Dec 3, 2012
Come, Lord Jesus come…
“Wait for The Lord” by Taizé
Dec 3, 2012
Come, Lord Jesus come…
“Wait for The Lord” by Taizé
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Romans 8:16
If a baby cries in the middle of the night, or soils its diaper, or spits up its food, or knocks over a priceless vase, the parents love that child anyway. They love the child unconditionally. Why? Because they know the child didn’t know better. But somewhere along the line, parents’ unconditional love gets harder. At some point they hear themselves saying, “You know better!” Parents are tempted to love “because of” instead of “in spite of.”
Children who are raised with conditional love have a challenge ahead: understanding God’s unconditional love. God’s love is the same when we are immature and sin, as when we are mature and sin. Yes, God disciplines His children just as parents discipline their children (Hebrews 12:1-13). But God’s discipline is based on His love. His discipline is for training, not for punishment. His love is always unconditional. Parents have no greater job than to get their children ready to experience God’s unconditional love. How do they do that? By loving children the way God loves parents and children: unconditionally.
The best way to advertise God’s love is by loving the way He loves (John 13:34-35).
In the world’s thinking, great men are the ones with authority, prominence, and power. Though Jesus Christ had all that, He laid it aside to become a servant (Isaiah 42:1).
Jesus gave Himself completely to fulfill the Father’s plan of redemption, even though the beneficiaries—namely, each of us—were undeserving. God, who is holy and righteous, has “eyes … too pure to approve evil, and [He] can not look on wickedness with favor” (Habakkuk 1:13). But all of humanity is stained by wrongdoing (Romans 3:23); everybody is born captive to the desires of the flesh (Romans 6:16-18). When people claim to be living on their own terms, they are actually serving whatever their human nature craves. The penalty for that false sense of liberty is death (Romans 6:23).
Jesus’ ultimate act of service was to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). The word ransom describes the price paid to set a slave free—Christ voluntarily purchased our liberation. There was only one way our holy God could remove our guilt yet remain true to His own law: Someone sinless had to pay our sin debt for us.
Jesus’ sacrifice spared us the penalty we deserve. Instead, we receive the gift of grace and have been declared no longer guilty. Moreover, we are elevated from slaves to sons and daughters of the Almighty!
Jesus served the Father’s purpose faithfully. He gave up His righteousness to carry the weight of all our wickedness—and endured a crushing separation from His Father. To meet our needs, the Savior held nothing of Himself back and thereby set a powerful example of servanthood for us to follow.
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)
The high priest of Israel wore the inscription “holiness to the LORD” to illustrate to all who obeyed God that they were “accepted before the LORD” (Exodus 28:36-38). Joshua, as a type of all believers, was granted “places to walk” in the courts of God (Zechariah 3:7). Christ’s disciples were commanded to “ask” the Father for “whatsoever,” since they were chosen and ordained to “bring forth fruit” (John 15:16). We have permission to “ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).
But there is more! Not only are we accepted, we are “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13), an “earnest [down payment, deposit] of our inheritance” (v. 14). We are “stablishe[d] . . . anointed . . . sealed” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
We are “confirmed” in everything (1 Corinthians 1:4-8), consecrated and sanctified to serve (Exodus 28:41; 1 John 2:27), and given the “earnest of the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 5:5) to empower our ministry.
The Holy Spirit does His work through a threefold ministry in our lives. He will work on Christ’s behalf, through our witness, to bring conviction to those not yet in Christ (John 16:7-11). He will also minister to us as the teacher of our spirits to guide us into all truth (John 16:13; 14:17, 26; 15:26).
Furthermore, the wisdom, prudence, and knowledge of God are revealed to us through His work in us (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). All that is necessary for our “effectual working” (Ephesians 3:7) is “graced” to us so that we can “work out [our] salvation” (Philippians 2:12). We are “complete in him” (Colossians 2:10). HMM III
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. —Matthew 22:37
In worship several elements may be distinguished, among them love, admiration, wonder and adoration. Though they may not be experienced in that order, a little thought will reveal those elements as being present wherever true worship is found.
Both the Old and the New Testaments teach that the essence of true worship is the love of God.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). Our Lord declared this to be the sum of the Law and the Prophets….
It is quite impossible to worship God without loving Him. Scripture and reason agree to declare this. And God is never satisfied with anything less than all: “all thy heart… all thy soul… all thy mind.” This may not at first be possible, but deeper experience with God will prepare us for it, and the inward operations of the Holy Spirit will enable us after a while to offer Him such a pouredout fullness of love.
Lord, weed out of my life any conflicting interests, that I might indeed love You with all my heart, soul and mind. Amen.
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
It is a fact that the New Testament message of good news, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,” embraces a great deal more than an offer of free pardon.
Surely it is a message of pardon—and for that may God be praised—but it is also a message of repentance!
It is a message of atonement—but it is also a message of temperance and righteousness and godliness in this present world!
It tells us that we must accept a Savior—but it tells us also that we must deny ungodliness and worldly lusts!
The gospel message includes the idea of amendment—of separation from the world, of crosscarrying and loyalty to the kingdom of God even unto death!
These are all corollaries of the gospel and not the gospel itself; but they are part and parcel of the total message which we are commissioned to declare. No man has authority to divide the truth and preach only a part of it. To do so is to weaken it and render it without effect!
Be it ever in your remembrance, that to keep strictly in the path of your Saviour’s command is better than any outward form of religion; and to hearken to his precept with an attentive ear is better than to bring the fat of rams, or any other precious thing, to lay upon his altar. If you are failing to keep the least of Christ’s commands to his disciples, I pray you be disobedient no longer. “To obey,” even in the slightest and smallest thing, “is better than sacrifice.” It is a blessed thing to be teachable as a little child, but it is a much more blessed thing, when one has been taught the lesson, to carry it out to the letter.