Oct 26, 2011
From the 1972 album, “My Faith Still Holds”
Oct 26, 2011
From the 1972 album, “My Faith Still Holds”
…so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus… —Acts 20:24
Joy comes from seeing the complete fulfillment of the specific purpose for which I was created and born again, not from successfully doing something of my own choosing. The joy our Lord experienced came from doing what the Father sent Him to do. And He says to us, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). Have you received a ministry from the Lord? If so, you must be faithful to it— to consider your life valuable only for the purpose of fulfilling that ministry.
Knowing that you have done what Jesus sent you to do, think how satisfying it will be to hear Him say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). We each have to find a niche in life, and spiritually we find it when we receive a ministry from the Lord. To do this we must have close fellowship with Jesus and must know Him as more than our personal Savior. And we must be willing to experience the full impact of Acts 9:16 — “I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
“Do you love Me?” Then, “Feed My sheep” (John 21:17). He is not offering us a choice of how we can serve Him; He is asking for absolute loyalty to His commission, a faithfulness to what we discern when we are in the closest possible fellowship with God. If you have received a ministry from the Lord Jesus, you will know that the need is not the same as the call— the need is the opportunity to exercise the call. The call is to be faithful to the ministry you received when you were in true fellowship with Him. This does not imply that there is a whole series of differing ministries marked out for you. It does mean that you must be sensitive to what God has called you to do, and this may sometimes require ignoring demands for service in other areas.
by Oswald Chambers
As I studied today’s verses from John’s Gospel, I felt convicted about falling short of Jesus’ expectations. It’s easy to say, “Lord, I adore You,” but there have been times when I’ve used those words while resisting something He was trying to impress upon my heart. The old adage is true: Actions speak louder than words.
The measure of our love is obedience to the Lord’s commands and principles. Following His instructions is so important that Jesus stressed the point three times in today’s passage (vv. 15, 21, 23). This wasn’t a new concept for the disciples, either. They would have been familiar with the scriptural connection between love and obedience (Neh. 1:5; Dan. 9:4). In fact, God has always emphasized that the way to show our devotion is by doing what He says. (See Deut. 8:11; 10:12; 13:3-4.)
Scripture tells us that love for God is linked to obedience. The Lord told Joshua to meditate on Scripture day and night (Josh. 1:8). I read from the Bible every day so I can know how to obey, because that is the only way to stay faithful and show the Father my love.
“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:4)
The verses following our text contain an enlightening warning about false teachers. One should not carelessly follow a personable religious leader merely because he “preaches Jesus” or urges audiences to “receive the Spirit.”
“Jesus” is quite popular among worldly people today, but not the true Jesus. The popular Jesus may be the baby Jesus in the manger at Christmastime, or the buddy Jesus of Nashville “gospel” music, or the success-counseling Jesus of the positive thinkers. He may be the romantic Jesus of the Christian crooners, the rhythmic Jesus of Christian rock, or the reforming Jesus of the liberals, but none of these are the Jesus preached by the apostle Paul, and therefore not the real Jesus who saves men and women from their sins.
Jesus in reality is the Lord Jesus Christ, the offended Creator of the universe (Colossians 1:16), who had to die as man on the cross to redeem us through His shed blood (Colossians 1:14, 20), and who then rose from the dead to be set “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named” (Ephesians 1:21). Finally, it is this Jesus “who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:1).
The Lord Jesus, as He really is, is not the popular Jesus of T-shirts and bumper stickers, politicians and entertainers. He was “despised and rejected of men” (Isaiah 53:3) so they “crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8).
He is the mighty God, the perfect man, the only Savior, the eternal King, and Lord of lords. God-called teachers will not preach an imaginary Jesus who appeals to the flesh, but rather the true Christ of creation and salvation. HMM
For by [faith.] the elders obtained a good report. —Hebrews 11:2
The lesson that comes to us through the many dramatic illustrations of faith in Hebrews 11 brings us back to my earlier statement: Faith in God is to be demonstrated, not defined. Just as God’s church demonstrates Christian love, this demonstration of godly, humble faith is God’s ideal for His church.
It is not enough for preachers in their pulpits to try to define love. The love that God has promised must be demonstrated in the lives of the believers in the pews. It must be practiced as well by the man who occupies the pulpit.
We should put the matter of faith in that same category. God wants His people, including the ministers, to demonstrate all of the outworking of faith in their daily lives and practices.
Lord, the pattern set forth in Hebrews 11 seems so unattainable! Strengthen me by Your Spirit to be able to demonstrate this type of
unshakable faith. Amen.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2
No one who knows what the New Testament is about will worry over the charge that Christianity is “otherworldly.”
Of course it is—and that is precisely where its power lies!
Christianity, which is faith in Christ, trust in His promises and obedience to His commandments, rests down squarely upon the Person of Christ.
What He is, what He did and what He is doing—these provide a full guarantee that the Christian’s hopes are valid.
Christianity is what Christ says it is. His power becomes operative toward us as we accept His words as final and yield our souls to believe and obey.
Christ is not on trial; He needs no character witnesses to establish His trustworthiness!
He came as the Eternal God in time’s low tabernacle. He stands before no human tribunal, but all men stand before Him now and shall stand for judgment at the last.
Let any man bring the faith of Christ to the bar of man’s opinion, let him try to prove that the teachings of Christ are in harmony with this philosophy or that religion and he is in fact rejecting Christ while seeking to defend Him!
Let no one apologize for the powerful emphasis Christianity lays upon the basic doctrine of the world to come. When Christ arose from death and ascended into heaven He established forever three important facts, namely, that this world has been condemned to ultimate dissolution, that the human spirit persists beyond the grave and that there is indeed a world to come!
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:30
In the midst of all the confusions of our day, it is important that we find out that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all righteousness and the Lord of all wisdom.
Righteousness is not a word easily acceptable to lost men and women in a lost world. Outside of the Word of God, there is no book or treatise that can give us a satisfying answer about righteousness, because the only One who is Lord of all righteousness is our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of His kingdom. He is the only One in all the universe who perfectly loved righteousness and hated iniquity.
Our great High Priest and Mediator is the righteous and Holy One—Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. He is not only righteous, He is the Lord of all righteousness!
Then, there is His wisdom. The sum total of the deep and eternal wisdom of the ages lies in Jesus Christ as a treasure hidden away. All the deep purposes of God reside in Him because His perfect wisdom enables Him to plan far ahead! Thus history itself becomes the slow development of His purposes.
Lord, I admit that my mind at times has difficulty wrapping around the concept of Your depth of wisdom and knowledge. I am humbled that You think of me, care for me, and love me.