Jul 3, 2012
I Surrender – Hillsong Live (Cornerstone 2012 DVD Album)
Jul 3, 2012
I Surrender – Hillsong Live (Cornerstone 2012 DVD Album)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
When he was playing for the Florida Gators, Tim Tebow decided to write Bible verses on his eye blacks, and one Saturday he chose John 3:16. It was a televised game, and Tebow later learned 94 million people googled “John 3:16” during the game. How do 94 million people not know John 3:16?
What a big God that we serve. I’m out playing a silly game, and I put these things under my eyes and it’s amazing what God can do. Tim Tebow
Jonah fled toward Tarshish to escape God’s plan. The prophet mistakenly thought that ignoring a divine command would cause the Lord to withdraw or change it. Instead, God repeatedly and dramatically intervened in Jonah’s life until the man submitted.
Jonah believed he had good reason to be reluctant. The Ninevites were a bloodthirsty people determined to conquer Israel. So walking across the city while crying, “Nineveh will be overthrown” was a frightening prospect. And, as the prophet later revealed, he worried that God would spare the city if the people repented (Jonah 4:2). Jonah wanted them destroyed! Therefore, his reasons for fleeing seemed right in his own eyes. But God was not deterred.
There’s simply no adequate justification for rebellion. It’s not uncommon for people running from God’s will to use this six-word phrase: “I know what God says, but …” I can tell you with absolute certainty that everything on the other side of “but” is a waste of time. The Lord isn’t interested in excuses or selfish ambitions. He desires only obedience. He has reasons for asking a believer to take a specific action, and His purposes are always good. Consider the amazing benefit to Jonah and his countrymen if their enemy Nineveh became an ally that worshipped the same God.
The Lord doesn’t change His plan to suit our purpose. Rather, He’ll use events, people, and the prompting of the Holy Spirit to move us into the center of His will. For your own benefit, go willingly. You may not like the task God assigns, but if He wants it done, then it must be worthwhile.
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” (Hebrews 11:4)
Abel, Adam’s second son, was a faithful, God-honoring man, but he was murdered by his older brother, Cain. From Genesis 4 we know that Cain’s bloodless sacrifice was not accepted by God, while Abel’s animal sacrifice was accepted. Cain’s pride, anger, and rejection of God’s offer of restoration resulted in the murder of obedient Abel. Our text tells us that Abel “being dead yet speaketh.” What does he say? To whom does he speak?
First of all, he spoke to God. “The voice of thy brother’s [Abel’s] blood crieth unto me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10). Many have followed Abel in martyrdom, and they all cry, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:10).
Secondly, he spoke to Cain. “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand” (Genesis 4:11). Cain was banished by God: “a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth” (v. 12), and every spot of ground on which he placed his foot from then on would be crying out to him, indicting him of his sin.
Thirdly, Abel speaks to us. His witness reminds us that men must come to God in obedient faith, for Abel obeyed God’s instructions regarding sacrifice (4:3-4). He offered the sacrifice in faith that God would deem him “righteous” (today’s text). The acceptance of the blood sacrifice and the rewards of his brother’s disobedience speak eloquently of the “wages of sin.” May God give us ears to hear Abel’s timely testimony. JDM
We omit some of the minor details of the history as contained in Genesis, and pass on to the birth of Isaac’s twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Let us see how the New Testament explains the Old. We shall read
In this chapter the apostle illustrates the doctrine of election by the history of the households of Abraham and Isaac, in which the will of the Lord made differences irrespective of merit. Here he brings us into a great deep; but if we only wish to know what God reveals and no more, we may safely follow where Scripture leads. Election is not a fit subject for idle curiosity, neither is it to be passed over in neglect, for whatever is taught us in the Word is profitable for some gracious purpose.
Paul did not write as he did because he hated the nation to which he belonged. Far from it. He would have sacrificed everything for their good; and he felt almost ready to be cast away himself, if by such a fate he could have rescued the Jewish people. Passionate love speaks a language which must not be weighed in the balances of cold reasoning. View the words as the outburst of a loving heart, and they are clear enough. O that all Christians had a like love for perishing sinners.
Romans 9:4, 5
Paul pauses to adore the Lord whom he loved. Let us bow our heads and worship also.
Romans 9:6, 7
Here was a difference made according to the divine will. God has a right to dispense his favours as he pleases, and it is not for us either to censure his actions or ask an account of them.
God passed by Esau, and gave Jacob the covenant blessing. This is a fact to be believed, and not to be made a matter for human judgment. Who are we that we should summon Jehovah to our bar? God is righteous in all his ways. We find that Esau despised his birthright, and sold it for a mess of pottage, and so by his actions abundantly justified, as well as fulfilled, the purpose of God.
How it ought to humble us when we remember that we have no claims upon God. If he should leave us to go on in sin and perish, we have no right to complain, for we deserve it. How earnestly and humbly should we implore him to look upon us in mercy, and save us with his great salvation. “Whosoever cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out,” is the voice of Jesus, and whether we see it or not, it is quite consistent with the predestination taught in this chapter. The Lord has a chosen people, and yet his gospel is to be preached to every creature. Believe, but do not cavil. When we believe on the Lord Jesus, we are in the way to make our calling and election sure. Only by faith can we be assured that the Lord has called and chosen us.
‘Tis not that I did choose thee,
For, Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse thee,
But thou hast chosen me:
Thou from the sin that stain’d me
Wash’d me and set me free,
And to this end ordain’d me,
That I should live to thee.
God has all kinds of ways to pay you for staying in faith and doing what He has called you to do. But one thing is for sure—Hebrews 10:35 proves that God wants you to receive a blessing for the services you have rendered in His Kingdom!
The phrase “recompense of reward” is from the Greek word misthapodosia. The word mistha is the word for money, a person’s salary, or a payment that is due. It was primarily used in an industrial or commercial context to denote a payment, salary, or reward that was given for a job performed. However, when it becomes the word misthpodosia, it doesn’t just refer to a payment, but to a recompense, reimbursement, settlement, or reparation.
The first part of this word is the Greek word mistha, which communicates several vital ideas to us. First, as noted above, mistha communicates the idea of being paid for present labor. When any person does a good job, he expects to pick up a paycheck for the work he accomplished. It is appropriate for him to expect payment. That paycheck reflects the effort he put into his job. Because he was faithful to do what he was hired to do, he has earned that money. Therefore, it is normal for him to expect to be paid.
But now this word is used to tell us that God rewards or pays those who are faithful to assignments He has given them. This refutes the common misconception people have that if they serve God, they will suffer loss or lack for the rest of their lives. These people think they’d do better in life by not serving God.
But why would we think God is going to do less than a human employer would do? Don’t we expect a human employer to reward employees properly? Because the verse above uses the word mistha, it emphatically asserts that God is going to take good care of those who do His will. This means that faith really does pay!
But in Hebrews 10:35, the word used isn’t just mistha; it is expanded even further into the word misthapodosia. This compound word means reimbursement for expenses you spent to do the job; a settlement to take care of injuries or losses; or reparations to cover all that vanished due to war.
God is mindful of the time, love, patience, and money you have invested as you have worked for Him. Hebrews 6:10 says God never overlooks or fails to remember what you have done for Him. If you’ve worked long hours on His behalf; if you’ve invested your personal energies into the work of His Kingdom; if you’ve given 100 percent of your heart and soul to your assigned task; or if you’ve given sacrificially of your finances—God has never forgotten any of these things. That is why Hebrews 6:10 says, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name….”
The word misthapodosia suggests that God will be sure to remember it all—and He will see to it that you are fully reimbursed for everything you spent to accomplish the assignment He gave to you. He will make a settlement with you for past expenses that would make anyone want to rejoice! God will make sure you get reparations for any damage you’ve experienced because of the battles you’ve fought for Him.
Because the word misthapodosia is used, Hebrews 10:35 carries the following idea:
“…God will see to it that you are paid and fully reimbursed for expenses you have spent to do His will; He will make a settlement that takes care of all injuries or losses you may have incurred; He will make sure that you get reparations to cover all that has been damaged or destroyed due to the attacks of the enemy or because of the adversarial situations you have faced.”
Hebrews 10:35 makes it clear that God is fair and equitable in His dealings. You may have given your best and worked with all your heart and might to fulfill an assignment He gave you. You may have invested your whole heart into that assignment or lost something along the way that was precious to you. If so, God will make certain that you are paid and reimbursed. God never disregards what you have done for Him.
God’s payments and reimbursements for what you have done may come to you in different forms, but you can be certain that it will be equitable for what you have invested. For instance, He may pay you by giving you:
According to Philippians 4:19, God has no shortage of riches in Heaven—and those riches are reserved to meet your current needs. There is no need to be beggarly in how much you expect to be blessed. Those riches are reserved for you, so raise your level of expectation! Throw open your arms! It’s time for you to receive the harvest you earned through a lot of hard work and effort!
If something has been telling your mind that it isn’t right to expect God to reward you for your faith in this life, tell that religious spirit to get away from you in Jesus’ name! Open your heart right now and expect God to pay you for services rendered in your walk of faith!
Lord, I am thankful that You reward us when we are faithful to fulfill the assignments You’ve given us to do. I know that by serving You, I will never suffer real loss or lack because You always take good care of those who do Your will. I trust that You will see to it that I am fully reimbursed for everything I’ve spent to complete my assigned tasks. I believe that You will make a settlement for past expenses that will make me shout with joy! You’ve never overlooked what I’ve done for You in the past, and I trust that You will take care of me now as well.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
I confess that God is mindful of the time, love, patience, and money I have invested as I’ve served Him. Hebrews 6:10 says God never overlooks or fails to remember what I have done for Him. This means I can rest assured that as I work long hours on His behalf; invest my personal energies; give 100 percent of my heart and soul to my assigned task; and give sacrificially of my finances, God will never forget any of it. He rewards those who diligently seek Him, so I’m a candidate for one of His rewards! Therefore, I will not get tired; I will not give in to discouragement; and I will keep pressing forward to do what God has called me to do, believing that He will take care of me all the way through to the end!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
A lot easier said than done!
Remember the story about the guy who falls over the cliff, grabs a branch and cries out, “Help, is there anyone up there?” God calls down, “It’s Me, God. What do you want?” To which the man replies, “Help me out of here!” God: “Let Go… Trust Me.” And the man responds, “Is there anyone else up there?”
Obedience, the prerequisite to ABIDING IN HIS LOVE, is simply “letting go” of our choices and adhering to His, just as Jesus obeyed the Father and thereby ABODE IN HIS LOVE:
“If you keep My commandments, you will ABIDE IN MY LOVE, just as I have kept My Father‘s commandments, and ABIDE IN HIS LOVE.” (John 15:10)
The more insidious sins that we resist “letting go” of are usually the ones that reside in that private domain of our lives slightly beneath the surface; subtle sins which still allow us the luxury of maintaining the facade of Christian respectability:
Christ’s example of obedience toward His Father was immediate, unequivocal and enduring, and cut to the very core of the Lordship issue. It is this standard to which He is calling us:
“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup (the cross) pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39) With this surrender He went to the cross.
Obedience, the “letting go” of our will, means giving God TOTAL ACCESS to that private domain of our lives where those secret sins reside.
To continue pandering covert sins while maintaining a facade of Christian respectability is a high price to pay for missing HIS ABIDING LOVE.