VIDEO It Is Finished!

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:30

Imagine all the different “finish” points in sending men to the moon and back in the late 1960s. The design was finished; the training was finished; the launch was finished; the moonwalk was finished; the return was finished—it took many “finishes” for the whole project to be “finished.”

And so it was with the work of Christ when He came to secure mankind’s redemption. Let’s look at three: the cross, the resurrection, and the ascension. On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished,” referring to His death for our sins. He had said earlier that His mission was “to finish [the Father’s] work” (John 4:34). But His death would have been incomplete without the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). And the final “finish” in Christ’s work came when He ascended to heaven forty days after the resurrection (Acts 1:9-11). He came to earth, completed the Father’s work, and returned to the Father in heaven.

Nothing remains to be done to secure our redemption for eternity. Nothing except for us to believe and embrace this gift.

Nothing needs to be added to Christ’s finished work, and nothing can be added to Christ’s finished work.  Francis Schaeffer

2010 Good Friday Service (John 19) John MacArthur

“So Helpful”

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:13

The caller to the Christian radio station said that his wife was coming home from the hospital following surgery. Then he shared something that spoke deeply to my heart: “Everyone in our church family has been so helpful in taking care of us during this time.”

When I heard this simple statement, it reminded me of the value and necessity of Christian hospitality and care. I began to think that the love and support of fellow believers for one another is one of the greatest ways to demonstrate the life-changing power of the gospel.

In First Peter, the apostle was writing a letter to be circulated among the first-century churches in what’s now the country of Turkey. In that letter, he compelled his readers to do something that his friend Paul wrote about in Romans 12:13: “Practice hospitality.” Peter said, “Love each other deeply . . . offer hospitality,” and he told them to use the gifts God gave them to “serve others” (1 Peter 4:8–10). These are clear directions to all believers in Jesus for how we’re to treat fellow believers.

All of us know people like that caller’s wife—those who need someone to come alongside and show concern and Christlike love. In God’s strength, may we be among the ones who are noted for being “so helpful.”

By:  Dave Branon

Reflect & Pray

What has God equipped you to do for those in need? How has God revealed His own hospitable nature?

Loving God, help me to look around for people who need an encouraging word or action from me. Then help me offer hospitality to them.

How God Reveals Himself

Romans 1:16-21

Many people today deny the existence of God. But the reason is suppression of the truth, not a lack of evidence. Because the Lord loves mankind, He has revealed Himself in several ways. We know God through …

• His creation (Rom. 1:20). By observing the celestial bodies, the earth with its plants and creatures, and the laws of the universe, we must conclude that there is a Creator—such intricate design doesn’t happen accidentally. The order, balance, and beauty speak loudly of a wise God who is powerful and generous.

• Our conscience (Rom. 1:19). Because we’re created in His image, He’s designed the human being with an inner alarm system to provide a general sense of good and evil. That’s an excellent start, but God expects us to continually “upgrade” the conscience as we learn more about His ways. Otherwise, worldly thinking can override its original guidelines.

• His Word (Rom. 1:16-17). While conscience and creation point to the Lord, it usually takes more to bring us to a saving knowledge of Him. That is why God has given us His written Word—and ultimately His Son (Heb. 1:2-3).

With ample evidence of God’s power, character, and salvation, there is no excuse for doubting His existence and love for us.

The Earth Is the Lord’s

“The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.” (Psalm 24:1-2)

The psalms often draw our hearts to praise the Lord for His wondrous deeds and marvelous attributes. In today’s text, we are reminded of the Lord’s role as sovereign Creator of Earth and everything in it.

The Lord Jesus Christ is Creator (Colossians 1:16; John 1:1-3), and as Creator He is the rightful owner of His creation. He created all things, and everything belongs to Him.

While some search for life beyond our solar system, our finite minds still haven’t completely fathomed the intricate designs found on our own planet. From billowing clouds to the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean, from the peak of Mount Everest to the depths of the Mariana Trench, the wonder and beauty of God’s creation are clearly seen (Romans 1:20).

Life is unique to our planet. The Lord designed Earth to be the exclusive home for living things. Do you remember the old hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful?” It said, “All creatures great and small…the Lord God made them all.” Think about the largest dinosaur and the tiniest bacterium. Living things are extremely complex.

Scientists discover new creature features almost every day. Some credit nature with the power to select and direct. But God’s Word is clear: The Lord—not nature—“founded” the earth, and He alone created “they that dwell therein.”

Why does this matter? The Lord who created all things—humanity being His special creation, made in His image (Genesis 1:27)—is the same Lord who became one of us and died in our place (Philippians 2:5-9). The Lord who created earthly life is the Savior who freely offers us eternal life (John 3:16). MH

The 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.

God Is the Deeper Life

Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord. —Jeremiah 9:24

The deeper life has…been called the “victorious life,” but I do not like that term. It appears to me that it focuses attention exclusively upon one feature of the Christian life, that of personal victory over sin, when actually this is just one aspect of the deeper life—an important one, to be sure, but only one.

That life in the Spirit that is denoted by the term “deeper life” is far wider and richer than mere victory over sin, however vital that victory may be. It also includes the thought of the indwelling of Christ, acute God-consciousness, rapturous worship, separation from the world, the joyous surrender of everything to God, internal union with the Trinity, the practice of the presence of God, the communion of saints and prayer without ceasing. TWP120

[N]o one seems to want to know and love God for Himself! God is the deeper life! Jesus Christ Himself is the deeper life….This means that there is less of me and more of Godthus my spiritual life deepens, and I am strengthened in the knowledge of His will. ITB017

If I Be Lifted Up …

John 12:32

It is not, Lord, that we would bring You down,

Take hold of holy things with hasty hand

And bear them low, and lower, till they reach

That sunken place, where unrepentant stand

The sons of men.

It is not, Lord, that we would force men’s faith,

And in unconsecrated bread and wine

Bring You to them, and press unwilling lips

To taste, at least, communion divine.

It is not, Lord, that we would lure men to

Their highest good, or coax them to the cross,

Or bribe them with the promise of great gain,

Flaunting the profit, covering the loss.

But we would lift You up, that seeing You

Men shall be drawn to leave their self-made slum,

And toss their tawdry treasures to the dust,

And claim their right, through Your power, to become

The sons of God.

John Gowans, O Lord Not More Verse!