DAILY DISCIPLINE #46
By Colleen Donahue
"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 in the past has 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 go to 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:
EXPERIENCING THE DEPTHS OF JESUS CHRIST -Abandonment (Chapter 6)
Day 1- "At this point, there must enter into your heart whole new attitudes toward your entire life. Even your whole view 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."
Romans 12: 1-2 / Philippians 2:4, 21
Day 4 -"To do this, I introduce a new word to you. The word is ABANDONMENT. (Abandonment is to surrender; to give up; forsake.)
Reread: Philippians 2:7
Day 5- "To penetrate deeper into 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 men. "
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 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 life 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."
Matthew 6:25a, 31-32 / Luke 21:34 / 1 Peter 5:7
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 God."
Luke 1:38 / John 6:38
Day 17- "Do you realize that all Christians have been exhorted to abandonment?
Psalm 37:5 / Proverbs 3:5-6
Day 18- "True abandonment must cover two complete worlds, two complete realms. There must be abandonment n your life concerning all outward, practical things."
Luke 10:38-42 / Galatians 5:24
Day 19- "Secondly, there must also be an abandonment of all inward, spiritual things."
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 Him."
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 3:12-14 / 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."
Psalm 40: 8 / Romans 6:6-7
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 your Lord."
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 you."
Psalm 16: 1-11
Day 30- "Remember, you must never blame a 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 Lord. "
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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