VIDEO Surely Your Salvation is Coming

May 24, 2014

Music & Video Copyrighted 2010 by Esther Mui.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

Isaiah 62 (NKJV)
1 For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns.

2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name.

3 You shall also be a crown of glory, In the hand of the LORD,
And a royal diadem, In the hand of your God.

4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the LORD delights in you,
And your land shall be married.

5 For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.

6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent,

7 And give Him no rest till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

8 The LORD has sworn by His right hand
And by the arm of His strength: ” Surely I will no longer give your grain, As food for your enemies;
And the sons of the foreigner shall not drink your new wine, For which you have labored.

9 But those who have gathered it shall eat it, And praise the LORD;
Those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts.”

10 Go through, Go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people;
Build up, Build up the highway! Take out the stones, Lift up a banner for the peoples!

11 Indeed the LORD has proclaimed, To the end of the world:
” Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming;
Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.'”

12 And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of the LORD;
And you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.

Sticking Up for Jesus

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Recently, I read a disturbing quote from a pastor of a large church in California. He said, “I used to believe that we should ask Muslims to accept Christ as their Savior. But I don’t believe that any more. I’ve sensed the presence of God with Muslims, and I’ve come to believe that it’s wrong to try to talk them into becoming Christians.”

I don’t know why he changed his mind, but caving in on what Jesus has clearly said, is a betrayal of Jesus Himself. Jesus came to make a way to God by removing the one barrier that blocks everyone’s path to God—the barrier of sin. This meant that He had to die in our place to pay the price of sin. Without His sacrifice, there is no other way. Let’s face it; if there were other ways to God, then He didn’t need to die. It’s ludicrous to believe that His Father would send Him through the agony of the cross if it were only another religious option. To deny that He is the way is to deny Jesus.

But let’s get personal about this. While it’s easy to “be out” on a West Coast pastor who has bailed on the message of Jesus, we ourselves find it hard to tell people at the water cooler that we believe He is the only way. There are probably a lot of reasons why we tend to fudge on the issue: keeping culturally respectable, not appearing to be to the right of Attila the Hun, or just not wanting to seem intolerant or bigoted all stack up as pretty good reasons to duck when the subject is raised.

But at some point, we have to make up our mind about whether any of these pressures are worth betraying Jesus for.

Judas did it for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 27:1-5). And, to be candid about it, he had some pretty good reasons to bail. If he had stuck it out with the unpopular Jesus, he would suffer (as Jesus had told His disciples), be thrown out of synagogues, and perhaps even die for the cause. On the other hand, betraying Christ would bring him acceptance from the “powers that be,” safety, and security by aligning himself with the big guys—and some extra cash besides. Being like Judas is always an option. But let’s remember that he was no hero. When was the last time you heard of parents naming their newborn son Judas?

All I’m trying to say is that sticking up for Jesus against heavy odds is always tough. But it’s always right. Perhaps we have misunderstood the nature of being a follower of Jesus: We are to take up our cross and follow Him. Paying a price for Him comes into clear perspective when we remember the phenomenal price He paid for us.

I’m not asking you to be obnoxious about it, just humbly clear. And by the way, is there anything compelling about your life that would back up the words that Jesus is the way? Are you wonderfully different because Jesus is the way? Do people at the water cooler know that you are trustworthy, forgiving, fair and honest, joyful, and quick to speak a good word about others?

It’s always easier to speak up for Jesus when we have already shown up for Jesus.

YOUR JOURNEY…

– What attitudes and actions in your life back up the claims of Jesus?
– What’s your price? Write down any circumstances that might tempt you to act like Judas. Pray and ask God for the courage to stand up for Jesus when it would be easier to betray Him.
– How could you humbly yet clearly articulate Jesus Christ’s claim to be the only way to God? Write out a statement of about 25 words that clearly explains why He needed to die for all. Be sure to tell those who question you that He has already made a way for them to have a relationship with God.

Unconditional Surrender

1 Kings 20:1-4

Giving absolute power over our life to another human being would be a scary proposition. But to accept and acknowledge the Lord’s authority over us is fitting and right.

Unconditional surrender means:

• Yielding ourselves—including all we have and all we are—to the lordship of Christ. It is an identification with Him in which we decrease and He increases. We first experience surrender in our attitude and then live it out in obedient action.

• Placing no limit on what we are willing to do or become. This means we have no restricted areas in our life where Jesus is not invited, nothing set aside for our own exclusive use, and no place where we tell Him, “Hands off.” We make ourselves totally available to His will—whenever, wherever, and however He chooses.

• Transferring ownership of our body, soul, and spirit to Christ. By doing so, we embrace as our own values the principles of the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12), the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), the hierarchy of the kingdom (Mark 9:35), suffering for Christ’s sake (1 Peter 4:13), and dying to self (Gal. 2:20).

One reason we tend to hold back is fear: What will the Lord require of me? Another stumbling block is selfishness: I like having control over my own schedule and long-range plans. A third obstacle is pride: I know what God wants me to do, but can’t He see how that could hurt my reputation?

What keeps you from abandoning yourself to the Lord

Thanks Be Unto God

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

There are innumerable things for which we could—and should—give thanks to God. But there are three notable gifts mentioned by Paul in his letters to the Corinthians in which he was led to use this particular exclamation: “Thanks be to God.” We shall do well to look at these great blessings, and then—like Paul—pour out our own thanks to God for them!

The first is in our text above, giving thanks for God’s gift of victory. And what victory is that? “Death is swallowed up in victory” (v. 54), and death has lost its terrible sting for the believer, for Christ conquered death forever when He died for our sins and rose again.

The second is similar yet goes beyond even the first gift: “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14). Not only victory over death but victory in life!

By the indwelling presence of the Spirit of Christ, we are enabled to triumph over circumstances and “shew forth the praises of him who hath called [us] out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). But the greatest gift of all is Christ Himself! Therefore, we join with the apostle Paul as he exclaims, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The value of this gift is beyond language to describe, “unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). The Lord Jesus Christ is both our Creator and Savior, giving us triumphant peace and joy in life, and eternal victory over death. Thanks be unto God! HMM

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.— Romans 8:1.

IT may be that recollections of the past hinder you, but you must reject them; anxious thoughts may arise, put them away; your faults seem to raise up a barrier, but no past faults can separate a loving heart from God. H.L. SIDNEY LEAR.

Do not scrutinize so closely whether you are doing much or little, ill or well, so long as what you do is not sinful, and that you are heartily seeking to do everything for God. Try as far as you can to do everything well, but when it is done do not think about it; try rather to think of what is to be done next. Go on simply in the Lord’s way, and do not torment yourself. We ought to hate our faults, but with a quiet, calm hatred, not pettishly and anxiously. We must learn to look patiently at them, and win through them the grace of self-abnegation and humility. Be constant and courageous, and rejoice that He has given you the will to be wholly His.
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.

Yea, hath God said?

Yea, hath God said? Genesis 3:1

When the tempter came to Jesus, he said, If thou be the Son of God. — Jesus said unto him, It is written, … it is written, … it is written. — Then the devil leaveth him.

I may not return with thee. For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there. He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him. The man of God … was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD. — Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. — Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Matthew 4:3. Matthew 4:4,7,10. Matthew 4:11. 1 Kings 13:16-19, 26. Galatians 1:8. Psalm 119:11.

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see we beseech thee, we are all thy people. — Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. — It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

Affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Proverbs 16:5. Isaiah 64:8,9. Jeremiah 31:18,19. Lamentations 3:27. Job 5:6,7,