Posts Tagged "life"
As an Old Testament believer, if you wanted to be touched by God, you would bring a lamb to the Temple. There, the priests would carefully inspect and scrutinize it for any spot or blemish. It was not the worshiper who was judged. It was the lamb. Herein lays a fabulous truth. You see, I can be guided by the Father tonight; I can be led by the Father tomorrow. I can expect to receive abundant life. I can look forward to His blessing upon me and upon my family. I can trust He will anoint my head with oil, that He will take care of the predators who are coming out to get me, that He will lead me through the valley of darkness.
I can expect a table set before me: I can expect to truly fellowship with God — not because of my spotlessness, but because the Lamb has been inspected and found perfect. Worthy is the Lamb. I can receive blessing tonight not because I’ve come to church, not because I’ve read fifteen chapters in my Bible, not because I didn’t watch television. I enjoy the blessing of God upon my life solely because of the Lamb. “I lay down My life,” Jesus said. He didn’t say, you better lay down your life if you expect to be blessed.
While it is true that He would call us in discipleship to take up our cross daily and follow Him, my entry into the presence of the Father is not based upon who I am, what I do, or what I failed to do. It is based upon who He is, what He did on the Cross, and in the tomb. The Shepherd became a Lamb that we dumb sheep might know the Shepherd. Worthy indeed is the Lamb! He made it all possible!
“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.“ (John 10:17-18 KJV)Read More
For a good many years we have wondered why Christ mixed His figures in His parable of the Good Shepherd. At one place He calls Himself the Shepherd and at another the Door.
A traveler in Palestine once had a conversation with a shepherd at work near a sheepfold who showed him the various features of the fold. Thereupon the traveler remarked: “You say, here is the sheepfold, there are the sheep, and this is the doorway; but where is the door?
“The door?” asked the shepherd. “I am the door. I lie across the entrance at night. No sheep can pass out, no wolf can come in, except over my body.” “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:7,9 KJV)
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (John 10:11,14 KJV)
Beautiful, isn’t it? Christ did not mix His figures after all. He is both the Shepherd and the Door.Read More
Helen Keller tells of the dramatic moment when Annie Sullivan first broke through her dark, silent world with the illumination of language.
“We walked down the path to the well house, attracted by the fragrance of the honeysuckle with which it was covered. Someone was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten — a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that “w-a-t-e-r” meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away.” -Helen Keller
Certainly, this was how the blind man must have felt when he saw water for the first time as he washed his eyes in the pool of Siloam. Just as the Light of the world gave sight to the blind beggar, and just as that “living word” awakened the soul of Helen Keller, so Jesus can awaken your life with the tender touch of His hand. He can give you light, hope, joy, and freedom like you’ve never known before. Surely there will still be barriers in your life, but barriers that can be swept away in time. Consider this:
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (Ephesians 5:8 KJV)
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” (Philippians 2:15 KJV)
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6 KJV)Read More
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 KJV)
Legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso was virtually unknown when he painted his famous portrait of American writer Gertrude Stein in 1906. Picasso gave the portrait to Miss Stein since, as the artist himself recalled with a smile, at that time in his career “the difference between a gift and a sale was negligible.” Some years later, the portrait attracted the interest of millionaire art collector Dr. Albert Barnes, who asked Miss Stein how much she had paid Picasso for it. “Nothing,” she replied. “Naturally, he gave it to me.”
Dr. Barnes was incredulous that such a priceless work of art could have been a gift.
If you’ve ever thought about the gospel for very long, you can probably appreciate Dr. Barnes’s incredulity. Think of what we have been given in Christ: forgiveness, eternal life, and all the riches of heaven…all at a cost we could have never paid! But that’s not all; we have the privilege of sharing this treasure with others! And so share I…Read More
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 KJV)
At one time J. Wilbur Chapman experienced a great sorrow that nearly shook his faith. In addition, his finances were almost depleted just when it was necessary for him to take a long trip to the western United States . One of the elders of his church who was a wealthy banker came to his home to offer a word of comfort and encouragement. As he left, he slipped a piece of paper into the pastor’s hand. Chapman looked at it and was surprised to find that it was a check made out to him and signed by this rich friend. But the figures to indicate the amount of the gift were missing. “Did you really mean to give me a signed blank check?” he asked.
“Yes,” said the man. “I didn’t know how much you’d need, and I wanted to be sure you would have enough.”
Later Chapman commented, “While I never had to use that check, it gave me a secure feeling to know that thousands of dollars were literally at my disposal.”
God too has given us a signed check in (Philippians 4:19 ) to provide for every genuine need that arises in our lives. Start filling it out today!Read More