled with new wine. Each day is the first day of the rest of my life. I want it filled with the Holy Spirit so that I may be a light in my home, on my street, in my community and where ever my travels take me; to guide souls to Christ. He is the greatest gift sent from heaven.

"When men appreciate the great salvation, the self-sacrifice seen in Christ's life will be seen in theirs. Wherever He leads the way, they will rejoice to follow."


But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2018, 10:32:36 AM »
Amen and amen!!  How could we not love Jesus!! And if we know Him, we will love Him, and those He died to save. Grace is more than a word, it is the power that transforms the heart and mind. When we live for Jesus, we will not be moved by the pressure from the world.

     Matthew "left all, rose up, and followed Him." There was no hesitation, no questioning, no thought of the lucrative business to be exchanged for poverty and hardship. It was enough for him that he was to be with Jesus, that he might listen to His words, and unite with Him in His work.
     So it was with the disciples previously called. When Jesus bade Peter and his companions follow Him, immediately they left their boats and nets. Some of these disciples had friends dependent on them for support; but when they received the Saviour's invitation, they did not hesitate, and inquire, How shall I live, and sustain my family? They were obedient to the call; and when afterward Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?" they could answer, "Nothing." Luke 22:35.
     To Matthew in his wealth, and to Andrew and Peter in their poverty, the same test was brought; the same consecration was made by each. At the moment of success, when the nets were filled with fish, and the impulses of the old life were strongest, Jesus asked the disciples at the sea to leave all for the work of the gospel. So every soul is tested as to whether the desire for temporal good or for fellowship with Christ is strongest.


I can testify that God will provide for all who love Him supremely and enter into full time ministry. The world will not understand, nor will it approve. Satan will work through family, friends, and the enemy to stop one from depending upon Christ totally. If Christ be for us, who can be against us!!! Nothing comes to us that Christ does not allow. All things work together for our good as we abide in Christ!



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2018, 12:23:10 AM »
God loves to do a new thing--for each of us are being uniquely rescued from a depth of lostness that we do not even now fully comprehend. But like a person who starts to sense that they have the symptoms of a major disease, we must acknowledge ourselves helpless condemned sinners and be willing to accept the divine remedy found in Jesus. "Are you in Christ? Not if you do not acknowledge yourselves erring, helpless, condemned sinners. Not if you are exalting and glorifying self. If there is any good in you, it is wholly attributable to the mercy of a compassionate Saviour. Your birth, your reputation, your wealth, your talents, your virtues, your piety, your philanthropy, or anything else in you or connected with you, will not form a bond of union between your soul and Christ. Your connection with the church, the manner in which your brethren regard you, will be of no avail unless you believe in Christ. It is not enough to believe about Him; you must believe in Him. You must rely wholly upon His saving grace." {Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, page 48, paragraph 3}

Grace--saving grace--is much more than a word. It is the power of God to transform a sinner into a saint, to give us a new nature whereby all of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in our lives without one missing, as we by grace through faith receive a new heart and a new mind in which Christ lives out His life within us. True obedience to all the light we know from God's law is the fruit of genuine conversion. "If ye love Me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Christ's spotless robe, His perfect character, is imputed and imparted--given as a gift, and then lived out in our actual lives--as we continually surrender to Him moment-by-moment.

Matthew-Levi was willing to see his need; he was teachable, and Christ could impart to him the precious new wine of His gospel truth as the character of this hated publican became transformed by a new nature altogether, as he abandoned his former life and fully united with Jesus. The more I contemplate how miraculous it is to live a consistent life in Christ, the more I am drawn to the life, character, and sacrifice of Jesus. "His whole life was a sacrifice of Himself for the saving of the world." {The Desire of Ages, page 278, paragraph 2} May we, beholding Christ's self-sacrifice, cooperate continually with Him so He can live out His life within us!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2018, 05:06:29 AM »
Amen pastor Sean! His whole life was and is lived for us erring humans. The more we look to Him the more we will realize this.

The calling of Matthew to be one of Christ's disciples excited great indignation. For a religious teacher to choose a publican as one of his immediate attendants was an offense against the religious, social, and national customs. By appealing to the prejudices of the people the Pharisees hoped to turn the current of popular feeling against Jesus.

This to me is just an example of how God looks on the heart and doesn't judge like we would, this reminded me this morning of this...

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.


By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2018, 07:27:32 AM »
Amen.  It is a simple truth that Jesus wants the heart, the whole heart. Why are we pointing this out? For the same reason we see it throughout the Spirit of Prophecy and Scripture. Man is blind to his need of grace until he understands his present condition. And, sadly, in His church the very same condition exists. Blindness has come upon Israel.

   Principle is always exacting. No man can succeed in the service of God unless his whole heart is in the work and he counts all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. No man who makes any reserve can be the disciple of Christ, much less can he be His colaborer. When men appreciate the great salvation, the self-sacrifice seen in Christ's life will be seen in theirs. Wherever He leads the way, they will rejoice to follow. 


God wants the whole heart, not 99% of it. Until we give to Him all we are and all we have, we remain selfish and in need of conversion.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2018, 04:49:57 PM »
  Of the Roman officials in Palestine, none were more hated than the publicans. The fact that the taxes were imposed by a foreign power was a continual irritation to the Jews, being a reminder that their independence had departed. And the taxgatherers were not merely the instruments of Roman oppression; they were extortioners on their own account, enriching themselves at the expense of the people. A Jew who accepted this office at the hands of the Romans was looked upon as betraying the honor of his nation. He was despised as an apostate, and was classed with the vilest of society.

     To this class belonged Levi-Matthew, who, after the four disciples at Gennesaret, was the next to be called to Christ's service. The Pharisees had judged Matthew according to his employment, but Jesus saw in this man a heart open for the reception of truth. Matthew had listened to the Saviour's teaching. As the convicting Spirit of God revealed his sinfulness, he longed to seek help from Christ; but he was accustomed to the exclusiveness of the rabbis, and had no thought that this Great Teacher would notice him.
     Sitting at his toll booth one day, the publican saw Jesus approaching. Great was his astonishment to hear the words addressed to himself, "Follow Me."   Matthew "left all, rose up, and followed Him." There was no hesitation, no questioning, no thought of the lucrative business to be exchanged for poverty and hardship. It was enough for him that he was to be with Jesus, that he might listen to His words, and unite with Him in His work.
     So it was with the disciples previously called. When Jesus bade Peter and his companions follow Him, immediately they left their boats and nets. Some of these disciples had friends dependent on them for support; but when they received the Saviour's invitation, they did not hesitate, and inquire, How shall I live, and sustain my family? They were obedient to the call; and when afterward Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?" they could answer, "Nothing." Luke 22:35.
     To Matthew in his wealth, and to Andrew and Peter in their poverty, the same test was brought; the same consecration was made by each. At the moment of success, when the nets were filled with fish, and the impulses of the old life were strongest, Jesus asked the disciples at the sea to leave all for the work of the gospel. So every soul is tested as to whether the desire for temporal good or for fellowship with Christ is strongest.
     Principle is always exacting.  No man who makes any reserve can be the disciple of Christ, much less can he be His colaborer. When men appreciate the great salvation, the self-sacrifice seen in Christ's life will be seen in theirs. Wherever He leads the way, they will rejoice to follow.

What a test for the first 4 disciples that had been called by Jesus...to leave all...when their nets were full. Then came another shocking test of faith when Jesus called Levi Matthew...the despised tax collector. They must have wondered about the judgement of Jesus in doing such a thing ( wouldn't we ) But just like the fishermen with their full nets...He left the tax collecting ( with all it's fringe benefits ) and followed Jesus. Like it says in the quote above..." No man can succeed in the service of God unless his whole heart is in the work and he counts all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.

My prayer is....That my heart may be open and willing to that same degree. How about you??......Happy Sabbath
Look up and listen for the shout.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2018, 03:23:00 AM »
Amen Beacon. It is a blessing to have you join with us in the reading of these chapters on the beautiful life of Jesus. I've always been deeply impressed with the willingness of Matthew to instantly answer the call of Jesus. Especially where he held such a lucrative position. What would seem to most to be such a foolish sacrifice turned out to be a blessing of a much higher calling.

When we read of the spiritual disease of the Pharisees I was very interested in how the chapter ended.

"As it was in the days of Christ, so it is now; the Pharisees do not know their spiritual destitution. To them comes the message, "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." Revelation 3:17, 18. Faith and love are the gold tried in the fire. But with many the gold has become dim, and the rich treasure has been lost. The righteousness of Christ is to them as a robe unworn, a fountain untouched. To them it is said, "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

It is clear from this quote that Pharisees are still in our midst. Issues might be different but the heart is the same.  Unless God has 100% of my heart I am outside of God's will. If we find ourselves in this condition it is not hopeless. Christ say's "Remember therefore from whence thou are fallen, and repent and do the first works." Today is another day granted to us to surrender self and give all to Jesus.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2018, 03:50:16 AM »
Amen, Beacon and Dorine! It is so wonderful that you have joined us in our sharing on the life of Jesus! This is how Jesus is preparing us for heaven!! I pray that more will read and share what the Holy Spirit is teaching them, so we may all be encouraged and edified!!

As we contemplate the way Jesus saves us (to the uttermost), He always calls for the WHOLE heart in order for us to be converted. The first five disciples were willing to make that full surrender, and at each step of walking with Jesus, we are to realize our continual need of His presence for the surrender to be maintained, for we cannot of ourselves empty ourselves of self, but by beholding the loveliness of Jesus, we see self for what it is and renounce it, choosing to be filled with the Holy Spirit who alone can give us renewed hearts and minds. I love how Matthew responded to the gospel call, and I especially treasure the gospel of Matthew that has come to us through what the Holy Spirit impressed him to write for our learning and instruction!

May we become the instrumentalities God can use to spread the gospel of His grace, for His grace has power to change sinners into saints who reveal all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing, as long as Christ has the whole heart!!

"The Pharisees thought themselves too wise to need instruction, too righteous to need salvation, too highly honored to need the honor that comes from Christ. The Saviour turned away from them to find others who would receive the message of heaven. In the untutored fishermen, in the publican at the market place, in the woman of Samaria, in the common people who heard Him gladly, He found His new bottles for the new wine. The instrumentalities to be used in the gospel work are those souls who gladly receive the light which God sends them. These are His agencies for imparting the knowledge of truth to the world. If through the grace of Christ His people will become new bottles, He will fill them with new wine." {The Desire of Ages, page 279, paragraph 1} 
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2018, 12:14:51 PM »
Beacon, what a joy to have you sharing with us!!  I have been a little under the weather here lately, but have been reading your posts. What a blessing! I was impressed as were you, that God wants the whole heart. He tests us that we might see our continual need of His grace in order to be saved. Sadly, as our reading pointed out, false teaching often stands in the way of the truth. May we ever be open to the truth as it is in Jesus.

Jesus pointed out the power of false teaching to destroy the appreciation and desire for truth. "No man," He said, "having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better." All the truth that has been given to the world through patriarchs and prophets shone out in new beauty in the words of Christ. But the scribes and Pharisees had no desire for the precious new wine. Until emptied of the old traditions, customs, and practices, they had no place in mind or heart for the teachings of Christ. They clung to the dead forms, and turned away from the living truth and the power of God.
     It was this that proved the ruin of the Jews, and it will prove the ruin of many souls in our own day. Thousands are making the same mistake as did the Pharisees whom Christ reproved at Matthew's feast. Rather than give up some cherished idea, or discard some idol of opinion, many refuse the truth which comes down from the Father of light. They trust in self, and depend upon their own wisdom, and do not realize their spiritual poverty.


It is so very good to be back with my friends sharing the blessings God gives as we read of His love for us. There are many who long to have the peace that comes from knowing God. May our little group continue to increase. May this new year about to begin bring many souls into the kingdom.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2019, 08:01:11 PM »
"It was this that proved the ruin of the Jews, and it will prove the ruin of many souls in our own day. Thousands are making the same mistake as did the Pharisees whom Christ reproved at Matthew's feast. Rather than give up some cherished idea, or discard some idol of opinion, many refuse the truth which comes down from the Father of light. They trust in self, and depend upon their own wisdom, and do not realize their spiritual poverty. They insist on being saved in some way by which they may perform some important work. When they see that there is no way of weaving self into the work, they reject the salvation provided."

Ps. 139: 23, 24 says: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting". We need to be willing to examine ourselves and make sure we are willing to be emptied of self and filled with the Holy Spirit so that self will not determine our thoughts and actions.
 
"A legal religion can never lead souls to Christ; for it is a loveless, Christless religion. Fasting or prayer that is actuated by a self-justifying spirit is an abomination in the sight of God. The solemn assembly for worship, the round of religious ceremonies, the external humiliation, the imposing sacrifice, proclaim that the doer of these things regards himself as righteous, and as entitled to heaven; but it is all a deception. Our own works can never purchase salvation"

Nothing in my hand a bring -- Simply to the Cross I Cling. May it always be your goal/my goal to magnify Jesus and bury self.
Look up and listen for the shout.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2019, 06:07:40 AM »
Amen, Brother Beacon!

Christ's righteousness alone can save us--His perfect life, His sacrificial death, and His resurrection life are what we must depend upon--not as a theory, but in its deepest reality--as a living faith experience to be brought into our thoughts, feelings, and actions whereby Christ is all in all, and self is truly crucified with Him, buried, and we are raised to walk in His life of self-sacrificing love to bless others!

"The true fast is no mere formal service. The Scripture describes the fast that God has chosen,--'to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke;' to 'draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul.' Isaiah 58:6, 10. Here is set forth the very spirit and character of the work of Christ. His whole life was a sacrifice of Himself for the saving of the world. Whether fasting in the wilderness of temptation or eating with the publicans at Matthew's feast, He was giving His life for the redemption of the lost. Not in idle mourning, in mere bodily humiliation and multitudinous sacrifices, is the true spirit of devotion manifested, but it is shown in the surrender of self in willing service to God and man." {The Desire of Ages, page 278, paragraph 2}

Christ was, in the truest spiritual sense, "fasting" even when at the feasting table--because He was there not to pamper self, but to save souls. Self and self-interest had no part in Jesus' labors. So it will be with us when we surrender the whole heart and the whole mind to Christ to cleanse and purify, so He can manifest forth His divine-nature-fruit attributes without one missing: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, goodness, faith and temperance! With such a Savior on the throne of our hearts, we can have a victorious walk with Jesus no matter how trying the path may be, for He has walked the path of this earthly life in a heavenly way before!   
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2019, 06:55:47 AM »
Amen Pastor Sean. And it is by beholding this love that we are transformed from sinner to saint. A pure and holy heart we may have today if we will learn of Christ that we might trust Him with the whole heart. A legal religion reveals a dried up hard heart. Jesus promises us new hearts wherein the soul has been purified. Levi Matthew and poor fishermen gladly received the light God sent them and received these "new bottles" (hearts) that they could receive the new wine (truth). False teaching destroys the desire for truth. We must die to self if we want to be a follower of Christ.

Man must be emptied of self before he can be, in the fullest sense, a believer in Jesus. When self is renounced, then the Lord can make man a new creature. New bottles can contain the new wine. The love of Christ will animate the believer with new life. In him who looks unto the Author and Finisher of our faith the character of Christ will be manifest.


Love, joy, and peace are ours when we give Jesus the whole heart, keeping nothing back.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2019, 12:32:11 PM »
"The Prince of heaven was among His people. The greatest gift of God had been given to the world. Joy to the poor; for Christ had come to make them heirs of His kingdom. Joy to the rich; for He would teach them how to secure eternal riches. Joy to the ignorant; He would make them wise unto salvation. Joy to the learned; He would open to them deeper mysteries than they had ever fathomed; truths that had been hidden from the foundation of the world would be opened to men by the Saviour's mission."

Jesus is all things to all people if we are open to His leading. What joy we experience when we sit at His feet and learn of Him and then claim these promises for ourselves.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2019, 07:59:51 PM »


"As it was in the days of Christ, so it is now; the Pharisees do not know their spiritual destitution. To them comes the message, "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." Revelation 3:17, 18. Faith and love are the gold tried in the fire. But with many the gold has become dim, and the rich treasure has been lost. The righteousness of Christ is to them as a robe unworn, a fountain untouched. To them it is said, "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Revelation 2:4, 5."

"Jesus is coming soon, there is no time to delay in making matters right. The Laodicean message is one of great promise, for it reveals what we need to do in order to be saved. We must repent. Jesus offers the three things we must buy of Him. What is the cost to purchase faith that works by love, the character of Christ, and the Holy Spirit? Is it too much to pay? No! They are offered free of charge, but we must give up our sin polluted hearts. By beholding Him we shall be changed daily by His Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18)."

Are we to busy and preoccupied with the things of this world to hear the pleading voice of Jesus as He says " Today if ye hear my voice harden not your hearts...??? Some one said that being "BUSY" means " Being Under Satan's Yoke" which banner will you, will I chose to stand under?
Look up and listen for the shout.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2019, 03:46:25 AM »
Only Jesus can give us the true experience of conversion and repentance. As we surrender to His grace, we are transformed!!

"'The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.' Psalm 51:17. Man must be emptied of self before he can be, in the fullest sense, a believer in Jesus. When self is renounced, then the Lord can make man a new creature. New bottles can contain the new wine. The love of Christ will animate the believer with new life. In him who looks unto the Author and Finisher of our faith the character of Christ will be manifest." {The Desire of Ages, page 280, paragraph 4}

Let us fix our eyes always on Jesus!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--28--Levi-Matthew
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2019, 04:52:00 PM »
"Jesus pointed out the power of false teaching to destroy the appreciation and desire for truth. "No man," He said, "having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better." All the truth that has been given to the world through patriarchs and prophets shone out in new beauty in the words of Christ. But the scribes and Pharisees had no desire for the precious new wine. Until emptied of the old traditions, customs, and practices, they had no place in mind or heart for the teachings of Christ. They clung to the dead forms, and turned away from the living truth and the power of God."

The Bible say in John 8:32
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."


Perhaps it's time for more personal introspection....Are we individually and corporately with open heart and mind searching and desiring to know and put into practice "all that the Word of God reveals to us" ? or are we holding on to some to some sinful practices like the people and church leaders of Christ's time. Again Jesus said in....

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. "

As we spend another wonderful Sabbath with Jesus it is my prayer that I along with each of you will be willing to ask our Jesus to " lead us into all truth and with a willing heart to say " Here I am Lord - Take me and fill me with the Holy Spirit " so that my life may genuinely light up a path for those who are seeking the truth of your word which leads to eternal life. HAPPY SABBATH
Look up and listen for the shout.