VIDEO Our Go-Between

Our Go-Between

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

You’ve seen it—in a professional sporting event two players are on the verge of tussling with one another. Before the disagreement can flare up, a referee gets between the two players and tries to push them apart. Literally speaking, that person is an intercessor—a go-between, if you will. The English intercede is from a Latin word of two parts: inter meaning “between” and cedere meaning “go.” An intercessor is a go-between.

Jesus Christ is the intercessor for the Church and for every believer. He stands between us and the Father as our personal advocate—pleading our case. If we sin, Christ “speaks to the Father in our defense” (1 John 2:1, NIV, 1984). He declares our sins having been atoned for at the Cross. If Satan accuses us before the Father, as he accused Job (Job 1:9-11; 2:4-5), Jesus defends us (Romans 8:34) since there is “now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

At this very moment, the Son of God Himself is advocating for you at the throne of God. He is our divine Intercessor.

We are never more like Christ than in prayers of intercession. Austin Phelps


He is able – Charles Lawson – Hebrews 7:25

Borrowed Blessings

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.  Psalm 24:1

 

As we bowed our heads over lunch, my friend Jeff prayed: “Father, thank You for letting us breathe Your air and eat Your food.” Jeff had just been through a difficult job loss, so his heartfelt trust in God and recognition that everything belongs to Him profoundly moved me. I found myself thinking: Do I honestly understand that even the most basic, everyday things in my life are really God’s, and He’s simply letting me use them?

When King David received offerings from the people of Israel for building the temple in Jerusalem, he prayed, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” Then he added, “All of it belongs to you” (1 Chronicles 29:14, 16).

Scripture tells us that even “the ability to produce wealth” and earn a living come from Him (Deuteronomy 8:18). Understanding that all we have is borrowed encourages us to loosen our grip on the stuff of this world and live with open hands and hearts—sharing freely because we’re deeply thankful for the kindnesses we receive daily.

God is a generous giver—so loving that He even gave up His Son “for us all” (Romans 8:32). Because we have been given so much, may we give Him our heartfelt thanks for blessings small and large.

By James Banks

Today’s Reflection

What borrowed blessing can you thank God for today? How does it help to know that every good gift is from Him?

What Makes a Church Powerful?

1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

What factors determine whether a church is powerful or weak? Oftentimes people make such evaluations based on appearances and human reasoning rather than on God’s Word.

For instance, large congregations with dynamic worship services and programs for every age and interest group look impressive. Or a church could be viewed as powerful because of its prominent location, a big budget, or the pastor with a magnetic personality. In contrast, small churches—especially those with few members, a rural setting, and little money—are often considered lesser.

The point is that we can’t judge a church’s strength or weakness based on outward factors like size, location, prosperity, or prominence. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians points out that a strong church is one that is founded on the message of the cross and grounded in God’s wisdom rather than the world’s.

God’s power is given to the church for His purposes, not for human agendas. And it isn’t a persuasive sermon but the gospel of Christ that can save souls. Some pastors may be able to manipulate people, but only God’s Spirit brings the genuine conviction of sin that leads to repentance and salvation.

For divine power to flow into and through a local body, that church must hold firmly to Scripture. What’s more, it cannot use techniques derived from worldly thinking but must rely on God’s direction.

A faith community cannot be powerful unless the people within it are individually submitted to Christ and empowered by Him. This means our commitment to Jesus affects our churches for better or for worse.

Christ Is Our Intercessor

“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34)

One of the most glorious truths of the Christian life is that the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, now lives to intercede for us before God. The greatest example of intercessory prayer in the Bible is in John 17, where the Lord poured out His heart for His disciples. “I pray for them,” He said, “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine” (John 17:9). But that was not all! “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word” (John 17:20). And that’s us! That includes us!

What is it that He prays for us? First of all, He prays for our security. “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). Then He prays that we might have real victory over sin and the devil. “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil [or ‘the evil one’]” (John 17:15).

His next request is: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Our sanctification will come, therefore, not through some special experience, but through God’s Word. He also prays for true unity among His true disciples: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21).

Finally, He prays for our ultimate glorification. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me” (John 17:24).

First Lesson to Learn

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

—Matthew 26:41

Almost anything associated with the ministry may be learned with an average amount of intelligent application. It is not hard to preach or manage church affairs or pay a social call; weddings and funerals may be conducted smoothly with a little help from Emily Post and the Minister’s Manual. Sermon making can be learned as easily as shoemaking—introduction, conclusion and all. And so with the whole work of the ministry as it is carried on in the average church today.

But prayer—that is another matter. There Mrs. Post is helpless and the Minister’s Manual can offer no assistance. There the lonely man of God must wrestle it out alone, sometimes in fastings and tears and weariness untold. There every man must be an original, for true prayer cannot be imitated nor can it be learned from someone else.   GTM069

Lord, I don’t want just to learn more about the importance of prayer. I pray that Your Spirit might change me, that I might become more and more genuinely a man of prayer. Amen.

 

Prepared unto every good work

A vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.—2 Timothy 2:21.

 

I am an instrument for His use; perhaps to bear burdens, as of pain, sorrow, or shame; perhaps to convey messages, writing, speaking, conversing; perhaps simply to reflect light, showing His mind in the commonest of all daily rounds. In only one way can I truly do anything of these; in the way of inner harmony with Him, and peace and joy in Him.

Handley C. G. Moule.

 

Mould us, great God, into forms of beauty and usefulness by the wheel of Providence and by the touch of Thy hand. Fulfill Thine ideal, and conform us to the image of Thy Son. In Thy great house may we stand as vessels meet for Thy use. We are little better than common earthenware, but may we be cleansed, and purified, and filled with Thy heavenly treasure. Dip us deep into the River of Life, and give refreshment by us to many parched and weary hearts.

F. B. Meyer.

 

King’s Highway

“The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” Isa. 35:8

The way of holiness is so straight and plain that the simplest minds cannot go astray if they constantly follow it. The worldly wise have many twists and turns, and yet they make terrible blunders, and generally miss their end. Worldly policy is a poor short-sighted thing, and when men choose it as their road, it leads them over dark mountains. Gracious minds know no better than to do as the Lord bids them; but this keeps them in the king’s highway, and under royal protection.

Let the reader never for a moment attempt to help himself out of a difficulty by a falsehood, or by a questionable act; but let him keep in the middle of the high road of truth and integrity, and he will be following the best possible course. In our lives we must never practice circular sailing, nor dream of shuffling. Be just and fear not. Follow Jesus and heed no evil consequences. If the worst of ills could be avoided by wrong-doing, we should, in the very attempt, have fallen into an evil worse than any other ill could be. God’s way must be the best way. Follow it though men think you a fool, and you will be truly wise.

Lord, lead thy servants in a plain path because of their enemies.