1 Picture for Today - Bower House, Havering Atte Bower, in Romford
Bower House is a mansion somewhere on the hills of Havering, where once upon a time the lord of the land used to live and enjoy life... Nowadays this place is the home of the Full Time Training in London, an accredited Bible school in the UK, where I happened to have graduated a while ago. The manor house is quite old, and it is "protected by the state" since it's part of the "national treasure" :) You have to visit this place, you will definitely enjoy both the view from the Manor House(you can see the city of Romford from there) and the fellowship with the brothers and sisters :)
1 Experience with the Lord Today - Intrinsic and Organic - Yet Building up the City!As believers in the Lord and as ones who are burdened to serve in the church life according to our measure, we need to see and realise that our service is not outward or extrinsic. What we do today is not a work of "correcting people" or "adjusting people" - especially as we serve with the young people. It's so easy to see the faults or the expressions of the flesh - and it is very tempting to point them out and correct people. But what we do today is not something outward and it is not something on the exterior. Rather, we do an intrinsic and organic work...
The Lord Jesus is not in the business of correcting us outwardly; rather, He comes into us as our life and our everything to be our supply and fill us inwardly. He does an intrinsic work in us - by coming into our being and even becoming part of our being through constituting us with Himself! Also, He does an organic work - He doesn't correct us outwardly or adjust our behaviour from outside; rather, He does an organic work in us by working Himself into us in our spending time with Him. Yes, He does correct and adjust us, but He does so from within, as we fellowship with Him!
There are so many things that are wrong about us and there are so many negative things that come out of us, oozing out even as we live our life daily. We are a constitution of sin, and it's normal and natural for us to live in sin - to live apart from the Lord. But when the Lord comes into us, He makes us one with Him organically(1 Cor. 6:17) and He does an organic and intrinsic work in us to reconstitute us with Himself from within. As we spend time with the Lord, as we enjoy Him, as we get into the Word, He gently adjusts us, corrects us, and rebukes us... He does it from within, and the change comes from within - this is the real change!
It's the same with us when we cooperate with the Lord today - we are not in the business of correcting or adjusting people, but what we do today is an organic and an intrinsic work. We want to learn to cooperate with the Triune God that Christ may be wrought into the beings of the saints through their enjoyment of the Lord! We don't need to adjust others or correct others outwardly - rather, we need to help the saints to enjoy the Lord! When we bring the young ones and the new ones, even all the saints, to enjoy the Lord, all their problems are solved and the Lord can do an intrinsic work in them! I need to repeat this to myself and I need to see this in a fresh way - we do an intrinsic work and an organic work, not something outwardly!
Moreover, our work is not just to bring others to simply enjoy the Lord and that's it - God desires to have not just His house but also His city! Yes, it is good to have the house of God built up (see Ezra), but what about the city of God (see Nehemiah)? Who cares for the rebuilding of the walls of the city? God wants His people to be His home, and He also wants His people to be separated from the world, sanctified unto God! We need to be both God's house and God's kingdom, His city... This also is done not through outward correction - we may think that the city of God is obtained by adjustment, correction, and regulations, but the building up of the wall of the city is also an organic and intrinsic work!
For us to build up the wall of the city and become the city of God standing strong for God's testimony we need to eat Christ in His proper humanity, His perfect and balanced humanity... only Christ is qualified to protect the interests of God, and only He is the One who can build the church - therefore, we need to eat Him! Praise the Lord, we can eat Christ in His humanity - He loves man, He cares for man, He does not condemn the sinners, He does not send away the children or the infants, He spends regular time with God, He does not seek the glory which comes from man, He respects the Father... The more we read and pray read the gospels, appreciating and enjoying the Lord's perfect humanity, the more an intrinsic and organic work takes place within us.....
Praise the Lord... He's such a great God, respecting our free will, yet at the same time He makes Himself available for us to enjoy and be dispensed into others! He does an intrinsic and organic work in us - He reconstitutes us, grows in us, and supplies us to do His will... Also, God wants us to cooperate with Him in doing an intrinsic and organic work by helping the saints to enjoy the Lord! It's actually not us but the Lord doing His work in us... As we enjoy the Lord, especially as we enjoy His fine and perfect humanity, we are built up as the city of God to protect God's interest and bring in His kingdom. O, Lord... turn our eyes from anything outward to the intrinsic and organic work You are doing in us and we are doing one with You!