Saturday, July 29, 2017

 

John 2:1-25 Isaac Watts “Religion was never designed to make our pleasures less”

John 2:1-25  Isaac Watts "Religion was never designed to make our pleasures less"

Repeated words and phrases in  John's gospel:

John 2:4 My hour has not yet come

John 4: 21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

John 7:30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.

John 8:20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

27 "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.

John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.  32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.

John 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,

 

His hour was to come: The Cross and the Crown!

The time has come

Cana 10km from Nazareth. 2 hours walk. But if you have nowhere else to go, anywhere is somewhere to go.  Glen Innes. We would go to Inverell to get our feet warm. The only other place to go was Armidale, and it was as cold!  But its better to be out of the town than in it on your day off!

A Wedding: Poor people, Mary helping ..Wine  could be a moment of complete devastation for life: ran out of wine!! When you have only water and wine, no other options, it's a crisis!  people had been known to be sued for running out of wine at their weddings!  Divorced for running out of wine!

The setting provides the opportunity. Why is this the first sign?

It has to do with existential longings!  WOW… ever felt empty? Lonely? Meaningless?

There was a fictional department store where kids broke in and changed the price tags. Expensive things were priced light and inexpensive things bore heavy price tags.

Joy is not found in riches: Jay Gould " I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth." Amazon's owner Jeff Brezos richest man on earth, yet his employees are regularly found crying at their desks. Bezos has long had a reputation for being unusually stingy, even for a multibillionaire.

Andrew Carnegie : millionaires seldom smile and never laugh."

Joy is not found in pleasures,  Robert Burns : "Pleasures are as poppies spread: You seize the flower the bloom is shed."

Joy is not found in Power Alexander the Great wept because there were no more worlds to conquer.  Svetlana Stalin after defecting to the USA "I believe that the conqueror himself was not happy at all. On the contrary there was a complete loneliness, unhappiness, disappointment and suspicion all around him."

Joy at weddings?

Do you fear that if a friend finds Christ, they will find religion tedious?

1. The Time Has Come To Experience Meaningful Joy

A Quality More Than You Can Ever Know   A New Quality of Joy

The time has come for Joy

I remember once being confronted by a dour deacon "I don't like you!" "Why don't you like me Elwyn?"

"You are too happy! You use jokes in your sermons and everyone laughs. Everyone likes you. I don't like you."

I thanked Elwyn for the compliment and sent him home, and I was rejoicing.

Vance Havner put it "The average Sunday morning congregation appears as if it has gathered to mourn a defeat rather than celebrate a victory.  Too many seem to be enduring their salvation instead of enjoying it. We need to remind ourselves that we have not been called to a funeral, but a feast."

Alwyn and Cec Williams, Song leaders: "Will you please stand sir and lead us in a frown?"

Messianic Joy

Isa 9:1 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, As when at first He lightly esteemed The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, And afterward more heavily oppressed her, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, In Galilee of the Gentiles.2  The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light;  Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.3 You have multiplied the nation And increased its joy; They rejoice before You According to the joy of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.4 For You have broken the yoke of his burden And the staff of his shoulder, The rod of his oppressor, As in the day of Midian.

 

Isaiah 12:1 And in that day you will say: " O LORD, I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.2  Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ' For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.' "3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.4 And in that day you will say: " Praise the LORD, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted.5  Sing to the LORD, For He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth. 6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!"

 

Isa 35:8 A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray. 9  No lion shall be there, Nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; It shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there,10  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 

Isa 49:8 Thus says the LORD: " In an acceptable time I have heard You, And in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You As a covenant to the people, To restore the earth, To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages;9 That You may say to the prisoners, 'Go forth,' To those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.' " They shall feed along the roads, And their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.10 They shall neither hunger nor thirst, Neither heat nor sun shall strike them; For He who has mercy on them will lead them, Even by the springs of water He will guide them.11 I will make each of My mountains a road, And My highways shall be elevated.12  Surely these shall come from afar; Look! Those from the north and the west, And these from the land of Sinim."13  Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted.

 

Isa 55: 8 " For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.9 " For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.10 " For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater,11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.12 " For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

 

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.4 " Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side.5 Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.

 

Isaiah 61: 1"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;2  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,3  To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.5  Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, And the sons of the foreigner Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.6 But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, They shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, And in their glory you shall boast.7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.8 " For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth, And will make with them an everlasting covenant.9 Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, And their offspring among the people. All who see them shall acknowledge them, That they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed." 10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.11 For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Romans 14: 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

 

2. The Time Has Come To Experience Massive Joy

A Quantity More Than You Can Ever Need A New Quantity of Joy

1 Tim 6:17 He has given us all things to enjoy.

1 Peter 1: 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith --- the salvation of your souls.

1. O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee; I give thee back the life I owe, That in thine ocean depths its flow May richer, fuller be.

2. O light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to thee; My heart restores its borrowed ray, That in thy sunshine's blaze its day May brighter, fairer be.

3. O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain, That morn shall tearless be.

 

"O Love That Will Not Let Me Go" written on the evening of Matheson's sister's marriage. His whole family had went to the wedding and had left him alone. And he writes of something which had happened to him that caused immense mental anguish. There is a story of how years before, he had been engaged until his fiancé learned that he was going blind, and there was nothing the doctors could do, and she told him that she could not go through life with a blind man. He went blind while studying for the ministry, and his sister had been the one who had taken care of him all these years, but now she is gone. He had been a brilliant student, some say that if he hadn't went blind he could have been the leader of the church of Scotland in his day. He had written a learned work on German theology and then wrote "The Growth of The Spirit of Christianity." Louis Benson says this was a brilliant book but with some major mistakes in it. When some critics pointed out the mistakes and charged him with being an inaccurate student he was heartbroken. One of his friends wrote, "When he saw that for the purposes of scholarship his blindness was a fatal hindrance, he withdrew from the field – not without pangs, but finally." So he turned to the pastoral ministry, and the Lord has richly blessed him, finally bringing him to a church where he regularly preached to over 1500 people each week. But he was only able to do this because of the care of his sister and now she was married and gone. Who will care for him, a blind man? Not only that, but his sister's marriage brought fresh reminder of his own heartbreak, over his fiancé's refusal to "go through life with a blind man." It is the midst of this circumstance and intense sadness that the Lord gives him this hymn – written he says in 5 minutes! Looking back over his life, he once wrote that his was "an obstructed life, a circumscribed life… but a life of quenchless hopefulness, a life which has beaten persistently against the cage of circumstance, and which even at the time of abandoned work has said not "Good night" but "Good morning." How could he maintain quenchless hopefulness in the midst of such circumstances and trials? His hymn gives us a clue. "I trace the rainbow in the rain, and feel the promise is not vain" The rainbow image is not for him "If the Lord gives you lemons make lemonade" but a picture of the Lord's commitment!

 

I tried the broken cisterns Lord and oh the waters failed, 

Now none but Christ can satisfy None other name for me, there's love and life and lasting joy, Lord Jesus found in Thee.

 

 


Monday, June 05, 2017

 

The True Light John 8

 

John  8  the true  light of men.

12     Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

13     The Pharisees therefore said to Him, "You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true."

14     Jesus answered and said to them, "Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going.

15     You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.

16     And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.

17     It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.

18     I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."

19     Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also."

20     These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.

 

 

My mother was schizophrenic.

I saw an ABC documentary that described schizophrenia as being like picking up the wrong set of glasses and trying to make sense of your world through them.  My mother tried to make sense of her world with a wrong set of glasses on.  Through her perspective, life was a frightening place. She believed my dad was the head of the KGB, and that made life frightening. If she was sicker, she believed dad was the head of the CIA. If she was sicker yet, she believed my dad was trying to kill her.  The wrong perspective can make life confusing.

Today there are many perspectives on life presented to us through the media.

There is the educator's opinion of how the world is 9many educators in the 70's were schooled in atheism as a dominant epistemology).  "Unless something is proved by empirical means it is not true."  And yet things that are unprovable by empirical means are still understood to be true, like love, and historical events, both unmeasurable by repeated test tube experiment.

 

Do you believe the news stories you view on TV? Often news stories are presented from the political or social stance of the media company they represent. The ABC presents news stories one way, while the other companies present them according to their own bias'.

I receive two satellite new s channels, one biased towards Russia and the other biased towards Arabic Islam. Often their stories are presented from opposite viewpoints.

And then there are the stories that are presented to us on tv. Years ago to read a story would take about a week. Via tv you can see a story every 2 hours on tv, sometimes more than 3 per day, and each is [presented from the perspective of the author.

We feel like saying with Pilate; "what is truth?"

John 18: 33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" 34 Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?" 35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?" 36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." 38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?"

 

 

Pilate came from the roman world. They had their panoply of gods that they worshipped, or rather didn't worship. The stories of the gods provided a way in which Romans could make sense of their world.

The god they really worshipped was the Roman Emperor. If they didn't worship his as god, they could be executed.

And besides the Romans had been influenced by Plato, who, influenced by the writings of Moses had come to the conclusion that there was only one God.

And amidst all this, Pilate was in Jerusalem, where that One God was worshipped.  Pilate came out of a surprising confusion of worldviews. No wonder he asked "what is Truth?"

And Jesus stands before Pilate, He who had said I am the way the truth and the life, is Truth itself incarnate.

 

We li ve in an increasingly pluralisitic world: there are so many perspectives that are thrust upon us each day through the media, the news politics and whatever, that life can be a very confusing place. What is truth? How do we know what truth is? Do we wind up saying what so many do today, "Well this true for me , and something else is true for you, so I guess we both right and everything is neither true nor false; perhaps there is  no true truth?"

 

When Jesus said "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

He was making an astounding claim. He was claiming to be Truth.

The background context of this statement by the Lord Jesus enables us to understand Jesus' statement.

The Feast of Tabernacles celebrated several things that were represented in the Temple that spoke of the History of Israel and its relationship with God.

There was the table of Shew bread.  John 6 reminds us of this when Jesus says "I am the bread of life".

There was the laver of water; Jesus reminds us of this in John 7 when He says He is the living water.

There were the two great lampstands that stood on either side of the altar of burnt offering in the Temple Court. When they were lit  up on that first night of the Feast of Tabernacles their Light lit up the Temple mount and down into the valleys and into the city of Jerusalem.

 

The two lampstands were reminders to the people of Israel of how the Lord had guided and guarded them through their 40 years wandering in the wilderness.

Numbers 9 15 Now on the day that the tabernacle was raised up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the Testimony; from evening until morning it was above the tabernacle like the appearance of fire. 16 So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. 17 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. 18 At the command of the LORD the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the LORD they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped. 19 Even when the cloud continued long, many days above the tabernacle, the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not journey. 20 So it was, when the cloud was above the tabernacle a few days: according to the command of the LORD they would remain encamped, and according to the command of the LORD they would journey. 21 So it was, when the cloud remained only from evening until morning: when the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they would journey; whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud was taken up, they would journey. 22 Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey. 23 At the command of the LORD they remained encamped, and at the command of the LORD they journeyed; they kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by the hand of Moses.

 

The cloudy pillar the fiery pillar guided them, guarded them from Pharaoh's army, and presented to them the glory of God.

 

Jesus said I am the Light of the world.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

John has followed this theme of light and truth through John's gospel:

John 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

 

Jesus gives us the true perspective against human opinion.

In a sea of subjective human opinion, we need a transcendent one who can give us the Truth. Like a light shining in a dark place, we need One who brings us true truth in our confusion.

We need One who is above all human opinion. He being the Second Person of the triune God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, can give us that transcendent truth.

John 1:1    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shines in the darkness

 

Jesus said I am the Light of the world.

The Course of True Light.

 

Since Jesus is eternal and transcendent, there is true truth. Truth is not just one or other's subjective opinion.

John 8: 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.

16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.

17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.

18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."

19 Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also."

 

Truth is Comprehensive

Truth is not relative to where or when you live.  Truth is something that is universal everywhere.  The world is round everywhere in the world.  Jesus is the true God and saviour who gives true perspective to everyone anywhere in the world.

 

Truth is Constant 

Truth is unchanging. Our understanding of a subject may change as our undestadning of that thing grows, but the truthfulness of it of itself does not change.  The Hebrew word for truth is 'ehmet' and refers to the faithfulness of God, the unchanging nature of God, and therefore the unchanging nature of truth. Aren't you glad that the truth about gravity doesn't change from day to day? It doesn't change because God is faithful and unchanging.

Jesus as the light of the world doesn't change.  He was the Saviour and redeemer then and He is still the Saviour and redeemer now. He is still the authoritative course of truth.

 

Truth is Cohesive

Truth fits together with all other truth. All truth is God's truth.

Truth is Coherent

Truth is understandable and knowable.  We may not know much truth but we can know truth.

We can know the truth of Who Jesus is and what He has done for us, and because He is a Person, we can know this not only as propositional truths, but also in a Personal life affecting way as we are in a relationship with Him.

 

2. The Force of True Light

 

I flew over Russia at night to arrive in the UK a few years ago.  I was actually thrilled and excited to fly from Hong Kong over northern China and Siberia, places I would be terrified to go to.

It was night I opened the planes window ( the slide, not the window). And do you know what I could see? Nothing!   It was dark. No light at all for much of the way. But every now and then a light would pierce the darkness. Sometimes a single light, sometimes a cluster. We were flying at 30,000 feet, and yet here and there a little spot of light. I imagined some Russian family sitting around a fire in their farm house below. Here and there a village- little clusters of light, piercing the black darkness.

The Light. John 1: 5 And the light shines in the darkness

The Light Reveals!

The Light Reveals our Bondage.

John  8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

 

To become free you must first be in Bondage.

The Light reveals to us our bondage to sin.

CHRISTIAN:  Tell  me  then,  what was  it  that  brought  your  sins   to mind again?

    HOPEFUL: Many things, such as:

    1.   If I merely met a good man in the street; or,

    2.   If I heard anyone read from the Bible; or,

    3    If my head began to ache; or,

    4.   If I was told that some of my neighbors were sick; or,

    5.   If I heard the bell toll for someone who had died; or,

    6.   If I thought of my own dying; or,

    7.   If I heard that others had suddenly died; or,

    8.   But   especially,   when   I   considered   my   own   imminent   appointment with judgment

There were several thing that brought this upon me,  and especially sayings such as these, "All our righteousnesses are as  filthy  rags,"  and  "By  the  works  of  the  law  no  man  shall  be  justified,"  and  "When  you  have  done  all  things,  say,  We  are 

unprofitable,"  and  many  more  like  these  besides.

  So  from  this  I  began  to  reason  with  myself  as  follows;  if  all  my righteousnesses  are as filthy rags, and if no man can be justified by the deeds of the

law, and if when we have done all, we are still unprofitable, then it is  sheer  folly  to  think  of  attaining  Heaven  by  means  of  the  law.  I  further  thought  as  follows:  if  a  man  runs  up  a  debt  of  a  hundred  pounds  at  a  local  shop,  and  then  subsequently  pays  cash  for  everything  else  that  he  buys,  still  the  original  debt  will  remain  unsettled;  and  in  this  case  the  shopkeeper  will  probably  sue  him  and have the debtor imprisoned until he pays the debt in full.

    CHRISTIAN:  Yes  I  understand,  but  how  does  this  apply  to  yourself?

   HOPEFUL:  Well  I  reasoned  as  follows  concerning  my  own  condition.  Because  my  sins  cause  me  to  be  greatly  indebted  in  God's book, and all of my present reforming will not pay for what I  owe,  therefore  I  should  ponder  what  use  are  all  of  these  new  improvements.  For  how  shall  I  escape  from  the  damnation  that  endangers me on account of my former transgressions? 

   CHRISTIAN: That is a very good application. But I do ask that you continue.

    HOPEFUL: Another thing that troubled me, even concerning my recent amendments, was this; if I looked very closely into the best of what I now do, I still see sin, new sin, mixing itself with the best of   what   I   do.

   So   now   I   was   forced   to   conclude   that,   notwithstanding my former fond c

onceits regarding myself and my duties,  yet  I  had  committed  enough 

sin  in  one  duty  to  send  me  to  Hell, even though my former life had been faultless.

  Isa. 64:6; Luke 17:10; Gal. 2:16.   Gal.  3:10.    Rom.  7:21. 

 

The Light reveals our ignorance of our Bondage to sin

John 8:33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, 'You will be made free'?"

 

The Light reveals our true parentage

34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.

36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

37 "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father."

39 They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.

40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.

41 You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father --- God."

42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.

43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.

46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."

 

Do you love Jesus? Do you hear His word?

The force of the True Light is it redeems

John  8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

 

Freedom from darkness 

36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

 

Freedom from death

36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

He took death's sting to make you free from the power of death.

Freedom from the Dominion of Satan

He delivers you from the domain of darkness and transfers you to the Kingdom of God's own Son (Col 1:14)

Family Adoption

And He makes you a child of God!!

3. The Source of True Light

 

Faith

John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

 

John 12: 35 Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.

36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

 

 

Follow

John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

John  8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

 

Have you trusted the Lord Jesus as your Saviour and Lord? He gives Light, and brings truth into your life.

Are you following the Lord Jesus? He will bring more truth into your life; truth that liberates you from slavery to sin's darkness , slavery to death, slavery to the dominion of Satan, and brings you as a child into God's own family.

 

 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

 

The Good Shepherd Keeps His Sheep Forever

Your Eternal Security

John  10:11  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 

12  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 

13  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 

14  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 

15  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 

16  And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 

17  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 

18  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father." 

19  There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 

20  Many of them said, "He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?" 

21  Others said, "These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?" 

22  At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 

23  and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 

24  So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." 

25  Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 

26  but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 

27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 

28  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 

29  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 

30  I and the Father are one." 

 

 

5 am thunder roll  May 24th 2017  Thursday?

I woke up and thought it was that Korean bloke.. maybe he had dropped a bomb on Sydney

Or was it the Second Coming?  .. waiting for the shout of the arch angel..Lorelle still there.. and me too

Or was it Indonesia invading and bombing Richmond AFB. 

Are you ready for death?

Do you have a full assurance of faith? What do you bade it on?

Louise K and her phone call at 10pm -11pm.

 

Sheep are Dense

Sheep are Directionless… isa 53:6

Sheep are Defenceless.. caste sheep in the Drift Way.

Sheep are Despairing

Are you despairing?

 

BUT the God Shepherd is Caring

14  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 

15  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 

 

BUT the God Shepherd is Concerned about his Sheep

 

BUT the God Shepherd is Courageous

and I lay down my life for the sheep. 

17  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 

18  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father." 

 

My dad viewed the passion of the Christ on tv.

He read these words on the screen:

Isaiah 53:4-6 (KJV) 
 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 
 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace wasupon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 
 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 

 

And his heart was opened. He understood. He said " I knew Christ died for the sins of the whole world. But these words say he died for me! Is this true?" Then this is the greatest truth of the whole universe!!"

 

He realised for the first time in his life, that Christ has died for his sins, and he was forgiven, pardoned by what the Good Shepherd had done in laying down His life as a sin offering for him, and for you and I.

 

Do you have a full assurance and upon what do you base it? Are  you going to heaven and do you know it? Why are you going to heaven?

 

You can have a full Assurance because of

 

God's Great Gift to you

 

John  10:11  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 

14  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 

15  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 

 

Eternal life

27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 

28  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, 

 

 

 

God's Great Grace

 

27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 

28  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, 

 

Have you heard his voice?

 

Have you followed Him?

 

 

God's Great Grip

 

and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 

 

 

No Foe can defeat You… Satan can't take you out of his hands

 

No Failure can destroy you

 

Romans 8:31-39 (CSBBible)  31  What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 
32  He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? 
33  Who can bring an accusation against God's elect? God is the one who justifies. 
34  Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. 
35  Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 
36  As it is written:  Because of you we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. 37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  

 

 

 

No fear can deflate you

 

38  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  39  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

 

God's Great Glory

 

Who would be the biggest loser if you lost your salvation?

You? No God would be the biggest loser. You would lose your soul for eternity. He would lose His glory.

God's Purpose is to save you.  Satan could say, "there you go, even though you chose them before the foundation of the world, I beat  you God!"

 

God's power is to save you.

If you could be lost then the blood of Christ was not sufficient to cover your sins, and god would lose the glory.

 

 

My Name from the palms of His hands,

Eternity will not erase

Impressed on his heart it remains 

In marks of indelible grace

And I to the end shall endure, 

As sure as the earnest is given

More happy but not more secure

When glorified with Him in heaven.

 

 


Philippians 1:6 (CSBBible) 
 I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 


Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, May 27, 2017

 

Attaining Fullness of Life

Messages
John 10:10  Abundant Life

1.Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
2     "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.
3     "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4     "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5     "A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."
6     This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
7     So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8     "All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
9     "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
10   "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

An old evangelistic technique developed by the Billy Graham team many years ago was called the 4 Spiritual Laws :  law 1 began: God has a wonderful plan for your life. The key verse was
John 10:10 I am come that they might have life and have it abundantly.

God does want you to experience Fullness of Life
The theme of fullness of  life is one that is found throughout the Old and New Testaments.
It is particularly found in John's gospel.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.' "
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.


Jesus Reminds Us Of The Stealers of Life

8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers
10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
The book of Ecclesiastes written by Solomon conveys to us that fullness of life is not found in many of the pursuits, trivial pursuits of life.

Ecclesiastes  1:1
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2              "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."

The word translated here as Vanity, "hebel" is translated in other versions as a breath, wind, nothing, meaninglessness.

3              What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun?
4              A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever.
5              Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again.
6              Blowing toward the south, Then turning toward the north, The wind continues swirling along; And on its circular courses the wind returns.
7              All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again.
8              All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
9              That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.

14            I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Pleasures won't satisfy

Ecclesiastes 2: The Vanity of Pleasure
1              I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure"; but surely, this also was vanity.
2              I said of laughter --- "Madness!"; and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?"
3              I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.

Possessions won't satisfy

4              I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards.
5              I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6              I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove.
7              I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me.
8              I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds.
9              So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.
10            Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor.
11            Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.

Performance won't satisfy

16            I communed with my heart, saying, "Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge."
17            And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
18            For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Position won't satisfy

15            So I said in my heart, " As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?" Then I said in my heart, " This also is vanity."
16            For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!
17            Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
18            Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
19            And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.

Power won't satisfy

20            Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun.
21            For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
22            For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun?
23            For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.


These Pursuits do not bring fullness of life. They are just trivial pursuits that won't satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart.

The Rolling Stones wrote: " I can't get no satisfaction, though I try and I try and I try. I can't get no satisfaction.

The Source of Life


The middle eastern sheepfold was quite different to what we are familiar with in Australia.  Did you know there are 22 million sheep in New Zealand, and 3 million people?

Here sheep graziers count their sheep in hundreds and thousands.

There in the middle east they knew each sheep by name.  There weren't a lot to know.  There wasn't a lot of grass to feed on either.  So instead of having lamb chops, the sheep would be made to last for their wool, and for their milk, and finally when the sheep is old, it is killed for food.  The shepherd would take his 30 or so sheep for walks each day to find grass. At the end of the day, in order to protect his small flock, he would gather his sheep into a small roofless enclosure made of stones about 4 feet high. He would then sleep in the opening to keep the flock inside.  The Shepherd was also the door to the sheepfold.


So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 "All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

Jesus is the Only Door 

John 14:6,
Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life: No one comes to the father but  by me."
Acts 4:12. "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."
He is the only door to Heaven, to salvation.
But the word "salvation" has an even greater meaning in scripture than to only refer to heaven. Christianity, knowing Christ, can bring a fullness to life now. The concept of salvation involves also the bringing out of darkness into light the things that need healing in our hearts and minds.
The One who could do this needed to be eternal in his nature to take the eternal punishment our sins deserved against a holy and eternal God. The One who did this needed to be absolutely as holy as God or else He would have had to be punished for His own sins, and couldn't then be the One punished in our place. The One who did this needed to be Man to die, and to die for our sins. "For all we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone of us to his own way; but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquities of us all." (Vs.6). My dad read those words on a cinema screen. These words brought him to tears. He said "I had heard that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but these words say He died for me? Is this true?" I replied "These words are so true! Its what Christianity is all about!" He replied "Then this is the greatest truth in the universe! I never knew before that He died for me!" Dear friends do you know deep in your heart that Jesus Christ the Lord died for you? Please receive this Saviour for your own.

He is the Only Door to Satisfaction!

He knows how we are wired.  We admitted we can't understand how folks minds are wired. We can't even understand how our own minds are wired. We see the confusion and distress our friends are causing themselves in a search for satisfaction. How can these folks find satisfaction when everything in their lives, and in ours as much, seems to be falling apart. Our minds are so complex! Where can true satisfaction be found?  True satisfaction can be found in Jesus.  He can reorganise our minds, our hearts, our whole centre of being. He can give the peace of a reorganised life, a life that walks out of darkness into His light.

He as perfect Man and perfect God can not only show us that a perfect life is  possible, where there is fullness of life experienced, in the same way as He provides our salvation, so He also provides us with fullness of life.

The Beatitudes are described as that which brings fullness and blessedness in a person's life. Jesus teaches us about them, not as a sense of moral instruction in as say Rudyard Kipling's "If"  but as a description of a believer's experience in union with Christ.
Kipling wrote:
If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, 
Or being hated, don't give way to hating, 
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: 
 …
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
    If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,   
    And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!


Jesus said:
3     "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4     Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5     Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
6     Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
7     Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
8     Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
9     Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
10   Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11    "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
12   Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:3-12

The Lord Jesus is giving a description of the work of spiritual renovation that alters the personality of the believer allowing the believer to experience a fullness of life.
It begins with a recognition of our spiritual need.  It is developed as a Christian discovers the Lord as the source of satisfaction for the believer's spiritual needs.
The first four beatitudes begin with our need and end in the fifth with the recognition of the mercy of God to us, which becomes our catch cry. The person poor in Spirit sees his need. Those that mourn are grieved over their sinfulness and how their self-centred nature destroys all true happiness. The meek are those who recognise that only God can and will help them. Those who hunger for God find Him as the source for true fulfilment.  The last five beatitudes reflect upon how the world views those and relates to those who have found in the Lord Jesus spiritual satisfaction, for they are now loving and merciful people whose goals are far higher than those of the world around them. 

As the depths of this understanding is felt and worked out in the believer's life, so their heart is altered. They can be changed from bitter people to blessed people.
Many years ago I knew a man who had enacted a terrible vengeance in time of war against some who had committed inexorable war crimes. He harboured bitterness and guilt over his actions for nearly 40 years, until he came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as the merciful Saviour.  His whole countenance, his soul, was transformed overnight. From a mean bitter spirited man, he became a gracious kind welcoming loving person his wife said she had a new husband!
This life transforming process goes deep. It has to be worked out in daily life.
Ephesians 3 describes this daily outworking.
14  For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15  from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16  that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
17  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height ---
19  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

To be filled up with all the fullness of God requires each of those previous 3 steps: 
Being strengthened by his Spirit in the inner man, tells us only those born again by God's Spirit can even begin this process of spiritual renovation, transformation, that begins the moment we trust the Lord Jesus as our Saviour. Many who think themselves to be Christians really are not. They have not come in on this floor, and so cannot experience that deeper transformation.
Christ dwelling in our hearts day by day as we read is word and pray and fellowship with Him provides the means by which this fulfilling transformation takes place.
Knowing the love of Christ as our daily refreshing experience, a knowledge which passes knowledge, is the powerful incentive to experiencing the fullness of God transforming our lives.


Jesus is the Open Door

He wants you to experience salvation more than you want to have salvation!
He is the open door for salvation. Whosoever will may come to Him. "Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10: 13



He is the Open Door to Satisfaction.
As we come to Him, we can discover that He meets the deepest needs of our souls. As we keep coming to Him, so He transforms our souls.
He wants you to experience satisfaction more than you want to experience satisfaction. And he has provided for you to have that deep satisfaction.

The Super abundance of Life


I Must Abide in Christ

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. . . . These things have J spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full "(John 15 :4, 11). Supreme happiness only becomes possible for the Christian when he learns to abide in his Lord. Should anything prevent the flow of life from the Lord to His child-from the vine to the branch spiritual tragedy will undoubtedly follow. The health of the branch is dependent upon clean channels through which the life-giving sap might flow. And in like manner this is true of the relationship between Christ and His followers.
John 15:9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love"
He wants you to abide in his love. Keep knowing that love and you will have fullness of life.
Jude writes:

I Must Commune With Christ

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16 :23, 24). This constituted the new teaching on prayer. Through the medium of Christ the disciples could talk with God, and confidently expect to receive from Him definite answers to their petitions. When humble fishermen found in the Lord Jesus the authority and means whereby to approach the throne of grace, they quickly discovered that language was inadequate to express the joy resulting from a real answer to prayer.

I Must Study the Words of Christ

John 15:10  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.
11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full
Keeping His Word, His commandments, the Word of God in our hearts as we read it each day enables us to experience fullness of life and joy in Jesus. What is the theme of the Bible? The theme of the Bible is the Saviour's love to you.
Read his love letters to you each day to keep your heart soft towards the Lord, so He can do that transforming work on your heart.

I Must Walk With Christ

"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. . . - Walk in the light" (I John 1: 3-7).
It remains one of the greatest miracles of our faith that through His death and resurrection, the Saviour has now become omnipresent to His people. He has said, "I will never leave you. And if this be true, we are thereby provided with the opportunity of walking with Him in blessed fellowship. The road of life need never be lonely. Every path can be an Emmaus road, on which our hearts may burn as we listen to His word.
I must walk with other Christians in fellowship.
Christianity is relational. It is relational between you and God. It is relational between you and other Christians. It is relational between you and others who are not Christians yet and some who will never become Christians. It is relational between you and the world of Creation that the Lord has placed us in.
Enjoy those relationships.
"Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full" (2 John 12).
This is a fitting climax for all that has gone before. If we enjoy the preliminary steps, we cannot refrain from talking about the Lord Jesus. It is easy for us to imagine John sitting down with the "elect lady and her children," and as they conversed about the Saviour, their faces shone with holy delight.


The Secret of Life

In many religions the goal of life is self-abnegation. That is, the removal of self to nothing. Some people will be so focussed on self-eradication that turn completely inward. It is like the person who thought he needed to find his real self by peeling off the layers. Sadly he found he was more like an onion than an orange, for when he peeled off all the layers he found there was nothing left.
Rather the fullness of joy that we seek is not found by seeking fullness of joy! If you seek fullness of joy you will never find it. Fullness of Joy is a by-product of something else.
Jesus said  "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
Luke 9:23-25.

Basically, the Lord Jesus is asking you to take your eyes off yourself and put them on Him. If you are following Him, you are seeing only Him in front of you.

Jesus said A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
John 13:34,35.

Love doesn't seek its own self. it fixes its focus upon the object of its love.
Have you forgotten about yourself and fixed your eyes firstly on
J esus first
O thers second and
Y ourself last.


Once it was the blessing,
  Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling,
  Now it is His Word;
Once His gift I wanted,
  Now, the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing,
  Now Himself alone
All in all forever,
  Only Christ I'll sing;
Everything is in Christ,
    And Christ is everything.
Once 'twas painful trying,
  Now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation,
  Now the uttermost;
Once 'twas ceaseless holding,
  Now He holds me fast;
Once 'twas constant drifting,
  Now my anchor's cast.
Once 'twas busy planning,
  Now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring,
  Now He has the care;
Once 'twas what I wanted,
  Now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking,
  Now 'tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working,
  His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him,
  Now He uses me;
Once the pow'r I wanted,
  Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored,
  Now for Him alone.
Once I hoped in Jesus,
  Now I know He's mine;
Once my lamps were dying,
  Now they brightly shine;
Once for death I waited,
  Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored
  Safe within the veil.


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