Filled to Overflowing

 

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

Col. 2:9-10

Fullness is being completely filled to the full, nothing lacking, complete in the character of God, but not in the nature of God (Eph. 3:19). Fullness is having all that Jesus was and is living in our hearts now. Jesus indwells our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit and this fullness is available for any need, any ministry, any godly purpose. We lack nothing that we need as live the words of Jesus and trust the Father to perform the works of Jesus.

The fullness of the Holy Spirit is a continuous supply from Jesus Christ himself; a moment-by-moment faith in a moment-by-moment filling and a moment-by-moment cleansing. The moment I begin to believe, that moment I receive, and as long as I go on believing, praise the Lord! I go on receiving.

Charles Inwood quoted in Alan Redpath, “Full of Faith  . . .Grace . . . Power,” Keswick Week 1957 (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1957), 155.

Godly vs. Worldly Sorrow

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

2 Cor. 7:10 NIV

Godly Sorrow:

1. Godly sorrow begins with the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

2. Godly sorrow is pain over breaking God’s heart.

3. Godly sorrow is remorse over hurting and disappointing others.

4. Godly sorrow is heartfelt grief over violating God’s law.

5. Godly sorrow receives Christ’s forgiveness from the Cross.

6. Godly sorrow produces hope knowing that God’s grace is sufficient for our sins.

7. Godly sorrow hungers for a deeper relationship with God and burns with the desire to please the Holy Spirit.

Worldly Sorrow:

1. Worldly sorrow begins with having gotten caught.

2. Worldly sorrow is pain over having to suffer the consequences of my actions.

3. Worldly sorrow is anger and frustration that life will be more difficult.

4. Worldly sorrow is grief that I did not get what I wanted.

5. Worldly sorrow attempts to earn God’s approval through doing better and trying harder.

6. Worldly sorrow produces despair, I can never be good enough.

7. Worldly sorrow wants God to fix things and make life better.

 

When sorrow for sin has swept over your heart, and you have been deeply convicted of that which you have done and you have cried like David of old, “Against thee , thee only have I sinned”; when you have seen your sin not simply as an offense against the law of the land or a rejection of the voice of conscience, but as sin against God; when it is all over and your heart has been broken about it, will you then still be facing the same way?

Is it right-about-turn or is it as you were? Has there been a right-about-turn and a complete switch around and now an upward look into the face of the Lord Jesus? This the reality of repentance–something that has led you to His feet that has changed the direction of your life, that has caused you to turn right around, and with a broken heart come to Him for cleansing and forgiveness.

Alan Redpath, Blessings Out of Buffetings (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1965), 137. [paragraphing mine]

Day-by-Day Obedience


Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

Rom 1:4-5 ESV

Obedience is synonymous with the idea of surrender: we choose to yield our wills, desires, and goals to the control and leadership of the Holy Spirit. Obedience is driven by the desire to please our Heavenly Father through our attitude and actions. We value the leading, guiding and directing of the Holy Spirit more than our personal preferences and opinions. Obedience not only involves acquiescing to the direction of our Father, but also involves delighting in his purposes for us. We acknowledge that God’s Word is true and always trumps our our selfish wants and wishes.

In the experience of conversion you have yielded to the limit of your capacity at that point, in faith, and you have received Jesus Christ as your sovereign. But the faith which yields to Him at conversion, if it is genuine, will always be followed by obedience; day-by-day obedience to the indwelling Spirit, who sealed you at the moment of your conversion, who baptized you into the Body of Christ, into the Church–and from that moment onwards the genuine evidence of your salvation will be that you obey the Word of God. Every step of faith and every act of obedience only enlarges your capacity for more of Him. That is what it means to know a progressive experience of the fullness of His indwelling.

Alan Redpath, “Full of Faith . . . Grace . . . Power,” Keswick Week 1957 (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1957), 155.

“Does God Have All of Me?”

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Psalm 86:11 NIV

One of my favorite authors and teachers is the late Alan Redpath, his sermons and books stir me to the core of my spiritual life. Today, I listened to his message, “God Seeks a Man of Prayer,” I was deeply affected by Redpath’s passion for Christ and his passionate heart-cry for prayer. His message was one of the most anointed sermons I have ever heard.

In that sermon, Redpath, former pastor of Moody Memorial Church, relates a story concerning leaving a church meeting with Stephen Olford. As they walked out the door, a Bible student asks Olford, “What is the secret to Christian leadership?” Olford responds, “Bent knees, wet eyes, and a broken heart.” Redpath elaborated by admonishing those in Christian ministry not to rely on a theological degree for ministry success, but be dependent on God’s grace and Spirit that “God clothes you with himself.” Redpath quoted Isa. 59:16 and Ezek. 22:30 as examples of Christians not seeking God, but God seeking us. Redpath relates that God is looking for a man (or woman) who is determined enough, bold enough, and small enough to pray and intercede for our nation on God’s behalf. With this kind of bold intercession, we not only grab ahold of God, but God lays claim to every aspect of our hearts.

Alan Redpath had two daughters who loved to swarm him when he came home at night. As he came in the door one evening, his little girls ran to meet him. One grabbed his leg and hugged him with all her might. He snatched the other daughter up in his arms. The one squeezing his leg said, “Now, I’ve got all of Daddy.” The daughter in his arms replied, “Yes, but Daddy has got all of me!” Perhaps the question we need to continually ask is, “Does God have all of me?”

Daily Christian Quote/Alan Redpath

Great Receivers (No, Not NFL Wide Receivers)

Grace Gives, Faith Receives

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Psalm 81:10

It is hard to receive isn’t it? Someone gives you a surprise gift at Christmas, you did not think to purchase them a present. The moment is awkward. You have to receive with nothing to give. Our tit-for-tat obligatory works mindset does not want to receive unless we can give something back. We hesitate, we obfuscate, and we apologize. We do everything we can not to receive that gift.

We treat God that way, too. He gives us the grace of his Son’s life and death and we attempt to pay him back by performing better. We just can’t receive all that God has done for us. We must do something in return to prove to God that we are worthy of his love. We reject grace because it just can’t be that simple. We think we must do something in return, but that is not the way grace works. “So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace” (Rom. 11:5-6).

As Anglican pastor, John Stott, has noted, “Grace is God’s free and unmerited favour, loving the unlovable, seeking the fugitive, rescuing the hopeless, and lifting the beggar from the dunghill to make him sit among princes.” Grace is taking in all of what Christ has done for us in his life and death and simply saying back to the Lord, “Thank you.” We receive by grace all the spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ (Eph. 1:3).

God has called us to be great receivers. When have a need, ask of God, and we will receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need (Heb. 4:14-16). In times of temptation, in times of despair, in times of confusion–look to God, ask, and you will receive.

Someone has said that great saints are great receivers; men and women who take their holiness by faith, and who go on taking it by faith . . . . In others words, if you are impatient, you have his patience; if you are impure, you have his purity; if you are bitter in spirit, you have His grace; if you are critical in spirit, you have His love; if you are worldly in spirit, you have His glory.

The opposite to everything that I am by nature, is in Christ; and He by His Spirit is in me: therefore in every moment of satanic temptation I may look up to Him and say, “Lord, in this situation I claim Thy grace, Thy patience, Thy purity, Thy love, Thy holiness.’

Alan Redpath, “Fourfold Challenge to Holiness,” Daily Thoughts from Keswick: A Year’s Daily Readings, ed. Herbert F. Stevenson (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1980), 349.