Christ Is All in All

I came across this unattributed piece this evening. It sums us in a rather elegant, I think, way of what Jesus is to all of us that are His.

Christ Is All in All
“Christ is all in all to His people. He is all their strength, wisdom, and righteousness. They are but the clouds irradiated by the sun, and bathed in its brightness. He is the light which flames in their gray mist and turns it to a glory. They are but the belt and cranks and wheels; He is the power. They are but the channel, muddy and dry; He is the flashing life which fills it and makes it a joy. They are the body; He is the Soul dwelling in every part to save it from corruption and give movement and warmth. Thou art the organ, whose full breath is thunder; I am the keys, beneath Thy fingers pressed.”

Jesus is indeed our all in all, our Source of life, and the One who paid the enormous debt we owed, and couldn’t satisfy, with His own lifeblood. As on of my favorite old hymns says “Oh what a Savior!”.

Thanksgiving

The dinner is done, as are the dishes, and the kids have left for the evening. More or less, the holiday is officially wrapped up at our house and has been for a couple of hours. As I sat down to relax and reflect a little I began to think about what I am most thankful for; I have much that I am filled with thanks for and my list could be very long. But there are two items that stand out above and beyond every thing else.

I am most thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ. Without His love, sacrifice and mercy I would be most miserable and hopelessly lost. I am most thankful for my Jesus.

Secondly I am thankful that I am no longer the man I used to be because I have been born again. I’m thankful that the old man is dead and gone and the new has hope and a promise. I’m thankful for the new birth for without it I would be hopelessly lost and most miserable. And with being born again I received the Holy Spirit to guide and direct, teach and grow me so I’m so very thankful for Him and His presence in my life.

I am sure that God approves of our special holiday that we set aside for thanksgiving. But I’m equally certain that He would rather that we live out our thanks every day of the year, not just on Sunday or holidays. I pray that you and I do a better job of that very thing this coming year and every year we have left in our lives. For He is worthy.

Wait and Watch

Wait and Watch
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Job 2:10

Job’s response to his wife’s suggestion that he curse God and die is magnificent. “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks” (Job 2:10). Hats off to the old patriarch! In his weakened condition, sitting there in the misery of all those sores, not knowing if any of that would ever change, he stood firm—he even reproved her. He said, in effect, “I need to correct the course of this conversation. We’re not going there.”

He went further than stating a reproof; he asked an excellent question. “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (v. 10). His insight was rare, not only back then, but today. What magnificent theology! How seldom such a statement emerges from our secular system.

Job is thinking these thoughts: Doesn’t He have the right? Isn’t He the Potter? Aren’t we the clay? Isn’t He the Shepherd and we the sheep? Isn’t He the Master and we the servant? Isn’t that the way it works?

Somehow he already knew that the clay does not ask the potter, “What are you making?” And so he says, in effect, “No, no, no, sweetheart. Let’s not do that. We serve a God who has the right to do whatever He does and is never obligated to explain it or ask permission. Stop and consider—should we think that good things are all we receive? Is that the kind of God we serve? He’s no heavenly servant of ours who waits for the snap of our fingers, is He? He is our Lord and our Master! We need to remember that the God we serve has a game plan that is beyond our comprehension, including hard times like this.”

And I love this last line, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (v. 10). There’s absolute trust there. And faith. “Sweetheart, we can’t explain any of this, so let’s wait and watch God work. We would never have expected what happened. Both our hearts are broken over the loss. We’ve lost everything. Well—not everything. We’ve still got each other. Our God has a plan that is unfolding, even though we cannot understand it right now. Let’s wait and watch to see what He will do next.”

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

What Stirs You?

When Jesus was asked about His relationship with God, He replied that He was indeed the Son of God. This seemingly simple answer sent the crowd into a frenzy and eventually created a firestorm that eventually led to Jesus’ crucifixion. “He stirs up people by his teaching,” the leaders said. Stirs them up? What happens in your heart when you read or hear these words? Are you stirred up? It seems wherever Jesus went, He stirred things up-either anger and resentment, or unparalleled devotion and loyalty. Jesus said in Revelation 3:15, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other.” What is your worship like? Are stirred up? I hope worship creates great adoration and awe in you-that as you consider all that Jesus has done for you, including the cross, it brings you to tears and to your knees. Don’t let your worship become lukewarm, and if it has, go for a walk on the beach, a hike in the woods, or some other activity that gets you alone with God and His creation. As you spend time with Him, you will be refreshed and renewed.

Let the Son of God stir you up.

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV)

But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Hebrews 1:6 NKJV)
-Pastor Clay Hecocks Worship Pastor Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale

Extraordinary

C. S. Lewis once said “We meet no ordinary people in our lives.”. I must admit that I had never really thought about this before but it is true. Each and every person we encounter is someone that God created, unique and beautiful in at least some way. Each one of us also has some purpose in our life, some job, if you will, in the up building of His Kingdom. But before we can find our purpose we have to submit ourselves to Jesus. Everyone we meet is some one we can be a blessing to, a light for Christ in a dark. fallen world. To believers we can be an encouragement or a helper, among many things. And to those that are lost we can be a sign post pointing toward the Door to Heaven. Or we can be in such a hurry along our way that we aren’t any thing to any one.

Which will you be today?

Trust in the Plan

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20 KJV)

Joseph endured a lot due to things that others did to him. I’m sure that while he was going through the many trials he faced he must’ve wondered why God allowed the things He did. What really strikes me is how Joseph praises God for the things he endured in Genesis 50:20; instead of lamenting, Joseph says what was done to me was done out of evil intentions but God used that for good.

I think we often wonder why the Lord allows some of the things to happen in our lives that He does. And I think it’s okay to wonder and even expected by Him that we will. What I figure most of us are less apt to do is to thank Him for those things. I know that I can’t always see or understand the “why” but I have the promise that it is ultimately for good. I also know that when I have the perspective that time allows from an event in the past to the present things are often much clearer, as was Joseph’s in the passage I mentioned.

Ultimately we have to learn to trust completely in God’s goodness and righteousness. When we don’t understand how He is working things out or along is the time that our trust and faith are both exercised and grown the most.

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Job 1:1–12

Without Job’s knowing it, a dialogue took place in the invisible world. As the Lord and Satan had their strange encounter, the subject quickly turned to this well-known earthly man. The Lord calls Satan’s attention to Job’s exemplary life, and Satan responds with a sinister sneer. “Of course, who wouldn’t serve You, the way You’ve prospered and protected him. Take away all the perks and watch what happens; the man will turn on You in a flash.” God agrees to let the Adversary unload on Job.

And so, in today’s terms, the Lord bet Satan that Job would never turn on Him. Philip Yancey refers to that agreement as the “divine wager.” Satan instigates a sudden and hostile removal of all the man’s possessions, leaving him bankrupt. Within a matter of minutes, everything he owned was gone.

This brings us to the first lesson worth remembering: we never know ahead of time the plans God has for us. Job had no prior knowledge or warning. That morning dawned like every other morning. The night had passed like any other night. There was no great angelic manifestation—not even a tap on his window or a note left on the kitchen table.

In one calamity after another, all the buildings on his land are gone, and nothing but lumber and bodies litter the landscape. It occurred so fast, Job’s mind swirled in disbelief. Everything hit broadside . . . his world instantly changed.

You and I must learn from this! We never know what a day will bring, whether good or ill. Our heavenly Father’s plan unfolds apart from our awareness. Ours is a walk of faith, not sight. Trust, not touch. Leaning long and hard, not running away. No one knows ahead of time what the Father’s plan includes. It’s best that way. It may be a treasured blessing; it could be a test that drops us to our knees. He knows ahead of time, but He is not obligated to warn us about it or to remind us it’s on the horizon. We can be certain of this: our God knows what is best.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Seamless

This evening I had the honor of speaking at one of our sister churches. It was an appointment that I’d prepared for all week, having a particular scripture in mind to preach on. However, the evening was chaotic leading up to time for church and by the time I was called my entire thought had left me. But the Lord gave me another entirely different one and I went with it. After I finished up the pastor remarked that it was like a continuation of the message he had preached that morning; several of the verses I used he had also and our thought line must have been parallel. One of the dear sisters then said “you know, I think that’s kind of how the Bible was written, too”. And I agree with her, though neither I nor the pastor would ever try to equate ourselves with the inspired writers of God’s Word.

If you read and really look at the Bible it is 66 books in one volume yet it is seamless cover to cover. The Word, though penned over some 3500 years and through around 40 human “quills” is all as if it written by one person in one session. The reason for that? Because the is only one actual Author, God Himself.

Scripture, from the first verse to that last, is all about God’s magnificent plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. It never contradicts itself and it always reaffirms the one and only Truth. The Bible: it truly is all about Jesus.

All

Describing our relationship with Christ, C. S. Lewis once said “Give me all of you!!! I donít want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I donít want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self—in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.”

Some would say that Lewis was being a bit dramatic; I’d say he was being very precise. The Word of God is clear that we are bought with a price, the very life blood of Jesus. It is no less clear that there are two ways, the way of darkness (sin) and the way of Light (righteousness through and by Christ Jesus). To simplify it further, Scripture teaches we are adopted into the family of God. And there’s only two families you can be a part of: that of God or that of satan. It’s all or nothing, no middle ground, no grey areas.

Christ gave His all for us. Shouldn’t we desire to do the same for our Savior?

God has witnessed…

By Ray Comfort of wwwlivingwaters.com

Micah 1:1-4. Notice the word “let” in v. 2. Those who allow God to speak to them will understand that He has witnessed every transgression of His Law. Those who refuse to hear will eventually find to their horror that He has witnessed every secret sin, but by then it will be too late to partake in His mercy. They will see Him when He comes in flaming fire and will drink the wine of His wrath. How we must mediate on verses that warn us of that day, when mountains will melt under Him and great valleys will split like wax before a fire, like waters pouring down a steep place. In light of these thoughts, do we plead with sinners? Are we horrified at their fate? Do our eyes run with water as we pray for them? If they don’t, it may be because we have never truly meditated on the terror they will face at the coming of Almighty God.

Micah 1:1 The word of the Lord that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. 2 Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. 3 For, behold, the Lord cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. 4 And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place.