We’ve read Isaiah 53. We’ve heard John 3:16. We see it on poster board at sporting events. And we become desensitized to what the Gospel is really saying. We need to BEHOLD the suffering servant Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. We must keep great, deep appreciation for what He has done for us—and give Him all the adoration and praise He is due. If we don’t, we will grow cold. And if we grow cold, we will compromise. And if we compromise, we will fall away. And if we fall away, we’re in serious danger. The key to staying hot for Jesus Christ—on fire like you were when you first met the Lord, is to stay at the Cross—to appreciate the redemptive, completed work of our Savior.
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. Romans 8:28
And WE know… this is for those of us who are IN Christ. This verse is a great source of strength in time of need. WE know—this is talking to the fellow Believer. We know that all things—not some things—but all things--work together for the good, Christian. Not all things are good; because certainly there’s a lot of bad out there. But all things work together for the good. This phrase, “work together,” speaks of a symphony being conducted—where all comes together as one. There are many different instruments, but they all sound as one. For the Christian, ALL things work together, in symphony, for the good. Because even bad things, are good things, for the Christian. All things are working together FOR THE GOOD to those who love God—those who are presently lovers of God. Not that we are flawless and perfect or sinless, but those who are sincere in their endeavor to live for Jesus. Do you really love God? Because, all things are going to work together for you.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
I have this weird method when I eat, especially if the food is really good and I’m eating a few different foods at once. For example, one of my favorite dishes is stuffed peppers. I don’t even really care for the pepper. I just love the rice, the meat, the sauce and lots of mozzarella. I’ll fill my plate with food so that you can’t even see any part of my plate any more. What I like to do after I’m like half-way through eating my stuffed pepper, is to push the rest of my stuffed pepper aside and start to eat whatever the other sides might be that my wife made, like vegetables or salad. Now I do this so that I can finish with the stuffed peppers. You see what I’m saying? I like to save the best for last. For Christmas or my birthday, I’m a gift-shaker. I have a trained ear in gift-shaking and I can probably tell what you got me if I shake my present! Especially if it’s sneakers or a watch. Now even though I might know what’s in that box, I’m going to save it for last to open. Because that’s going to be the best gift. I want to finish with the best.
So often, we go to church and we act like we have it all together. We have to be a-okay and seem to be doing great with the Lord, right? We can tend to put on such a show at church. “How you doing, brother?” “Oh, Praise God, I’m great!” But it isn’t always true. Sometimes we’re in a trench—we’ve fallen—we are actually doing terrible. We are afraid to say that we are wounded or beat up. Jesus is the Great Physician. Don’t do your religious duty when you go to church! Let the Great Physician heal you. Fix your eyes on the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Once you really get a glimpse of Jesus, you will never, ever be the same. He has eyes full of compassion, love, gentleness, non-judgmental, mercy and they are so amazingly beautiful. Once He locks eyes with your eyes, you will never again be satisfied with any thing or anyone else. That’s what church is about!
In order to know Christian living, we need Christian learning. We cannot be ignorant because then we will be impotent in our spirituality. If we don’t know what we don’t have to do or if we don’t know what we’re supposed to do, we will make fools out of ourselves. And it’s not necessary.
How do we bring Jesus to lost souls? How can we bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world? If we are focused on that, we don’t have time to be at war with our brothers and sisters in Christ. As we focus on the goal—the mission—the commission that Jesus gave to us, we are to go out to all the world and make disciples of all men. That’s why we don’t have time to worry about how others dress, whether they have a tattoo, how others worship, etc. We don’t have time for that. We are focused on bringing men to Jesus Christ.
The God of Hope! I’m overwhelmed by the God that I serve. And if you serve the same God, Jesus Christ, then you too, should find yourself in that same place. For me, as someone who serves Jesus Christ, I’m so overwhelmed by Who He is. I’m so overwhelmed by His goodness. I’m so overwhelmed by the fact that He would have anything to do with a wretch like me. I have those moments when I’ll be in His Word, just spending time with Him, with no one else around, with nothing else to distract me, and in those moments I am in awe of His goodness and His glory. I am moved to tears that He would save someone like me and speak to me.
There are essential things that, as the Body of Christ, we must hold our ground on. Such as: The Deity of Jesus Christ and that He IS God. He is the Messiah and that He fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning Him. That He isn’t dead! He rose again from the grave. Jesus conquered the grave valiantly and victoriously. Jesus is coming again. We must cling to and hold on to all of those Truths! There is no room for compromise there.
Jesus is everything we’re not. He’s everything that we hope to be. We’re becoming, more and more, by His grace, molded and shaped into His glory. We can sing that song, “Here’s my heart, Lord,” even though our hearts are messed up—our heats are wicked. I don’t know if you know that but our hearts are wicked, deceitful and dirty and disgusting. Apart from the washing blood of Jesus Christ, we are damned for destruction. I’m so overjoyed in His presence—because He will take my heart—my heart of stone—and He will replace it with a fleshly heart that He can mold and shape into what He wants me to be. Isn’t that wonderful? Praise Him!
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