The Endless Love of Jesus Ministries
Sept 2, 2016
When Moses approached Pharaoh, demanding that he let the people go, Pharaoh responded by saying, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go” Exodus 5:2.
Thus began the challenge to show whose God was more powerful
What activities embarrass you? Maybe you feel uncomfortable singing in public, or your face turns red when you’re caught mumbling to yourself. Do you ever feel ashamed to talk about Jesus because you don’t want to risk ridicule or be seen as a fanatic?
Staying quiet may seem safe, but it results in wasted God-given opportunities to share the only news that can transform both life and everlasting destiny. Considering all the good things God has given us—forgiveness, eternal security, and the Holy Spirit—we should be eager to discuss Jesus Christ and His remarkable salvation.
Before Paul’s redemption, he committed great sin (Acts 26:12-18). He was a church persecutor who was transformed into a missionary by God’s grace. Nothing within Paul was worth saving, and he knew it. Consequently, the apostle never stopped praising and proclaiming the Lord’s love and salvation.
Despite the magnitude of Paul’s sin, he received no greater measure of grace than any of us. Had we lived a moral life by human standards before salvation, our sin would still have separated us from God. If we neglect this truth and forget Jesus’ transformative power, we may have no motivation to tell others what He’s done for us.
Instead of thinking we’re better than the unmarried couple living next door or an atheistic professor at the university, we must see them as Christ saw us—as sinners in need of salvation. It is essential for them to hear the gospel, and we’re the ones God can use to share it with them.
“Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.” (Nehemiah 4:9)
Prayer is a powerful weapon, but the wall-builders in Jerusalem also were careful to set a watch against their enemies “with their swords, their spears, and their bows” (Nehemiah 4:13). They were ready to fight if necessary, but at the same time they were confident that “our God shall fight for us” (Nehemiah 4:20).
This is a sound biblical principle. God expects us to make appropriate use of whatever physical means are available for a needed ministry rather than to rely simply on prayer and divine miracle. The Lord rebuked those who came asking Him to perform a miracle merely to test Him or to see something curious. “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). Neither does He condone prayer in lieu of work, for “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17). The same holds for prayer in lieu of obedience. As Joshua was praying for deliverance from the enemy, “the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them” (Joshua 7:10-11).
But as prayer without working is dead, so watching and working without prayer are futile. “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2). “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
The biblical principle is not only to watch or only to pray. Both are essential. “Watch and pray,” said Jesus, “that ye enter not into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). HMM
Jeremiah 32:16, 17, 24-30, 36-44
Although Jeremiah had without hesitation obeyed the word of the Lord, and declared his faith, yet he was in great mental perplexity, and therefore he resorted to the consoling exercise of prayer.
Then he went on to recount the Lord’s mighty acts in Egypt and in Canaan, and at last came to that which so much tried his faith, namely, the presence of the Chaldeans, and their earthworks, whereby the city was threatened. He pleaded with the Lord and said,
This is the way to pray. State the trouble—”behold the mounts,” and plead the promise. The Lord will make the mystery clear, and turn darkness into light.
Thus judgment was threatened, but after a while mercy would come to the front again, and that in a manner most marvellous.
These are charming words, and belong as much to every child of God as to restored Israel, for there can be but one everlasting covenant, and in that all believers have an interest. The people of God are favoured with new natures, which incline towards God and holiness, and must do so for ever: this is an unspeakable blessing. If we might fall away and perish even after conversion, we should have no security; but if the Lord declares “they shall not depart from me,” our final perseverance is secured.
So Jeremiah’s prayer brought him a cheering answer, and, man of sorrows as he was, he had abounding reasons for thankfulness.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you. (John 15:9)
We confess, do we not, that we have a Christian responsibility to believe God’s Word and to obey God’s Truth?
Then we should accept the fact that it is our task to practice the Christian virtues in the power of the Holy Spirit as we await the coming of Him who will come.
The great spiritual needs around us should drive us back to the gospel records of the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus. When evil men crucified Jesus, killed Him, they had no power to change Him. They could not alter the Person or the personality of the Son of God. Putting Him on the cross did not drain away any of His divine affection for a lost race.
The best thing we know about our Lord and Savior is that He loves the sinner. He has always loved the outcast—and for that we should be glad, for we, too, were once outcasts! We are descended from that first man and woman who failed God and disobeyed. They were cast out of the garden, and God set in place a flaming sword to keep them from returning!
“He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.” Ps. 145:19
His own Spirit has wrought this desire in us, and therefore He will answer it. It is His own life within which prompts the cry, and therefore He will hear it. Those who fear Him are men under the holiest influence, and, therefore, their desire is to glorify God, and enjoy Him for ever. Like Daniel, they are men of desires, and the Lord will cause them to realize their aspirations.
Holy desires are grace in the blade, and the heavenly Husbandman will cultivate them till they come to the full corn in the ear. God-fearing men desire to be holy, to be useful, to be a blessing to others, and so to honor their Lord. They desire supplies for their need, help under burdens, guidance in perplexity, deliverance in distress; and sometimes this desire is so strong, and their case so pressing, that they cry out in agony, like little children in pain, and then the Lord works most comprehensively, and does all that is needful, according to this Word — and will save them.”
Yes, if we fear God, we have nothing else to fear; if we cry to the Lord, our salvation is certain.
Let the reader lay this text on his tongue, and keep it in his mouth all the day, and it will be to him as “a wafer made with honey.”