May 6, 2008
A Worship Video from Vineyard Music
May 6, 2008
A Worship Video from Vineyard Music
The LORD hears good people when they cry out to him, and he saves them from all their troubles. PSALM 34:17
When [a friend] told Jesus of the illness [of Lazarus] he said, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” He doesn’t base his appeal on the imperfect love of the one in need, but on the perfect love of the Savior. He doesn’t say, “The one who loves you is sick.” He says, “The one you love is sick.” The power of the prayer, in other words, does not depend on the one who makes the prayer, but on the one who hears the prayer.
We can and must repeat the phrase in manifold ways. “The one you love is tired, sad, hungry, lonely, fearful, depressed.” The words of the prayer vary, but the response never changes. The Savior hears the prayer. He silences heaven, so he won’t miss a word. He hears the prayer.
The Great House of God
1 Peter 1:3-5
Christ’s resurrection is not open for theological debate. There are many people who think it’s sufficient to believe that Jesus lived and died. However, the Savior’s restoration to life is central to what He claimed about His identity and to Christianity as a faith. Picking up on our question from yesterday’s devotion, we must ask what kind of man is this who rose from the dead?
The answer is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died for our sins and rose again because death had no power over Him. The resurrection validated Jesus’ entire ministry. All along, He said and did things to reveal that He was Lord. When the Lamb of God—the perfect sacrifice for sin—conquered death, He confirmed His identity. Who but the Creator could return to life?
We could also answer the question by saying that the kind of man who returns from the dead is one worthy of our hope. Since Jesus Christ affirmed God’s power to give His followers eternal life, their earthly existence is not marching toward an end; rather, it is the opening chapter of a beautiful and infinite relationship with God. The apostle Paul said that at death, Christians are absent from the body and present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). So the best is yet to come!
Apart from Jesus’ resurrection, there is no hope. People who chase after their own version of immortality don’t have assurance of life after death, because there is none. Believers, however, face the end of earthly life with the confidence that nothing can separate them from the love of God. Death is just a short trip home.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Mark 12:30-31)
The hymn “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship” is summarized in the moving lines of its final verse.
Let us love our God supremely,
Let us love each other, too;
Let us love and pray for sinners,
Till our God makes all things new.
Then He’ll call us home to heaven,
At His table we’ll sit down;
Christ will gird Himself, and serve us
With sweet manna all around.
The Christian’s blessings include daily “manna” (provision and blessing) from God and the promise of life with Christ throughout eternity. Our union with Him is compared to a marriage, commencing with a sumptuous wedding feast: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:7-8). “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
When He comes and claims His bride—the ones for whom He sacrificed His precious blood—He will usher us all into His banquet room. Then “he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them” (Luke 12:37). JDM
Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.— Matthew 25:45.
Abide ye here, and watch with me.—Matthew 26:38 (R. V.).
IF today thou turn’st aside
In thy luxury and pride,
Wrapped within thyself, and blind
To the sorrows of thy kind,
Thou a faithless watch dost keep,
Thou art one of those who sleep.
ANNA C. LYNCH BOTTA.
I HAVE been sorrowfully convinced that in what I thought necessary attention to home duties, my time and strength have been engrossed to a degree that I fear has interfered with my duty to others. It is a serious consideration, how much good we miss of doing, by our want of watchfulness for opportunities, and our engrossment even in our lawful and necessary cares; and there is another way, too, in the influence we might continually exert over all who come in contact with us, and through them over others, to an extent of which we are probably not aware, if we continually kept in a meek and quiet spirit. Ah, it may be with some of us that it is more for what we leave undone than for what we do, that we shall be called to an account. ELIZABETH TABER KING.
Is his mercy clean gone for ever? Psalm 77:8
His mercy endureth for ever. — The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy. — Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity? … he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sin into the depths of the sea. — Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
A merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Psalm 136:23. Numbers 14:18. Micah 7:18,19. Titus 3:5. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4. Hebrews 2:17,15.
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die. Revelation 3:2
The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. — Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. — Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life. — The just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand.
1 Peter 4:7. 1 Peter 5:8. Deuteronomy 4:9. Hebrews 10:38,39. Mark 13:37. Isaiah 41:10,13.