"Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord...." Hosea 6:3a
Do you feel less than jolly when the boughs of holly are brought out 3 months before Christmas? For many, Christmas is a depressing time. We are all madly celebrating what is supposed to be Jesus' birthday - but without Jesus. Christmas has become a social holiday that starts earlier each year and gets emptier. And what happens when the family is gone, no one believes in Santa anymore and it doesn't snow? Even those of us that have grown up in the church and know that the day belongs to Jesus would have to confess that Christmas's past have been less than satisfying.
There is only one way to restore Christmas. Jesus must be born anew in our hearts. He must be first and He must be our focus.
Over 300 years ago, Madame Jeanne Guyon lived near Paris France. Her deep love for Jesus characterized her life and was ultimately the crime that brought her imprisonment in the Bastille. Despite all efforts to crush her and her faith, Madame Guyon left us a legacy in her writings. One of her most famous works is "Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ." It is from parts of this work that our study will be found this month. If this Christmas is to be any different for us we must press on to know the Lord. So as not to misrepresent Madame Guyon, each day's thought will be her own direct quotes from:
Day 1- "At this point, there must enter into your heart whole new
attitudes toward your entire life. Even your whole viewpoint of life will have
to be altered.
Philippians 2:5-8 / 1 Peter 2:1-3
Day 2 -This new attitude must come for a very special reason - so that
you may go on deeper, still deeper, into another level with your Lord. "
Day 3 -"To do this, you must have a fresh attitude toward yourself as
well as toward the Lord; it is an attitude that must go much deeper than any
you have known previously."
Philippians 2:4, 21/ Romans 12: 1-2
Day 4 -"To do this, I introduce a new word to you. The word is
ABANDONMENT. (Abandonment is to surrender; to give up; forsake.)
Day 5- "To penetrate deeper in the experience of Jesus Christ, it is
required that you begin to abandon your whole existence, giving it up to God.
Let us take the daily occurrences of life as an illustration."
Philippians 3:7-8 / I Peter 4:1-2
Day 6- "You must utterly believe that the circumstances of your life,
that is, every minute of your life, as well as the whole course of your
life-anything, yes, everything that happens - have all come to you by His will
and by His permission. You must utterly believe that everything that has
happened to you is from God and is exactly what you need.
Job 1: 21-22 / Mark 14:36 / John 18:11
Day 7- "Such an outlook towards your circumstances and such a look of
faith towards your Lord will make you content with everything."
Day 8- "Once you believe this, you will then begin to take everything
that comes into your life as being from the hand of God, not from the hand of
Day 9- "Do you truly, sincerely desire to give yourself up to God?
Proverbs 23:26 / Matthew 4:19-20
Day 10- "Then I must next remind you that once you have made the
donation, you cannot take the gift back again. "
Matthew 13: 44-45
Day 11- "The believer who knows how to abandon himself to the Lord will
soon become perfect." (By this Madame Guyon meant a life lived and a will lived
in absolute, perfect concert with the will of God-constantly, under all
circumstances, and at all times.)
Matthew 5:48 / Matthew 19:21
Day 12- "Let us say you reach this state of abandonment. Once you have
reached this state, you must continue steadfast and immovable. Otherwise, to
arrive there and remain only briefly is of little value. It is one thing to
reach this state; it is another thing to remain there. "
Luke 9:62 / Hebrews 10:38-39
Day 13- "Nonetheless, you must believe that you can abandon yourself
utterly to the Lord for all your lifetime and that He will give you the grace
to remain there!"
Day 14- "What is abandonment? If we can understand what it is, perhaps
we can better lay hold of it. "
Matthew 16:24-25 / Matthew 19:16-24
Day 15- "Abandonment is casting off all your cares. Abandonment is
dropping all your needs. This includes spiritual needs."
I Peter 5:7 / Matthew 6:25a, 31-32 / Luke 21:34
Day 16- "All Christians have spiritual needs; but the believer who has
abandoned himself to the Lord no longer indulges in the luxury of being aware
of spiritual needs. Rather, he gives himself over completely to the disposal of
Luke 1:38 / John 6:38
Day 17- "Do you realize that all Christians have been exhorted to
Psalm 37:5 / Proverbs 3:5-6
Day 18- "True abandonment must cover two compete worlds, two complete
realms. There must be abandonment n your life concerning all outward, practical
Luke 10:38-42 / Galatians 5:24
Day 19- "Secondly, there must also be an abandonment of all inward,
Day 20- "You must come to the Lord and there engage in giving up ALL
your concerns. All your concerns go into the hand of God."
Day 21- "You forget yourself, and from that moment on you think only of
Galatians 2:20 / Colossians 3:3
Day 22- "By continuing to do this over a long period of time, your heart
will remain unattached; your heart will be free and at peace!"
Day 23- "How do you practice abandonment? You practice it daily, hourly,
and by the moment. Abandonment is practiced by continually losing your own will
in the will of God."
2 Corinthians 4:11 / Hebrews 3:13 / James 4:15
Day 24- "And how do you begin? You must begin by refusing every personal
desire that comes to you just as soon as it arises - no matter how good that
personal desire is, and no matter how helpful it might appear!"
I John 2: 15-17
Day 25- "Abandonment must reach a point where you stand in complete
indifference to yourself."
Day 26- "The result of this attitude will, in fact, bring you to the
most wonderful point imaginable. It is the point where your will breaks free of
you completely and becomes free to be joined to the will of God! You will
desire only what He desires, that is, what He has desired for all eternity."
Romans 6:6-7 / Psalm 40: 8
Day 27- "Become abandoned by simply resigning yourself to what the Lord
wants, in all things, no matter what they are, where they come from, or how
they affect your life. "
Daniel 6:1-23 / Matthew 26:42
Day 28- "What is abandonment? It is forgetting your past; it is leaving
the future in His hands; it is devoting the present fully and completely to
Matthew 6: 25-34
Day 29- "Abandonment is being satisfied with the present moment, no
matter what that moment contains. You are satisfied because you know that
whatever that moment has, it contains in that instant, God's eternal plan for
Psalm 16: 2,5,6,8,9,11
Day 30- "Remember, you must never blame man for anything. No matter what
happens it was neither man nor circumstances that brought it. You must accept
everything (except, of course, your own sinfulness) as having come from your
2 Corinthians 4: 17-18
Day 31- "Do you wish to go into the depths of Jesus Christ? If you wish
to enter into this deeper state of knowing the Lord, you must seek to know not
only a deeper prayer but also abandonment in all realms of your life. This
means branching out until your new relationship includes living 24 hours a day
utterly abandoned to Him. Begin to surrender yourself to be led by God and to
be dealt with by Him. Do so right now. Surrender yourself to allow Him to do
with you exactly as He pleases - both in your inward life of experiencing Him
and also in your outward life of accepting all circumstances as from Him."
Hebrews 12: 1-11
This year, give Jesus the gift that counts --- yourself! (Experiencing the Depth of Jesus Christ is published by Christian Books; Goleta, CA )
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