UTTERMOST

April 20, 2016

Heb. 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 

I love to ponder the heavenly ministry of Jesus. Many don’t have a practical understanding of the important role His present day ministry plays in our lives. His work on earth was preparatory, His work in heaven brings us into the vital intimacy of what He purchased through His death. Paul called Him our High Priest, our Heavenly Intercessor. The Apostle John called Him our Advocate or Paraclete. In today’s verse, Paul describes the powerful effect His heavenly ministry has on us. He says He saves us to the uttermost. The word save refers to wholeness or completion. The word uttermost actually has two shades of meaning. Here is how Wuest describes the double meaning of this powerful word. 
“The word “uttermost” is the translation of panteles which is made up of pas “all,” and telos “end, termination.” Thus, we have a two-dimensional salvation spoken of here. By reason of Messiah’s eternal ministry as High Priest, He is able to save the believer in his totality of being, body, soul, and spirit, and do all that to the point of termination, an unending state of salvation in eternity.”
Did you get that. First, it refers to the totality of our salvation. We are utterly made whole and delivered from sin and its consequences. Secondly, we are save eternally. This salvation, or wholeness will last forever. It is final and eternal at the same time. Adam Clarke brings out another interesting aspect to this salvation to the uttermost. He says it saves us in the midst of all situations. Christ overcomes every resistance and stronghold we may face. Here is Clarke on this verse. 

“Because he is an everlasting priest, and has offered the only available sacrifice, he is able to save, from the power, guilt, nature, and punishment of sin, to the uttermost, to all intents, degrees, and purposes; and always, and in and through all times, places, and circumstances; for all this is implied in the original word: but in and through all times seems to be the particular meaning here, because of what follows, he ever liveth to make intercession for them; this depends on the perpetuity of his priesthood, and the continuance of his mediatorial office.”
So whatever you have done, wherever you have been, or whatever you are facing; the love of Christ seen in Christ’s work as our Heavenly High Priest is more than sufficient. He saves us all to the uttermost. 

REAL HELP IN A REAL WORLD

April 19, 2016

If I go, I will send him [the Counselor] to you. He will bring glory to me by
taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

Jn. 16:7,14
The Christian life is not hard to live, it is impossible. You heard me right, in our fallen state it is impossible to live the life the Bible clearly demands. That was the whole purpose of the law. The Law was designed to expose all of our flaws; and man, it really did that. The part that goes right to the heart of the problem is right in the Ten Commandments. You know the one, the one that talks about wanting what other people have. The one the Lord called coveting. It forbids coveting other people’s property, possessions, livestock, and even forbids coveting someone’s spouse. I know you have never violated that law! The only way out for us was forgiveness, regeneration, and continual fillings with the Holy Spirit. We need Christ in us and upon us to live the Christian life. Christianity is actually Christ living within us, living the life He demands. Here is how Andrew Murray described it.  
“After His ascension to heaven, the crucified Christ was glorified on His throne at the right hand of God. And from that glory He sent the Holy Spirit to His disciples, fulfilling His promise to them. It is the Spirit that searches for the deep secrets of God, who is an indissoluble part of God, who was with Christ during His life on earth and at His death on the cross. The same Spirit would now support the disciples and make them aware of the presence of the glorified Christ. The Spirit of God would be their power in a life of obedience, and their instructor in all for which they had prayed. The Spirit is God. He wants to appropriate your entire life. He is not just a casual helper. No, your whole heart and life must be under the control of the Spirit—from hour to hour and from day to day. The Spirit, who surveys all the secrets of God, lays hold of your innermost being, where He reveals Christ as your master.”
This is why I love Christianity. The Holy Spirit comes and becomes real help in a very real world. The bottom line is this, I can’t but He can. He can and will live a different kind of life in each of us, all we need to do is become totally dependent on Him. 

“A CHARGE TO KEEP”

April 18, 2016

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS- Painting by W.H.D. Koerner,

  

“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” 1 Timothy 6:20 
You have to learn to love the writings of the Apostle Paul. A true Christian can’t stay in the Psalms for ever, nor the Old Testament and even the precious gospels will get watered down if you stay in them all your life. At some point you have to swallow your pride, flesh, and tackle the Pauline Epistles. They will tear you up! But you just have to love first and second Timothy where you will hear the heart of Paul reaching out to his son in the faith. Second Timothy was the last book Paul wrote before he was beheaded in Rome. To those that don’t know, Timothy was martyred while being the overseer in Ephesus years later. I guess you could say, he kept the charge! Wow!  

All of us are commanded to “keep that which is committed to thy trust”. For we have been given a rich treasure that has been put into earthen vessels. We cannot let any man steal our crown nor allow others to wrestle it from us.Yes, thieves and robbers, vain babblers, and oppositions will certainly meet us at our doorstep. Yet, we have been given a sacred trust, something we have been given from another and in essence have become the guardians of it. It is the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the message bible, it translates- “Guard the treasure you were given, guard it with your life!”

Years ago, if one would have walked into the White House while George W. Bush was president you would have seen a amazing painting. In Bush’s book, “ A Charge to Keep” he states, this painting “epitomizes our mission”—“When you come into my office, please take a look at the beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us. What adds complete life to the painting for me is the message of Charles Wesley that we serve One greater than ourselves.” 

Let’s recite this old hymn together by Charles Wesley-
                       “ A charge to keep I have,

  A God to glorify,

  A never-dying soul to save,

  And fit it for the sky.

  To serve the present age,

  My calling to fulfill:

  Oh, may it all my pow’rs engage

  To do my Master’s will!

             Arm me with jealous care,

  As in Thy sight to live;

  And O Thy servant, Lord, prepare

  A strict account to give!

  Help me to watch and pray,

  And on Thyself rely,

  Assured, if I my trust betray,

            I shall forever die.”  
I can only pray America will remember her charge…..

A DIFFERENT KIND OF YOU

April 17, 2016

 John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 

John 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 
The Holy Spirit is a Person, Jesus was referring to the Person of the Holy Spirit when He said “He” may abide in you. Your marriage, business, health, and attitudes can all change when He moves into your life. Negativity can flee. Your whole life can be revitalized through a wonderful relationship with a Person: the Holy Spirit. He wants to do that in our lives! How can these things be? Can my life really change? Could I possibly experience this anointing within me and upon me?
The anointing of the Holy Spirit is available for all who are thirsty. When you thirst for God, the anointing begins to come. The anointing comes to liberate man by displaying the glory of God. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is actually a Person. He is the awesome third Person of the Trinity. As His glory is poured out, the magnificence of God is clearly seen. As we see and embrace the glory of God, two wonderful things happen: God is glorified and man is satisfied. We are created by God to enjoy Him forever. Nothing else will satisfy man’s hungry heart. When Jesus was on earth, He went to the downtrodden. Their disillusionment with life, the cause of all of their problems, was obvious. As they came in contact with Christ, they began to be influenced by His anointing. It is the same today. Many times we come to the Lord because of our problems: family, financial, health, and many other things. As we look to Him for our answers, we find an answer bigger than we ever imagined. Not only can He heal, provide for, and restore our relationships, but He unveils Himself to us. We find ourselves lost in His love (see Psalms 16:11). This is the purpose of the anointing: to unveil the Lord to mankind. As you press into His presence, you will find He is sweeter than honey, He is altogether lovely, He is more than wonderful, and He is all we will ever need.

WALKING IN LOVE – WALKING IN THE SPIRIT

April 16, 2016

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love.
John 15:10
The words of Jesus are just as relevant today as they were the day He spoke them. I this verse Jesus speaks about obeying Him or living a life free from sin. Far too many who claim to be Christians take a casual look at living free from sin. Many have allowed the anything goes attitude of today’s world to effect their life and lifestyle. There is a subtle, daily barrage on our faith. Only dependence on the Lord and daily fillings can keep us free from the stain of the world’s sin. Yes, it is possible to follow the Lord in our day to day lives. Yes, it is possible to obey His commands. His commands are not hard because He Himself lives in us to see them fulfilled. What is our part? We yield and abide in His presence. Andrew Murray preached often and powerfully about abiding, hear his pleas. 
“Loving obedience is the answer to the joy of His continuous presence. Over and over, in John 14–15, the Lord sets the condition: He who knows my commands and obeys them, him my Father will love. And then He specifically says, “You are my friends if you do what I command”. In our relationship with Christ, love is everything: the love of Christ for us, and our love for Him as it finds expression in our love for our neighbor. Too few believers believe this truth. They cannot believe that a heart submitted to Christ is capable of loving Him and living within His commands and love. They do not believe the promise of the New Covenant as spelled out by Ezekiel: “I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws”. These promises of the Holy Spirit were the guarantee that the disciples would love Him and guard His words. To live “in Christ” and “through the Holy Spirit” was the secret of the effectiveness of the disciples’ prayers to bring down God’s blessing on all their work.”
The key to living this life free from the sinful lifestyle of this world is abiding. You are probably well on your way because you have read this far. How do I abide? Daily read His word. Allow His word to become involved in your thoughts and decisions. Stay filled with the Spirit. Speak to yourself, like Paul said: with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Walking in His commands comes naturally when you are filled with the Spirit. Focus on Christ inside of you, He will do the rest. 

ANOTHER WAY TO DRINK

April 15, 2016

Psa. 1:2,3 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. 

Spiritual drinking is at the heart of our spiritual life. The written word plays a key role in this aspect of our Christian walk. Jesus is called the Word of God in the Bible, the reformers called Him the Fountain of Gardens. Here is where we connect the dots. Today’s verse describes the blessed man as the man who delights in the word of God. The Psalmist says that this man is like a tree planted by rivers of water. What the scripture is saying is this, Christ – the Word of God- is our source of life. He is the fountain from where all life springs. These waters of life, described by David, are Christ Himself. He is the written word. As we search and feast on the scripture, we are drinking in this water of life. Here is how Erasmus described it. 
“What will be the result? If he has done all this, this teacher of mine, says the psalm, “will be like a tree planted beside streams of water, because he will give in his season the fruit” of salutary (a beneficial effect, health) doctrine. He will be a tree that will not bend to the buffets of fortune, a living tree, a tree watered by the abundant stream of heavenly grace, forever standing by the sacred river of Scripture. Ezekiel entered this river long ago and was amazed to find that it could not be crossed; it is immeasurably deep, and no human being can reach to the bottom. You must be satisfied to drink from it as much is permitted.”
The Word of God is like a bottomless river. It is a flowing, clear stream of revelation, healing, restoration, and guidance. Studying the scripture is where we begin to draw this life into ourselves. Reading the Bible is far different from reading other books. Those books can give us wisdom and insight; this book is life itself. So go ahead and have a big drink today. This book can satisfy our deepest thirst and meet our deepest needs. As you develop a lifestyle of reading the Bible, it will become the greatest joy of your life. 

READY FOR ANYTHING 

April 14, 2016

John 7:37,38 ¶ On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 

I love the fact that the Holy Spirit equips us for anything and everything. In today’s verse Jesus is preparing His disciples for the incredible things they are going to face. He knows from His own experience as a man the importance of having God’s power working in Him. How much more, as fallen men, do we need His power daily. Here is the best part, we are in such a weakened state outside of Christ that we need daily care and empowerment from our Father. Jesus Himself overcame everything that was thrown at Him. He humbly overcame every plot of man and demons because He was abiding in fellowship with His Father. It’s in the weakness of needing Him daily that we are strengthened to live for Him. 

We receive this strength by doing what Jesus said, DRINK LIVING WATER. As drinking becomes more of a lifestyle, we become renewed and empowered. We know we are going to finish strong. Our confidence is not in ourselves but Jesus Christ who lives inside of His church. Check out Chrysotom on this verse.

“He calls that “living” which ever-works; for the grace of the Spirit, when it hath entered into the mind and hath been established, springs up more than any fountain, fails not, becomes not empty, stays not. To signify therefore at once its unfailing supply and unlimited operation, He hath called it “a well” and “rivers,” not one river but numberless; and in the former case He hath represented its abundance by the expression, “springing.” And one may clearly perceive what is meant, if he will consider the wisdom of Stephen, the tongue of Peter, the vehemence of Paul, how nothing bare, nothing withstood them, not the anger of multitudes, not the risings up of tyrants, not the plots of devils, not daily deaths, but as rivers borne along with a great rushing sound, so they went on their way hurrying all things with them.”
There you have it, the same man that is helpless in his natural state becomes powerful from drinking this living water. Because the Lord knows all things He can easily equip us for whatever may be coming our way. Because He is all powerful nothing that we face is too difficult for Him. He is sufficient in all things. If we are stuck in a pattern of sin, here is the way out, drink in this Living Water, it will become rivers of life flowing out of you. 

HAVE ANOTHER DRINK

April 13, 2016

John 7:37,38 ¶ Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 

I had only been in ministry sixteen years, it felt more like sixty. I had been running on empty for awhile trying to pretend that everything was good. All the emphasis on the ‘ministry of excellence’ in the eighties had taken its toll on me, I felt like excellent was a long way from where I was and pretending was wearing thin. I didn’t really have a handle on what was wrong; like everyone else I was blaming everyone else. “It must be these horrible people”, or “it must be this horrible city”. Maybe it was my staff’s fault or possibly lazy leaders in the church. At the end of my drama I came to a very painful conclusion; I was the problem. Some how I had turned my ‘engine’ to automatic and had forgotten how to receive. I guess you could say I had become religious. We weren’t old fashioned by any stretch. You can be religious and trendy as well as religious and old fashioned. What was the solution? Actually it’s right there in today’s scripture verse. Drinking. In this verse Jesus is describing a new way of life. He is describing not a one time event, but as John points out, He is talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He is talking about a continual immersion or baptism into the Holy Spirit. 

What needed to happen in my life? I needed to learn how to receive from God; I needed, as Jesus said, to learn how to drink. The ironic thing about all this is that it is the ‘drinking’ aspect of Christianity that is the most pleasurable. What is this drinking? It is multiple ways of receiving impartation from the Lord. Here are some of my favorites: 
1 Praying in my heavenly language. The basic function of this gift from God is devotional, As I pray in other tongues I become more aware of the spiritual realm, my faith is built, and I become empowered for whatever I may face.

2 Worship. I call worship the act of enjoying God. This is the place of pleasure, it is the fun part of our Christian faith. It’s not enjoyable because we like music, it is enjoyable because when we glorify the Lord His presence comes down. This place of joy brings us to the place of healing, deliverance, empowerment, and revelation. 

3 Reading the Bible. God speaks through His written word. As we soak in His word, our mind is cleansed, our spirit is renewed, and we are empowered for His work. 

4 Listening to the preaching and teaching of God’s word. There is an anointing when anointed people preach Christ. This is one of the greatest places to receive. This is more than just instruction, this is divine impartation. 

5 Laying on of hands. This is one of the basic doctrines of the church. Again, anointed people impart what they have. Like Peter said ‘silver and gold have I none, but that which I have I give to you’. 
So there you have it, just go ahead and have another drink. It will be good for your soul. 

RADIATION

April 12, 2016

Mal. 4:2 But to you who fear My name
 The Sun of Righteousness shall arise

 With healing in His wings;

 And you shall go out

 And grow fat like stall-fed calves. 
Can you imagine being in the meetings that Jesus had? All the anticipation when word got to you that He would be there on a certain day, the expectation as the day arrived. Scurrying around, trying to get in close so you could hear His teaching, then the moment of truth. He was not that impressive physically but when He opened His mouth the atmosphere changed. “Nobody spoke like this man”, was often said about the Lord. It was as if unseen beams of light radiated from Him, touching all who came under the sound of His voice. Then the miracles would start. Lepers skin became fresh and new like the skin of a baby. Eyes that had been darkened by disease were suddenly shining and alive with the light of God. The lame would actually begin dancing for joy. Of course the depressed were brimming over in celebration, they weren’t even sure when the miracle began, depression melted away in the power of His love. There had never been meetings like these, the light had come and the world could never be the same. This light is still shining today. If you are tired, afraid, or hurting the rays of His glory are still shining into the darkness of this world. His light shines from His written word and from the glory resident in His church. Here are some thoughts from Adam Clarke on today’s verse. 
“As the sun, by the rays of light and heat, revives, cheers, and fructifies the whole creation, giving, through God, light and life everywhere; so Jesus Christ, by the influences of his grace and Spirit, shall quicken, awaken, enlighten, warm, invigorate heal, purify, and refine every soul that believes in him, and, by his wings or rays, diffuse these blessings from one end of heaven to another; everywhere invigorating the seeds of righteousness, and withering and drying up the seeds of sin.The rays of this Sun are the truths of his Gospel, and the influences of his Spirit. And at present these are universally diffused.”
Step into the light of His love, living in the shadows is no way to live at all. His light is shining out toward you today, He hasn’t changed, His love is still working in the lives of all who come under the sound of His voice. He is speaking right now, just open up to His great love. 

Talitha-cumi! When Christ walks into the Room!

April 11, 2016

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).  Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old).” Mark 5:41
It’s nice when the atmosphere changes in the room. One can be right smack in the middle of a disagreement when the phone rings and when you go to answer it, your voice changes into pleasantness. By the time you get off the phone, you wondered what made you so unhappy. Christ has a way of changing things. In this scripture, a little girl was brought back to life. Some commentaries even hint that Jesus was speaking in a spiritual sense to women of all ages, when he took her by the hand from being dead. ‘Little girl, ARISE!” 

Did you notice how he got all the “junk out of the room”. He swept away all the negativity and disposed of it. Yes, do you feel His presence even now? When Christ comes, everything always changes. 

Ryan commentary says, “Let us think for a moment how wonderful was the change which took place in that house. From weeping to rejoicing–from mourning to congratulation–from death to life–how great and marvelous must have been the transition! They only can tell that, who have seen death face to face, and had the light of their households quenched, and felt the iron entering into their own souls. They, and they only, can conceive what the family of Jairus must have felt, when they saw their beloved one given back once more into their bosom by the power of Christ.” 
I love this song by the Torwaits, 
“When you walk into the room

Everything changes

Darkness starts to tremble

At the light that you bring

And when you walk into the room

Every heart starts burning

And nothing matters more

Than just to sit here at your feet

And worship you”
A good place to start this Merry Monday is in worshipping! He is there with you! Don’t under estimate Christ’s work of redemption. He speaks to all of us to arise from those dead paces! 

Talitha-cumi! When Christ walks into the Room!
 


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