LORD AND CHRIST

April 15, 2015

Psa. 110:1 ¶ The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

The scripture can seem so simple and so profound at the same time. I think of teachings like- “Give and it shall be given”, “Seek and you shall find”, “Ask and it shall be given”. These teachings are so simple and at the same time deeper than the ocean. That’s how God’s word is, that’s how today’s verse is. David proclaims, in one short sentence, that the messiah would be human, that He would be God, and at the same time gives us an amazing glimpse into the trinity, what an awesome prophetic statement. David was overwhelmed with this incredible revelation. He must have wondered how this future messiah-king could be his son and the Lord at the same time. Here are some thoughts from Martin Luther on this amazing verse.

“Because the psalmist says that this Lord, Christ, the promised Son of David, sits at the right hand of God; God’s own throne, a place which no mere man, not even an angel, may occupy; it is not permissible to say or believe that Christ is merely a human being or some other creature inferior to God. It is strictly forbidden in the Scriptures to make any creature equal to God or to place another god alongside Him, as it is also written in Isaiah 44:6, 7: “I am the Fist and I am the Last; besides me there is no god. Whom will you make equal to Me?”… It is His will to remain the only God and Lord over all creation. But since here and in other places God Himself makes Christ equal to Himself by seating Him where only God may and can sit, it must be that Christ is of the same divine essence, of equal omnipotence, eternal power, and majesty. Not only David and all the kings of the earth but also all the angels of heaven must call Him Lord and worship Him who is seated at the right hand of God.”

This is the revelation that is still changing lives 3000 years after David wrote this Psalm, Jesus is a man and He is also the second person of the Holy Trinity. Today, this man is seated at the Father’s right hand just as David prophesied. He is there as our mediator, our heavenly intercessor, and the minister of the heavenly sanctuary who baptizes His sons and daughters with the Holy Spirit. God’s word is profound, in it we too can see David’s son who is Lord of all.

WAITING FOR KINGDOM COME

April 14, 2015

Psa. 110:1  ¶ The LORD said to my Lord,

“Sit at My right hand,

Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

I think this must have been one of Jesus’ favorite Psalms during His life on earth. He quoted it to the Pharisees when they were challenging Him about His authority in the temple. Jesus asked the Pharisees who David was talking about when He called the Messiah Lord. David said “the Lord said to my Lord”. David was clearly describing a conversation between the Father and the Son which would take place just after His return to heaven after the Resurrection. Jesus recognized this as a promise of His return to His Father after His death and Him taking the throne as a resurrected man. What a powerful prophetic word that brought faith and courage into the heart of our Lord as He walked under the shadow of the cross. Here are some powerful thoughts from Spurgeon on this verse.

“Away from the shame and suffering of his earthly life, Jehovah calls the Adonai, our Lord, to the repose and honors of his celestial seat. His work is done, and he may sit; it is well done, and he may sit at his right hand; it will have grand results, and he may therefore quietly wait to see the complete victory which is certain to follow. The glorious Jehovah thus addresses the Christ as our Savior; for, says David, he said “unto my Lord.” Jesus is placed in the seat of power, dominion, and dignity, and is to sit there by divine appointment while Jehovah fights for him, and lays every rebel beneath his feet. He sits there by the Father’s ordinance and call, and will sit there despite all the raging of his adversaries, till they are all brought to utter shame by his putting his foot upon their necks.The work of subduing the nations is now in the hand of the great God, who by his Providence will accomplish it to the glory of his Son; his word is pledged to it, and the session of his Son at his right hand is the guarantee thereof; therefore let us never fear as to the future.”

So the final victory is sure. The world can rage against the Lord and against His true church but Jesus is seated by the Father, patiently waiting for the final victory, it will be done. Our life can also seem out of control as the world breathes out its poison against God’s people. What shall we do? Just rest, after all we are seated with Him in heavenly places. The battle is the Lord’s.

WHEN DEAD THINGS COME ALIVE

April 13, 2015

“Ah-choo.”  AH-choo.”  AH-CHOO.”  “AH-CHOO!”  “AHH—CHOOO!”  “AHH-CHOOO!!!”

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY-

“And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.  He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord.  And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.  Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.” 2 Kings 4

Redemption is about the recovery of lifeless things: seeing them come back from the dead. The Bible or better yet the gospel is always telling a story of resurrection. Wherever Jesus walked He brought dead things back to life. Withered hands, demon possessed children, throw away lepers, blind eyes, bent backs, crippled legs and broken ailing people all were changed when brought under his mighty anointing. Thank God it didn’t stop at the earthly ministry of Jesus, but He left us the Holy Spirit to do greater works than His. It’s kind of crazy to think that all we need to be is a willing, yielded vessel and Christ’s work continues. Preach CHRIST and His word and people will be changed. It’s really not rocket science.

There is a beautiful passage in 2 Kings about another lifeless person. This time a little boy died and Elijah the prophet got up front and real personal. The boy’s mother had taken her lifeless boy up to the prophet’s chamber and left him there. Today will you take your dead thing to the  secret place? Amazing what can happen in our lives when we allow the power of redemption to work over our dead dreams, broken down hopes and lifeless situations. Are you faced with a debilitating disease? Has someone emptied your bank account? God can and is alive to work a redemption story in your desperate situation. The boy’s mother had made room for this simple prophet to stay at her house or in other words she found her secret place.  Everyday we must choose to seek our secret place, close the door and our Heavenly Father will reward us openly. Just like Elijah of old, God Himself will come and lay over our lifeless souls and breathe over our breathless thoughts. Christ ever lives to make intercession for us to succeed and reign in this life– not to sit back and watch us falter.

I pray you will run to your secret place now and all your tomorrows and see redemption again and again give life to your dead things!  ​“ah-choo.”   “Ah-choo.”  AH-choo.”  AH-CHOO.”  “AH-CHOO!”  “AHH—CHOOO!”  “AHH-CHOOO!!!”  What a sound!  Evidence of another re-creation, another new birth, another resurrection–!

LIPS OVERFLOWING WITH GRACE

April 12, 2015

Psa. 45:2 You are fairer than the sons of men;

Grace is poured upon Your lips;

Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Our ears are deaf to His lovely voice until they are kissed by His whispers of grace. Our souls are dark until the light of His grace comes streaming in. Our hearts are cold until they are strangely warmed by the words flowing from His lips of grace, as Solomon declared, ‘He is altogether lovely’. As the Psalmist sang He is ‘beautiful beautiful’. Today, it is the written word that is overflowing with grace. Every page, from Genesis to Revelation overflows with the grace and truth that are revealed in this beautiful person, Jesus Christ. To those who have never been born again, His words mean nothing, they appear as a yoke to be cast off. To those who are being saved, these are the very words of life. Here are some thoughts from Martin Luther on today’s verse.

“From His mouth, as from some overflowing fountain, the richest promises and teachings stem, and with these He strengthens and comforts souls. So the things you daily hear about this Christ are what the poet depicts, as you see, however briefly, yet with distinctive words and loveliest poetry; Grace is on the lips of this King, and not only that, it overflows, so that you may understand how abundantly this fountain of grace flows and gushes forth. As though He said; ‘Our King has wisdom such as no man has, namely the sweetest and loveliest wisdom; He helps the penitent, comforts the afflicted, recalls the despairing, raises up the fallen and humiliated, justifies sinners, gives life to the dying, and whatever there is in addition to this, that the Word of salvation accomplishes, that He does in rich abundance.’ It is, therefore, a sweet and delightful wisdom, worthy of such high praise.”

Do you feel forsaken and all alone? You will find acceptance and love in His Word. Are you being tempted and torn by the world? You will find help and moral courage in His Word. Are you sick and afraid? There is healing and reassurance in these words of grace. His lips are still overflowing with grace today, there is an abundant supply stored up for you. Don’t just read a good book, read THE BOOK. You too will say He is beautiful beautiful and grace is flowing from His lips.

GOD ANOINTED GOD

April 11, 2015

Psa. 45:7  you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;

One of the great mysteries of the Bible is that Jesus Christ is actually a man. In His earthly ministry He was totally dependent on the Holy Spirit. He actually ministered as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit. He was the carpenter from Nazareth until the day He visited John at the Jordan River. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power and went out healing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching the message of the kingdom. In today’s verse we see Jesus anointed by the Father after the resurrection and ascension. He was anointed with the oil of gladness in order to fulfill His heavenly ministry as our High Priest. He is still a man, the first fruits of a brand new race. Here are some thoughts from Augustine on today’s verse.

“Let the Jews tell us; these Scriptures are common to us and them. It was God, who was anointed by God: you hear of an ‘Anointed’ one; understand it to mean ‘Christ.’ For the name of ‘Christ’ comes from ‘chrism’; this name by which He is called ‘Christ’ expresses ‘unction’: nor were kings and prophets anointed in any kingdom, in any other place, save in that kingdom where Christ was prophesied of, where He was anointed, and from whence the Name of Christ was to come. It is found nowhere else at all: in no one nation or kingdom. God, then, was anointed by God; with what oil was He anointed, but a spiritual one? For the visible oil is in the sign, the invisible oil is in the mystery; the spiritual oil is within. ‘God’ then was ‘anointed’ for us, and sent unto us; and God Himself was man, in order that He might be ‘anointed:’”

It’s easy to recognize the need of Christ for an anointing when He was here on earth, but this is describing the work that Christ is performing right now in heaven. Today, He is at the right hand of the Father. He is interceding for me, praying on my behalf to the Father. He is also the heavenly Baptizer in the Spirit. As we acknowledge Christ as being Lord of all and then begin to worship Him, He begins to pour out His Spirit on us. Jesus is the Anointed One, He is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh.

SMELL OF YOUR GARMENTS

April 10, 2015

Psa. 45:8 All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad.

What’s that smell? It is the fragrance of resurrection, it is the aroma of life that surrounds Jesus Christ. The natural man can’t relate to this beautiful scripture. All the natural man knows is natural things. He has never felt the presence of the Lord, never heard the voice of the Shepherd, nor ever experienced this spiritual aroma found in God’s presence. You see, the anointing is real. We are intended to experience His presence on a regular basis. Christianity is not just a creed or a philosophy. It is not just a road map directing us how to live our lives. The Holy Spirit is poured out on all mankind, we have access to a new way to live our lives. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s verse.

The divine anointing causes fragrance to distill from the robes of the Mighty Hero. He is delightful to every sense, to the eyes most fair, to the ear most gracious, to the spiritual nostril most sweet. The excellences of Jesus are all most precious, comparable to the rarest spices; they are most varied, and to be likened not to myrrh alone, but to all the perfumes blended in due proportion. The Father always finds a pleasure in him, in him he is well pleased; and all regenerated spirits rejoice in him, for he is made of God unto us, “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” Note that not only is Jesus most sweet, but even his garments are so; everything that he has to do with is perfumed by his person. All his garments are thus fragrant; not some of them, but all; we delight as much in his purple of dominion as in the white of his priesthood, his mantle as our prophet is as dear to us as his seamless coat as our friend. All his dress is fragrant with all sweetness. Oh, to behold him with his perfumed garments on!”

This is a beautiful description of awakened faith. The touch of God opens our ears so that we can hear the voice of the Lord, removes the scales from our eyes so we can see the Glory of the Lord, and gives us a scent of the sweetness of His love. Don’t be afraid, draw near, this is what you were born for.

GRACE POURED FROM YOUR LIPS

April 9, 2015

Psa. 45:2 You are fairer than the sons of men;

Grace is poured upon Your lips;

Therefore God has blessed You forever.

There was something different about the words Jesus spoke. Like the Psalm says, ‘grace is poured upon your lips’. It seems that people hung on his every word, His words were filled with life itself. Today, we have these same words in written form. The written word of God carries the exact same grace as the words that came from the mouth of Jesus when He was here on earth. It is this message of salvation that comes through faith that stops us in our tracks. The Christian never tires of that message because it is the very grace of God that is revealed in this awesome person, Jesus Christ. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon’s ‘Treasury of David’ that describes this grace that flows like living water from His lips.

“Beauty and eloquence make a man majestic when they are united; they both dwell in perfection in the all fair, all eloquent Lord Jesus. Grace of person and grace of speech reach their highest point in him. Grace has in the most copious manner been poured upon Christ, for it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, and now grace is in superabundance, poured forth from his lips to cheer and enrich his people. The testimony, the promises, the invitations, the consolations of our King pour forth from him in such volumes of meaning that we cannot but contrast those cataracts of grace with the speech of Moses which did but drop as the rain, and distill as the dew. Whoever in personal communion with the Well-beloved has listened to his voice will feel that “never man spake like this man.” Well did the bride say of him, “his lips are like lilies dropping sweet smelling myrrh.” One word from himself dissolved the heart of Saul of Tarsus, and turned him into an apostle, another word raised up John the Divine when fainting in the Isle of Patmos. Oftentimes a sentence from his lips has turned our own midnight into morning, our winter into spring.”

It is the Word of God that raises people who are dead in their sins into life. It is God’s Word that comforts our hearts in the darkest of days. It is this grace that pours from His lips that strengthens us to live godly in this dark and sinful world. Grace is still pouring from His lips. Open your Bible, it is there that you will hear His sweet voice.

BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL

April 8, 2015

Psa. 45:2 You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever. 

This is the heart of Davidic worship, he is lost in the beauty of the coming King. Of course he is not speaking of physical beauty. Isaiah said the coming messiah would not be physically attractive.

Isa. 53:2,3 

 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 

It is a different, unseen spiritual beauty that attracts the elect to the Christ. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes it. 

“Jesus reveals himself when we are pouring forth our affections towards him. It is usually the case that when we are ready Christ appears. If our heart is warm it is an index that the sun is shining, and when we enjoy his heat we shall soon behold his light. In person, but especially in mind and character, the King of saints is peerless in beauty. The Hebrew word is doubled, “Beautiful, beautiful art thou.” Jesus is so emphatically lovely that words must be doubled, strained, yea, exhausted before he can be described. Among the children of men many have through grace been lovely in character, yet they have each had a flaw; but in Jesus we behold every feature of a perfect character in harmonious proportion. He is lovely everywhere, and from every point of view, but never more so than when we view him in conjugal union with his church; then love gives a ravishing flush of glory to his loveliness.”

Before conversion, spiritual things seem dull and unattractive. It is the influence of the Holy Spirit that gives us the perception of this secret beauty of the Lord. David sang about this beauty constantly, it was the “one thing” he loved to sing about. Just think about it; David spoke about uplifted hands in the sanctuary, dancing with all his might, his flesh crying out for the Lord, He even spoke about desiring one thing for the rest of his life. David was hopelessly smitten by the beauty of the Lord. The unanswered question have you been struck by His love? 

EXPOSED BY WORSHIP

April 7, 2015

John 12:3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 

It’s funny how worship can expose the heart of everyone involved. Mary had just poured out the fragrant oil on the feet of Jesus when another fragrance filled the room. It wasn’t enough for Judas to have his own opinions, he had to attack Mary and her extravagant display of affection. Why do you allow this kind of affection? Why do you allow this kind of waste? Shouldn’t we have fed the poor instead of wasting the oil on your hands and feet? 

Have you ever wondered what was really eating at Judas? Sure, he was bummed about the apparent waste of resources (he had other ideas of how to use the money). That wasn’t the real issue; the real issue was the  pubic display of affection. Judas couldn’t let that slide. It put too much pressure on him and the others. Were they expected to worship this way too?

What Judas did’t quite understand was what had made Mary this kind of worshipper? What had changed in the last few days? From something Jesus said we can see into the heart of Mary’s actions.

  “For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial.”

That was it! Mary seemed to be the very first from the inner circle to get the implications of His death. This is why He had come. Mary finally understood the source Of His mercy and her forgiveness. He was the sacrificial lamb that John the Baptist had prophesied about. Jesus had come to die. This is what exposed Judas’ heart. Judas wanted the power that would result from a revolution, His death would be the end of those hopes and plans. That’s why that blasted fragrance was so disturbing; it was the smell of Mary’s worship. This was the fragrant worship that sprung from revelation. Jesus had come to die for sinners, this was Mary’s only hope. 

This brings us to us. Who is Jesus to you. Is He just a way for us to accomplish our earthly dreams; maybe business, ministry, or even family. Or is He more than that, maybe He is way more than that. How will you know? You will know when you next find yourself in a room where that aroma of worship begins to be poured out. It has a way of uncovering the condition of our hearts.  

MARY AND JUDAS

April 6, 2015

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” 2 Cor 4:17

All through Easter weekend Frank played the soundtrack from JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR to get us ready for the drama presentation that we would do Sunday morning. First off this musical production always brings me back some 40 years ago to my salvation. When I listened to the lyrics, you see Mary and Judas on opposite sides of the spectrum.  She saw that she had been changed by Christ himself and couldn’t put it into words or action. Then Judas, like so many of us got all snarled up in the here and now, the million things that Christ “ought to have done”. I am shocked how much I see myself in him.

CS Lewis has a striking comment on this; “The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not IN them, it only came THROUGH them, and what came through them was longing. These things–the beauty, the memory of our own past–are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited. Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them. And you and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness which has been laid upon us for nearly a hundred years. Almost our whole education has been directed to silencing this shy, persistent, inner voice; almost all our modern philosophies have been devised to convince us that the good of man is to be found on this earth.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

I think we all can agree that this world and all it’s supposedly profound thought, dwells on a dead Christ buried with all the other so called prophets. Will I let the scum of this world also get on Me, or will I throw myself like Mary did and waste myself and see the far exceeding eternal weight of glory?

“At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.” CS LEWIS


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