Let us consider our poverty before Christ; that we are wholesome only in Him by the will of the Father and activity of God the Spirit. This is our sure claim: that we belong to Him who loves us more than we can fathom, who gives us what we receive, and to whom belongs all glory and worship and debt of love because He first loved us. Selah.
Now, because of the Incarnation, we are in union with Him by new creation; this body of fallen flesh shall one day be exchanged for new flesh in the likeness of Jesus as He is now and always. We are united, one flesh with the Divine Yes.
We are His own possession, the Bride of Christ.
Let us stir one another unto right thinking. Let us hear God exhort us in the following passages to see ourself in the mirror by faith, however dimly now, which is laid out according to the structure of Proverbs 31.
Deut5.33 -- You shall walk in all the way which the Lord God has commanded you...
Acts2.38 -- ...Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Rom12.1-3, 21; Titus2.14; 1Tim3.11
1Thes4.9-12 -- ...make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you; so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.
1Tim5.8 -- But if any one does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Matt10.16 -- Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
1Tim6.18,19 -- Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. Eph4.1-16; Luke11.17(...every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house against a house falls.)
1Pet4.1,2 -- Therefore since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
Rom13.10-14; Eph6.10-18; 1Pet5.6-10
2Tim2.4,5 -- No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.
Col3.23-25 -- Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
Phil2.3-5 -- Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.
James1.27 -- This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Gal2.10 -- They only asked us to remember the poor - the very thing I also was eager to do.
Luke6.30-33 -- Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back... and if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
Amos4.1; 8.4-6; James2.5,14-17
1Pet4.7-11 -- The end of all things is at hand; therefore be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another... be hospitable to one another, without complaint. As each has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God....
Phil1.20,21;2.13 -- for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure... according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything but that with all boldness Christ shall even now, as always be, exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
1Cor12.7 -- But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
2Cor4.15-18 -- For all things are for your sakes, that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our other man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glor far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Titus3.12 -- Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentions, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
2Tim2.24-26; 4.1,2; 1Tim6.3-6
Eph4.1-16 -- ...from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Titus3.14 -- And let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, that they may not be unfruitful.
Ps122.6,9 -- Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper who love you... For the sake of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good.
Heb12.22-24 -- But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
1Jn3.1; 1Thes2.7; Gal4.19,22-31; 1Cor11.22; Rev19.7-9;21.9,10; Isa49.20-23
In our digestion of this spiritual nurishment, food for our renewing minds, let us not make haste.
And after considering Her who is considered by Jesus to be His Beloved, may we individually and collectively attend to these dual questions:
Do I/we see the good of Her (the New Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb)?
As members of the Body, am I/are we doing my/our main function?
Do I/we resemble the picture formed by reading these Bible texts?
Do I/we seek my/our own good, and not that of the Body?
Who am I/are we, and whom do I/we serve in submission under?
Am I/are we the Lord's Help-mate, corresponding to Him, bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh?
We are speaking of Her who is purchased as His own possession, remember, not any humanly organized gathering under our traditions. Gather we will, slight differences we have. It is my contention that my own position is within the Body, therefore there is an individual and corporate response to each of the previous questions. I must consider myself and ourself in relationship with Him.
Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost... Listen to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. And the Spirit and the bride say,"Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in Him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.(Isa55, Rev22; John6)
Now, think about that. Selah!