Sunday, January 6, 2013

Greetings Friends,

 There is a truth that God has had to teach me over and over again, if we have contempt for those who are struggling, then we will not be able to help them.

 Galatians 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; (meekness is the result of brokenness – being under the control of the Spirit and not the flesh)

 I have watched through the years those who genuinely did well for a time, only to see some of them fall back again into their old life.  If we have contempt for those who are struggling, then we will not be able to help them.  They will sense the condemnation and will not listen. 

Luke 18:11  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 

The Pharisee looked upon the publican with contempt.  When the prodigal son came home the elder brother said: “…as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”  He had contempt.  He would not be involved in the process of restoration.

When the prodigal son came home, did the Father say:“What did you do with the money?”  “Your brother and I had to do all the work while you were gone!” 
“Are you here to stay, or will you be running off again!”  The Father did not say these things but rather applied the truth of scripture.

1Corinthians 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; 

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The giving of God in John 3:16 is the sacrificial death of HIS beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary’s tree.  The death of Jesus Christ was for sinners for sinners such as me.  Jesus said: 

Luke 4:18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

John 3:16 was pictured in the Old Testament by Abraham and his son Isaac.

Genesis 22:1  And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

Genesis 22:2  And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

 Love is the fruit of death. 

Let me illustrate it this way.  Do you remember 1Corinthians 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind;

Without dying to self, we will not suffer long with those who are struggling and with those who need us to suffer long and be kind to them.

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

God can be trusted even though things from our perspective do not look so good.  God was in control of the life of Jesus Christ.  He suffered and died, but through HIS sacrificial death came love.

 1John 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: 

How could the love of God be bestowed upon sinners such as we?  From this sacrificial death, was released the everlasting love of God.  The Psalmist stated: 

Psalm 56:8  Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? 

God not only takes note of our tears, HE stores them in a bottle and records our wanderings through time.  He has a running commentary of our sufferings and sorrows and promises to the child of God. 

Romans 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

1Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Death to self is a requirement if we are to love.  Do you want to be loved with God’s love and do you want to love those in need of God’s love?

 Love is the fruit of death.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The promise of love required the suffering and death of the very lamb of God.  He suffered, He bore in HIS body our sins, HE bore the full Wrath of God and died, so that, we could be forgiven, so that, we could become the sons of God, so that, we could be seated in the heavenlies.

Love is the fruit of death. 

“The Lamb is the light thereof.” (Revelation 21:23)

The Lamb was slain.  He died.  But now, “The Lamb is the light thereof.” The death of Christ turned into the light of Christ.  See the lamb slain now seated in the heavenlies.

Revelation 1:13-15 13  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

The first time the earth saw the Lord Jesus Christ he was the lamb of God slain.  The world mocked HIM.  The world tormented and tortured HIM.  They spit upon HIM and nailed HIM to an old rugged cross.  But now He stands with HIS eyes as a flame of fire.  His feet like unto fine brass and his voice as the sound of many waters.  HE is the righteous judge of all the earth.  And HE will judge you.  You will either stand at the judgement seat of Christ or you will stand at the Great White Throne Judgement.  But something else about this lamb who is the judge, HIS death which released HIS love upon HIS children made us kings and priests unto our God.

Revelation 5:8-10 8  And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.  9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

We were poor and wasted.  We had violated every commandment and yet HIS great love touched our lives and we became like HIM.  We have become the very Sons of God.  We have become joint heirs with Jesus Christ.  We have become Kings and Priests before God.  Love is the fruit of death.  As you seek the Lord, will you trust HIM as HE purges you from your selfishness, bitterness and pride?  Will you trust HIM?  Did not God our Father give us the freedom to struggle.  Was He not so very merciful as HE loved us to freedom?

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