Conference: Loving the Lord Jesus

In January of 2009 a number of saints from around the Great Lakes area gathered in Ohio for a time of fellowship with brother Titus on the very basic matter of loving the Lord Jesus. This time was especially intended for the young people, and the fellowship was very practical; our brother shared that the burden for this time was simply focused on helping us learn how to contact the Lord and be in His presence, especially in our personal lives.


Message One, Part One
Hymns and Singing

In this session brother Titus goes over a hymn by Ann Waring, “Father, All My Life, I Know, Is Portioned Out by Thee,” using it to show, in a very practical way, what it means to be a lover of the Lord Jesus. For example, do we really understand that our life is “portioned out” by God our Father? If so, why do we fear changes? Such a fear indicates that we do not fully trust in the Lord.

43 minutes • 7.6 megabytes

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Message One, Part Two
Loving the Lord Jesus

If we are to love God, we surely must know who He is. The apostle John has three crucial statements that speak of what God is in Himself, telling us that God is Spirit (John 4:24), Light (1 John 1:5), and love (1 John 4:8, 16).

In addition, in this message we also consider briefly the three ministries of Peter, Paul, and John. Peter’s ministry was one of revival and Paul’s ministry stressed the truth, while John’s ministry stressed the reality of Christ; that is, how real is Christ to you?

45 minutes • 7.8 megabytes

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Message Two, Part One
Hymns and Singing

In this session brother Titus focused on helping the saints learn one thing: how to pray to the Lord in a very free way, just opening to Him concerning whatever matter is in their heart.

1 hour 10 minutes • 12.3 megabytes

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Message Two, Part Two
Loving the Lord Jesus

In this message we are given some very practical exercises for us to contact the Lord, so that we may learn to abide in Him. There are four basic lines: prayer, the Word, using the hymns, and our personal exercise before the Lord.

52 minutes • 9.1 megabytes

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Message Three, Part One
Hymns and Singing

In this session on hymns brother Titus spends time first to go over one of his own hymns on how the Lord draws us to himself when we are weak. He then covers A.B. Simpson’s hymn, “Oh Lord, Breathe Thy Spirit on Me.”

40 minutes • 7.1 megabytes

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Message Three, Part Two
Loving the Lord Jesus

While the various world religions teach people to worship, fear, and obey God, none of them teach people to love God. Only in the Bible do we see that God desires so much that we would love Him. The Bible tells us the God is love, and that we need to abide in this love. Actually, we need to grow, by means of God’s provisions for us, so that we may enter into a fuller realization of His love. The more we grow and mature as Christians, the more we will be able to appreciate and enjoy His love for us.

1 hour 4 minutes • 11.2 megabytes

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Message Four, Part One
Hymns and Singing

In this session brother Titus continued to work with the young people on how to use and enjoy hymns, focusing on some of the songs they typically use in their gatherings. He states that it is not wrong to be excited in the meetings, but for that to be real we need to spend much time privately in the Lord’s presence. If we desire a strong corporate testimony the core must be a good number of brothers and sisters in the church life who have a very profound personal life with the Lord.

45 minutes • 7.9 megabytes

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Message Four, Part Two
Loving the Lord Jesus

The focus of this message is seeing some of the provisions God has made for us so that we may enjoy Him as love.

1 hour 4 minutes • 11.2 megabytes

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Message Five, Part One
Hymns and Singing

To enjoy the Lord in the meetings is not a matter of being excited or of being sober, but of the Spirit. To be strong in spirit, or to be sober, do not conflict; Paul could be either (2 Cor. 5:13). Therefore, we must learn to be in the freedom of the Spirit so that He may have the freedom to lead us in the meetings.

He also spends a good deal of time to go over one of the young people’s hymns, “Shine Jesus Shine.” The hymns that we sing should not just be sensational, but have a good deal of substance, i.e., the truth that is according to our commitment.

44 minutes • 7.8 megabytes

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Message Five, Part Two
Loving the Lord Jesus

According to Ephesians 3:16, we need to be strengthened into our inner man. But what does it mean to be strengthened in this way?
It means, first of all, that Christ is not merely a power to us, but also a person. Therefore, to be strengthened in such a way means that we take Christ as our person; He begins to penetrate our entire being, so that who we are expresses the person of Christ, and we desire what He desires.

1 hour 8 minutes • 19.9 megabytes

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Comments on “Conference: Loving the Lord Jesus”

David Canfield

I’ve organized my impressions from this conference into eight main themes, with the content for some topics coming from more than one message.

I want to stress that, even though what I’ve written sometimes follows the speaking pretty closely, these are not verbatim notes, but rather my own record of what impressed me in this conference.

•> Theme I: The Practicality of Loving the Lord Jesus.

We should be those who only love Jesus. While this statement is very basic, it has some very practical and profound applications.

If we truly love and seek only Him, we will give up our own choosing; we will be restful regarding our circumstances because we will accept them as from the Lord. We won’t care about the environment or whether we are being manifested as those who serve Him because our only concern will be to please the Lord.

Eventually, everything in our life has to disappear. If you love the Lord so much, you’ll be able to say, “Lord, I’ve lost everything, but I have you. Lord, whatever is with me is not the priority or the center; You are the priority and the center.”

We seek the Lord, but it’s totally different from what we think it should be. We have our imagination, but it turns out to be different from what we thought. We think, I should be prevailing and the church life should be wonderful, but it’s not so. Rather, it’s dark. If we don’t love the Lord it won’t matter, but if we do we’re in darkness. However, without this kind of experience you will never know the depths of the Christian life. He is the professional in exposing us; His government is in full control. (A personal note: In my early Christian life I was very much helped by Isaiah 42:16, which seems to correspond to this thought, as well as 45:1-3.)

When there’s a total commitment, you realize that the Christian life is by no means so easy. You should tell the Lord, “Don’t give me anything else in my life except You. In my life may I never love, gain, or focus on anything but You.”

Ann Waring’s hymn, “Father, I Know that All My Life is Portioned Out by Thee,” is very restful. Are you the Lord’s servant, a lover of Christ? Then why do you worry so much? Isn’t your life portioned out by God?

•> Theme II: The Blessing of Loving God

The world religions teach you how to worship, but not how to love. Only the Bible tells us to love God. Every religion has an object to worship, to bribe, and to fear. Only Christians are blessed to love God.

First John 4 shows that you can’t separate God and love. God is love, so love becomes everything in our Christian life.

Jeremiah 31:3 shows that love is substantiated by loving kindness. It draws us to Him:

The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness.”
— Jeremiah 31:3

This love needs us to give our lives to enjoy it. It’s worthy to invest every part of our being into it. Only a pursuer of Christ can gain the very love of God. Because I’m a Jesus lover much more than a Jesus server, my life becomes quite good. It is the ones who don’t give themselves fully to the Lord who are actually the stupid ones.

•> Theme III: The Danger of Loving Spiritual Attainments and the Work More than Christ Himself.

So many Christian workers give up loving the Lord so that they can accomplish something for Him.

We’re not committed with success, but with the Lord’s testimony.

The saints should tell the workers, if you love me, die for me. Don’t just use me to have a big number.

I doubt we’ll ever be a successful Christian group – but even if we gain some success, what’s the value? If the nature of the Lord’s commitment has changed, it doesn’t matter.

Brothers have no concern for the church, even though they talk about brotherly love. They all paid a big price to serve the Lord, but then got caught by attainment to the point they become wolves and tigers and will do anything to be successful. They don’t care whether the saints love another.

Around 1980, following a great turmoil among us, brother Lee told a group of leading brothers, I have no face to see Watchman Nee. He went on: I’d rather we only had 20 people, yet ones who were very clear with the vision we have received. Witness Lee’s vision was so clear; he felt it was better to have few who are really clear than to have a large work with no reality.

If our economy is without love it has no value (1 Cor. 13).

•> Theme IV: The Three Stages of the Experience of Christ.

Our experience of Christ is in 3 stages:

1. The stage of sensation.

2. The stage of knowing Christ as our encouragement, strength, and power. He operates in us according to the riches of His attributes, and is manifested to us as human virtues.

3. Ultimately, Christ must invade and penetrate who we are, so that who we are expresses the person of Christ. What He desires, labors for, pursues after, I do. His person occupies our being.

The third stage is that of being strengthened into the inner man (Eph. 3:16).

Also, if we want to love God, remember:
1. It’s a life matter.
2. It’s a matter of resurrection.
3. To love the Lord is a matter of the Spirit and the word.

But when you enjoy God you begin with the Spirit. One element resurrection gives to us is love; when you enjoy resurrection, you can say, “Lord, I really love you.”

When Christ makes His home in your heart you just have a feeling, how limitless is my life! You might say to Him, “I can’t believe You’re that buoyant!”

We all play around so we don’t know how much we can grow. If we really mean business, we’ll be surprised at how far we can go.

According to Romans 5:5, you become so tender to the Lord; you would be willing to lose everything, but not the Lord.

Lord, I love you so much; it’s not sensational, it’s not emotional, it’s real!!!

•> Theme V: The Ministries of Peter, Paul, and John.

Peter’s ministry is one of revival; he preached the gospel and 3,000 were saved. However, there was not much truth, so James came in to invade the church life and everyone surrendered.

So Paul was raised up and established the high truth. You can’t believe how much vision and experience he had. No one can compare with him.

But finally John came in and said, we’re not merely for the gospel work, and we’re not just for the high truths, either; we’re for the reality of Christ. He wants to know: Yes, you’re a Jesus lover, but how real is Christ to you?

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life.”
— First John 1:1

This verse shows us the four stages of Christian growth:

1. Hearing
2. Seeing
3. Focusing
4. Handling

The third stage is crucial. If we focus on someone we don’t know, it’s seems strange. But you always focus on the one you love and don’t feel it’s adequate. When you love someone so much, your eye follows them wherever they go. When you look upon the Lord, you realize He really has the unsearchable riches. How can we speak His preciousness? He is more than we could ever say, but it all becomes ours only when we focus on Him. If you don’t see it, it’s not yours.

Many people love Jesus for many years, but they still only have Jesus, because they never really looked upon Him. John could say, “I’ve looked upon Him.”

We love Jesus, not His work or His teaching, so focus on Him.

To handle Him means that we’re a part of Him, or His operation in life. John says that if we really love the Lord we should not just see Him, but look upon Him and even handle Him.

How can all this be? By the Word of life.

•> Theme VI: Experiencing God as Spirit, Love, and Light.

John has three statements that describe who God really is in Himself. There are many statements that describe what God is and what He is to us, but in the Bible only these three statements point to His person.

Firstly, “God is Spirit” (John 4:24). Thus, to enjoy God, you have to know the Spirit is the process. Without it, there’s no process, no reality of the Savior. This is a very simple statement, but extremely profound. You’re whole Christian life is a matter of the Spirit. Without it, you lose everything. Without the experience of the Spirit you will not have God.

To love Jesus is not just an emotional mater, but a spiritual matter. How can you love Him? By your regenerated, mingled spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). Without the spirit there’s no reality of love (Rom. 5:5). To love Him is altogether a spiritual thing.

So the Spirit is the reality and the substance of all spiritual things. When we’re in the Lord’s presence the Spirit sustains it.

Secondly, God is love. Without the Spirit you can’t have God. But if it’s only spiritual, it’s not real. There must be love.

When we receive God and enjoy Him, love becomes our inner substance and reality. His person is Spirit, His nature is love.

If you feel you have the Lord without love, something is wrong. If you exercise the genuine love it shows that God is very much with you (1 John 4:12).

Finally, God is light (1 John 1:5). God is light in His expression. When God operates in you light comes out. A healthy Christian can never deviate from these three things. When you enjoy

God as light you will also radiate His light. When you say you really enjoy His love, light will come.

Love nourishes, light kills. The more we touch His love, the more we feel the Lord is so precious and desirable. Then the light comes without any accusation and kills what we’ve been exposed with. It kills whatever is not one with the Lord.

•> Theme VII: Different Ways to Touch the Lord.

To know that God is love can be doctrinal. To truly know Him as love needs us to exercise to stay in His love. In order to have a solid Christ in our experience we need to spend time with Him, in many different ways, such as in prayer, in the word, and in the singing of hymns. This is not for the sake of just having something to share, but to touch the Lord Himself, because we love Him.

If you don’t develop a life of enjoying the Lord by contacting Him in prayer your life will be very limited.

Without the individual life there’s no corporate life. We need the church, but most of the time we’re on our own, so we have to develop our own personal relationship with the Lord.

The core of the church life has to be that some brothers and sisters have a very profound personal life with the Lord. Otherwise, when so many declare they’re for Christ, it can so quickly be wiped out because there’s not adequate content.

Without such an intimate and personal contact with the Lord we will not be able to truly follow Him. Excitement and movements won’t really cause us to give ourselves to the Lord, but the inward strengthening of touching the Lord will carry you for your Christian life.

Nine spiritual exercises we should have:
• Praying
• Interceding
• Thanksgiving
• Pray-Reading
• Read-praying
• Memorizing the word (the best way to pray-read)
• Calling
• Sighing
• Groaning

•> Theme VIII: Helping the Young Saints to Appreciate Hymns with More Substantial Content.

Brother Titus, as well as the other brothers, used much of the time to go over different hymns from an older hymnal, a new hymnal, and from songbooks the young people use for their gathering.

He pointed out that some of the songs we sing are useful mainly for stirring us up in large gatherings with the saints. However, he stressed that in the long run the songs we use won’t really help us to go on unless they bring us into some real contact with the Lord or have some solid content in the truth, in particular the truth which is according to our commitment from the Lord.

 

Mathews M.

This is really encouraging and equipping us for the work of the ministry of the New Testament of the Lord Jesus Himself. It also prepares us for the second advent of our Lord Jesus as our bridegroom and us, His bride. God bless you brothers.May your spirit be full of His love, grace, and mercy.

 

Nancy Stapp

This takes your breath away. I never saw this before.

Wonderful!!

 

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