June 29, 2013 JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY

Bibleorchid

John 14

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus the Way to the Father

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus answered, â€œI am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9 Jesus answered: â€œDon’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, keep my commands.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, â€œAnyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

“Come now; let us leave.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

June 29, 2013 Jesus Christ our Lord

Morning

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

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

“The kindness and love of God our Saviour.”
Titus 3:4

How sweet it is to behold the Saviour communing with his own beloved people! There can be nothing more delightful than, by the Divine Spirit, to be led into this fertile field of delight. Let the mind for an instant consider the history of the Redeemer‘s love, and a thousand enchanting acts of affection will suggest themselves, all of which have had for their design the weaving of the heart into Christ, and the intertwisting of the thoughts and emotions of the renewed soul with the mind of Jesus. When we meditate upon this amazing love, and behold the all-glorious Kinsman of the Church endowing her with all his ancient wealth, our souls may well faint for joy. Who is he that can endure such a weight of love? That partial sense of it which the Holy Spirit is sometimes pleased to afford, is more than the soul can contain; how transporting must be a complete view of it! When the soul shall have understanding to discern all the Saviour’s gifts, wisdom wherewith to estimate them, and time in which to meditate upon them, such as the world to come will afford us, we shall then commune with Jesus in a nearer manner than at present. But who can imagine the sweetness of such fellowship? It must be one of the things which have not entered into the heart of man, but which God hath prepared for them that love him. Oh, to burst open the door of our Joseph’s granaries, and see the plenty which he hath stored up for us! This will overwhelm us with love. By faith we see, as in a glass darkly, the reflected image of his unbounded treasures, but when we shall actually see the heavenly things themselves, with our own eyes, how deep will be the stream of fellowship in which our soul shall bathe itself! Till then our loudest sonnets shall be reserved for our loving benefactor, Jesus Christ our Lord, whose love to us is wonderful, passing the love of women.

Evening

ABOVEEARTH

“Received up into glory.”
1 Timothy 3:16

We have seen our well-beloved Lord in the days of his flesh, humiliated and sore vexed; for he was “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” He whose brightness is as the morning, wore the sackcloth of sorrow as his daily dress: shame was his mantle, and reproach was his vesture. Yet now, inasmuch as he has triumphed over all the powers of darkness upon the bloody tree, our faith beholds our King returning with dyed garments from Edom, robed in the splendour of victory. How glorious must he have been in the eyes of seraphs, when a cloud received him out of mortal sight, and he ascended up to heaven! Now he wears the glory which he had with God or ever the earth was, and yet another glory above all–that which he has well earned in the fight against sin, death, and hell. As victor he wears the illustrious crown. Hark how the song swells high! It is a new and sweeter song: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, for he hath redeemed us unto God by his blood!” He wears the glory of an Intercessor who can never fail, of a Prince who can never be defeated, of a Conqueror who has vanquished every foe, of a Lord who has the heart’s allegiance of every subject. Jesus wears all the glory which the pomp of heaven can bestow upon him, which ten thousand times ten thousand angels can minister to him. You cannot with your utmost stretch of imagination conceive his exceeding greatness; yet there will be a further revelation of it when he shall descend from heaven in great power, with all the holy angels–“Then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” Oh, the splendour of that glory! It will ravish his people’s hearts. Nor is this the close, for eternity shall sound his praise, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever!” Reader, if you would joy in Christ’s glory hereafter, he must be glorious in your sight now. Is he so?

June 29, 2013 The Banner of the Lord Jesus

Morning

ourbeliefs

“There fell down many slain, because the war was of God.”
1 Chronicles 5:22

Warrior, fighting under the banner of the Lord Jesus, observe this verse with holy joy, for as it was in the days of old so is it now, if the war be of God the victory is sure. The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh could barely muster five and forty thousand fighting men, and yet in their war with the Hagarites, they slew “men, an hundred thousand,” “for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them, because they put their trust in him.” The Lord saveth not by many nor by few; it is ours to go forth in Jehovah‘s name if we be but a handful of men, for the Lord of Hosts is with us for our Captain. They did not neglect buckler, and sword, and bow, neither did they place their trust in these weapons; we must use all fitting means, but our confidence must rest in the Lord alone, for he is the sword and the shield of his people. The great reason of their extraordinary success lay in the fact that “the war was of God.” Beloved, in fighting with sin without and within, with error doctrinal or practical, with spiritual wickedness in high places or low places, with devils and the devil’s allies, you are waging Jehovah’s war, and unless he himself can be worsted, you need not fear defeat. Quail not before superior numbers, shrink not from difficulties or impossibilities, flinch not at wounds or death, smite with the two-edged sword of the Spirit, and the slain shall lie in heaps. The battle is the Lord’s and he will deliver his enemies into our hands. With steadfast foot, strong hand, dauntless heart, and flaming zeal, rush to the conflict, and the hosts of evil shall fly like chaff before the gale.

Stand up! stand up for Jesus!

The strife will not be long;

This day the noise of battle,

The next the victor’s song:

To him that overcometh,

A crown of life shall be;

He with the King of glory

Shall reign eternally.

Evening

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“Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”
Numbers 11:23

God had made a positive promise to Moses that for the space of a whole month he would feed the vast host in the wilderness with flesh. Moses, being overtaken by a fit of unbelief, looks to the outward means, and is at a loss to know how the promise can be fulfilled. He looked to the creature instead of the Creator. But doth the Creator expect the creature to fulfil his promise for him? No; he who makes the promise ever fulfils it by his own unaided omnipotence. If he speaks, it is done–done by himself. His promises do not depend for their fulfilment upon the co-operation of the puny strength of man. We can at once perceive the mistake which Moses made. And yet how commonly we do the same! God has promised to supply our needs, and we look to the creature to do what God has promised to do; and then, because we perceive the creature to be weak and feeble, we indulge in unbelief. Why look we to that quarter at all? Will you look to the north pole to gather fruits ripened in the sun? Verily, you would act no more foolishly if ye did this than when you look to the weak for strength, and to the creature to do the Creator’s work. Let us, then, put the question on the right footing. The ground of faith is not the sufficiency of the visible means for the performance of the promise, but the all-sufficiency of the invisible God, who will most surely do as he hath said. If after clearly seeing that the onus lies with the Lord and not with the creature, we dare to indulge in mistrust, the question of God comes home mightily to us: “Has the Lord’s hand waxed short?” May it happen, too, in his mercy, that with the question there may flash upon our souls that blessed declaration, “Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”

All rights belong to the collection of Charles Spurgeon (C)

 

June 28, 2013 Dare I Be Counter-cultural?

Blessings come from obeying God

Why is obedience important to my spiritual life?

Today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. You will receive a curse if your reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn from his way by worshipping foreign gods.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 NLT

If you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all nations of the earth; for all the earth belongs to me.

Exodus 19:5 NLT
“Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them.”

John 14:21 NLT

 

Counter-cultural Obedience

 

To speak positively of obedience today is be profoundly countercultural. The valid suspicion of talk about obedience is grounded in the experience of authoritarianisms, both past and present. Obedience is confused with “blind obedience,” which is normally odious. Obedience is confused with conformity, with going along, with asking no questions. But obedience really means responsiveness; it is related to the Latin audire, to hear, to listen, to respond appropriately. Obedience is not the surrender of responsibility but the acceptance of responsibility for what we respond to and how.

Richard John Neuhaus
Quoted in 1001 Great Stories and Quotes by R. Kent Hughes (Tyndale House), p 295

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

June 28, 2013 “I will come back”

Christ Will Return

“I will come back”

JOHN 3:16

JOHN 3:16

[Jesus said], “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know where I am going and how to get there.” 

John 14:3-4 NLT

 

 

His promise to return

 

As a child, George Tulloch was fascinated by stories of theTitanic.…In 1996 he put together a team of the best scientists and sailors and set out to the exact spot where the Titanic sank in 1912. He and his crew were able to recover numerous artifacts from the ship — eyeglasses, jewelry, dishware, some coins and the like. But the most exciting thing they found was a large piece of the hull resting several hundred yards away.

The team did its best to raise the twenty-ton piece of iron, but to no avail. At one point the team almost had it.…but a storm blew in and.…the Atlantic reclaimed its treasure. Then Tulloch did something surprising before they were forced to retreat. He descended into the deep once more in a small submarine, and using a robotic arm, he attached a small handmade placard onto the section. It said, “I will come back. George Tulloch.”

For a lot of the same reasons, Jesus left us a similar message. “I am going to prepare a place for you..…When everything is ready, I will come and get you” (John 14:2-3). Some may wonder why he cared in the first place. Why would he even want to reclaim us? What good are we to him? In many ways we’re just as worthless and cumbersome and unyielding as that lazy piece of iron in the Atlantic.

But Jesus doesn’t see us that way. He’s dreamed of this moment since the beginning of creation, and now that the time is near he can’t help but leave this mark on our hearts. “I’m leaving now. But don’t worry, I’ll be back.

Adapted from Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and Frank M. Martin, Tyndale House Publishers (2004), entry for January 1.

Digging Deeper: This week (Tuesday) is the release of the The Rapture , the last of three prequel stories to the Left Behind series.

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

June 28, 2013 Mercy in spite of wickedness

 God protects his people

Mercy in spite of wickedness

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You will know I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness, says the Sovereign Lord. 

Ezekiel 20:44 NLT 

God the Redeemer

 Have you ever given God reason to be angry with you? Compare your sins with the sins of Israel. As you read through the Old Testament, you discover the truth that seems to shock most people: At no time in Israel’s history did they ever remain faithful to God. Of course, there were periods of collective obedience.…But as soon as the blessings flowed, their hearts wandered, and once again they fell into their evil ways. Their lives were steeped in a constant pattern of rebellion and unfaithful living.

Ezekiel records just one of the many times God responded to Israel’s unfaithfulness. God says to them, “In this also your fathers blasphemed me by forsaking me.You continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day.…You say, ‘We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone.’.…As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 20:27, 31-36). Once again Israel had provoked the wrath of God, and now they sat awaiting his judgment. If there was ever a time that Israel deserved to be wiped from the face of the planet, it was this moment. Now their sentence was at hand. Hold on to your chairs because here comes the gavel!

“You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices” (Ezekiel 20:44, NIV, italics mine).

And what is God’s nameRedeemer. Deliverer. Savior. What is the judgment he hands down? He plans to redeem them. Again. He deals with them according to his goodness, not their evil. He forgives them. Not because they deserve it but because it is God’s nature to forgive.

Adapted from Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and Frank M. Martin, Tyndale House Publishers (2004), entry for March 17.

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House