Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Sunday, April 26, 2009

They were not carried to heaven on beds of ease!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Woe is me--that I dwell among these scoundrels of Meshech! It pains me to live with these people from Kedar!" Psalm 120:5

As a Christian, you have to live in the midst of an ungodly world, and it is of little use for you to cry, "Woe is me!"

Jesus did not pray, "O that you should be taken out of the world!" And what He did not pray for--you need not desire! Better far in the Lord's strength--to meet the difficulty, and glorify Him in it.

The enemy is ever on the watch to detect inconsistency in your conduct; be therefore very holy. Remember that the eyes of all are upon you--and that more is expected from you, than from others! Strive to give no occasion for blame. Like Daniel, let your godliness and piety be the only faults which they can discover in you.

Seek to be useful--as well as consistent. Perhaps you think, "If I were in a more favorable position, I might be able to serve the Lord's cause. But I cannot do any good where I am!" But the worse the people are among whom you live--the more need they have of your exertions! If they are crooked--the more necessity that you should set them straight! If they are perverse--the more need have you to turn their proud hearts to the truth. Where should the physician be--but where there are many sick? Where is honor to be won by the soldier--but in the hottest fire of the battle?

When weary of the strife and sin which meets you on every hand--consider that all the saints have endured the same trial! They were not carried to heaven on beds of ease!--and you must not expect to travel more easily than they! They had to hazard their lives unto the death, in the midst of the battlefield--and you will not be crowned--until you also have endured hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Therefore, "Be courageous! Be strong!" 1 Corinthians 16:13

Friday, April 10, 2009

He Humbled Himself

"He humbled Himself." Philippians 2:8
Jesus is the great teacher of 'humility of heart'. We need daily to learn of Him. See the Master taking a towel and washing His disciples feet! Follower of Christ--will you not humble yourself? See Him as the Servant of servants--and surely you cannot be proud! Is not this sentence the compendium of His biography, "He humbled Himself"? Was He not on earth, always stripping off first one robe of honor and then another--until, naked, He was fastened to the cross; and there did He not empty out His inmost self, pouring out His life-blood, giving up for all of us, until they laid Him penniless in a borrowed grave?

How low was our dear Redeemer brought! How then can we be proud?

Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple drops by which you have been cleansed. See His thorn-crown; mark His scourged shoulders, still gushing with encrimsoned rills; see His hands and feet given up to the rough iron spikes, and His whole self to mockery and scorn; see the bitterness, and the pangs, and the throes of inward grief, showing themselves in His outward frame; hear the horrid shriek, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me!"

If you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross--you have never seen it! If you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus--you do not know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you--but the sacrifice of God's only begotten Son. Think of that, and as Jesus stooped for you--bow yourself in humility at His feet.

A sense of Christ's amazing love to us--has a greater tendency to humble us, than even a consciousness of our own guilt. May the Lord bring us in contemplation, to Calvary. Then our position will no longer be that of pompous pride--but we shall take the humble place of one who loves much--because much has been forgiven him. Pride cannot live beneath the cross! Let us sit there and learn our lesson--and then rise and carry it into practice!

C.H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Be reconciled to God!

I am bothered by a phrase that has become such a cliché in the Christian community, yet, it is NOT found anywhere in scripture. The phrase is ‘I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ’. Nowhere in scripture does the Lord Jesus Christ command us to have a personal relationship with Him.
The word ‘relationship’ is defined as ‘a state of connectedness between people (especially an emotional connection)'. To be reconciled to a Holy God is more than a mere ‘emotional connection’. It involves a transformed life, a complete change from the inside out. This is not at all like any relationship known to man.
I do not find in scripture where Christ commands us to have a relationship with Him; we should desire to know this amazing God who saves, we should desire a certain intimacy with Him; but we must not confuse human terminology with what the Bible actually says…’be reconciled to God’. Below are passages concerning reconciliation…

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God”-2nd Corinthians 5:18-20

The definitions of 'reconcile' and 'favour' are...
Reconcile- Greek katallassō-return to favour with, be reconciled to one, to receive one into favour. From the root word allassō-to change, to exchange one thing for another, to transform.
Favour – Greek charis-good will, loving-kindness, favour-of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues. {from}

Notice what the Apostle Paul states in verse 18, ‘hath given to us a ministry of reconciliation’; verse 19, ‘hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation’. The message of the cross is one of being reconciled to a Holy God through His Son. It isn’t a call for a ‘relationship’, as if Christ was our bff! We must not forget, God is exalted high above His creation, He is worthy of all glory and honor. We dare not lessen His sovereignty by using human terminology when referring to our being reconciled to Him. The Apostle Paul urges lost sinners to be reconciled, or returned to favour with, or get in right standing with a Holy God. He doesn’t encourage us to have a relationship, connection or experience with the Lord of all creation. Paul implores, encourages, beseeches those who are lost in sin to get in right standing with the Ancient of Days. By using ‘relationship’, which is human terminology, we ‘cheapen’ the reverence due a Sovereign God. We must bow the head and the knee to the Creator of all things; let’s not lose sight of who is deserving of our approaching the throne of grace with humility as well as boldness. Those who have been saved by His grace are now in right standing with the God of the universe; those in darkness must be urged by us to be reconciled to Almighty God. May we not lessen the severity of sin and the separation it causes, may we proclaim God’s truth as it is written!