The Carpenter's Chapel

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Jim1999, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    On Monday, December 8th, we shall commence a chapel service in this location. It will be on five days each week, Monday to Friday, and is open to all.

    The purpose of the chapel is to provide a short devotional, a sharing of my morning devotions, that we ALL may draw closer to Jesus in our journey of life. I have called it the Carpenter's Chapel to indicate that we are dealing with a Saviour so great that He took on humanity for our sake. Not only did He take on humanity, but He prolly was a carpenter early on, as opposed to a Bay Street executive.

    I invite everyone to read these devotionals and benefit each day.

    My background includes an upbringing in the Church of England, where I realized the Christ as my own personal Saviour. It was later, whilst studying architecture, I felt the call of God to ministry. At the time I was attending a Plymouth Brethren Gospel Hall and since they didn't have ministers, I went to the local Baptist Church in London and on to seminary.

    I say this to show that I do have experience in churches other than Baptist, and my intention here is not to make anyone a Baptist, but simply to lead us ALL to a deeper relationship with our Lord Jesus.

    The invitation is open and I invite you all. By the way, there is no collection...the ushers wouldn't fit in my computer.

    Cheers, and God bless,

    Jim
     
  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Monday, December 8, 2003

    Matthew 25: 14-30

    “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called
    his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five
    talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several
    ability; and straightway took his journey.”

    How many times have we listened to the golden voice of a singer and wish we had
    such a voice? Or, seen the talents of a great painter, and had musings about our
    greatness with a paint brush. The best we can do is splash paint on the walls of our
    house, and we often make a mess of that. We are far too obsessed with what we
    don’t have than concentrate on the talent the Lord has enabled us with. So it is
    here in Matthew. Our Lord is telling about the multi-talented workers and includes
    the person with but one talent. He is speaking about money, but is there really a
    difference? We ought to excel with the talent He has entrusted us with than pout in
    our own self-imposed obscurity. We isolate ourselves for no good purpose, when
    we could be busy doing that one thing for which we are able. Stewardship
    involves far more than money. It includes those littlethings that mean so much to
    others. That little smile given to a child, or someone less fortunate than ourselves.

    “Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and
    made them other five talents.” He wisely added to his capital by investment. He
    made his talents work for him. “And likewise he that had received two...........BUT
    he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.”

    What a lesson is here. We are given but little and so we do nothing. I am but one
    and shall not be missed, so I stay home from church. I am but one, so I shall not be
    missed at the party. I am but one, so they won’t miss me at work if I stay home
    with the sniffles. Without one, we cannot have two, three or even five. One is the
    most important commodity we can deal with. It calls to mind the widow’s mite,
    although she gave ALL that she had.

    All three gave account to their master on how they had managed their talents. The
    first two were commended for their choice, but the third was typical of the
    unregenerate souls on earth to-day. He thought the master was too harsh and
    would judge him harshly should he lose the one talent with which he was
    entrusted. How many to-day see God as such a harsh judge that they will risk
    everything by hiding what they do have in earthly vessels? The severity of God’s
    judgment will be known after death, but now the rain falls equally on the just and
    the unjust. God was an equal opportunity Boss long before the world even
    imagined it. We have equal opportunity in this earthly kingdom. “Come unto Me
    all ye that labour and I will give you rest.” “If any man lack, let him ask...........and
    it shall be done unto him...” Throughout scripture we have the hand of God
    reaching out to humankind. This is the picture of a benevolent God and not a harsh
    master. We cannot afford to wait for the day of reckoning. We must respond to His
    invitation whilst it is still to-day. They say that tomorrow never comes, but it will
    come in God’s time, and then He shall reign with a rod of iron.

    Verse 29 gives us the warning: “For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he
    shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that
    which he hath. Mr. Spurgeon says of this passage: “He was not rebellious, but only
    unprofitable, and that condemned him.” C.H. Spurgeon.

    Lord, help us each one to use what we have to the full and not lament what we
    don’t have. Help us in our poverty to realize the richness of Your grace. This we
    ask in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. AMen

    Cheers,

    Jim

    These chapel messages are not sermons and open to debate. They are the
    outflowing of my own personal devotions each morning, and I entrust them to the
    Lord, and intended for your spiritual benefit as they also benefit me.
     
  3. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    Thanks Jim!
     
  4. blackbird

    blackbird
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    I appreciate your knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, Brother Jim!! Thanks!
     
  5. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Tuesday, Dec 9, 2003

    Mathew 26: 1-5

    “When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know
    that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to
    be crucified.”

    We know the betrayal that Jesus is talking about. It is hard for us to even imagine
    someone who walked with Jesus, witnessed great miracles and good works over
    the course of three years could even think about betrayal. How often is it that those
    who claim to be our best friends turn out to be our worst enemies? We read about
    those who bite from the back. We see it in daily life. We see it at the office or shop
    where we work. Someone wants to get ahead and you become the footstool to that
    advancement.

    This is different. Judas is seeking favour with a wicked lot. He is casting aside all
    the signs and wonders done by our Lord Jesus, and yet he has the audacity to carry
    out this wicked deed.

    “Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the
    people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, And consulted
    that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.”

    It would be easy here to find fault with these rascals. The thought that comes to
    my mind, however, is with the followers; the Christians of to-day. If only we had
    as much zeal in bringing glory to our Lord as they had to kill him. Where is our
    burning desire? They schemed and cajoled to fulfil an evil deed. We barely warm a
    pew and believe we have done our duty. Oh that we would find that flame that
    ought to burn in our hearts for this Lord who went the distance in our behalf. The
    free gift of salvation which cost a life. I remember reading about a young Chinese
    woman, during the Boxer Rebellion, saying, at her execution: “I am dying for a
    great cause. What are you living for?” The question begs repeating...Just what are
    we living for?

    The enemies of Christ have never ceased to use all manner of treachery to bring
    down the gospel of Christ. They are underhanded and plotting daily. Let us take
    the message we know to be truth, and live it before these men, that they too may
    see the light of the world, Jesus.

    We then read the price of a life, Jesus’ life. It is 30 pieces of silver; the price of a
    slave. This is the total worth that Judas puts on the Lord’s head. I fear that many
    to-day are selling Jesus for a much lower fee. We compromise the principles of the
    Word, and we are in essence selling the Lord for tuppence.

    Let us resolve not to sell our Lord one more time, but to totally dedicate our lives
    to lifting the Saviour high and walking in paths of righteousness. When we travel,
    we are not ashamed to wear a badge showing our country. We identify with where
    we come from. Let us not be afraid to wear the badge of Christ wherever we
    travel.

    Lord, lead us unto Calvary once more that we may realize how much we owe. A
    debt we can never pay, but a life we can always give. In Jesus’ name.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  6. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    Amen!

    We owe a debt that we cannot pay.
    He paid a debt that He did not owe!

    Dan
     
  7. Jim1999

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    Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003

    Luke 22: 14-18

    "And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the 12 apostles with him." I don't think the truth of what Jesus had been telling the disciples was sinking in. They didn't seem to understand what Jesus was saying. Sit down here lads. There is something heavy on my heart and I want you to know it.

    Jesus wants to have fellowship with his beloved. He wants to eat the passover with his friends, and he wants to complete his mission (the cross). Opportunities have been limited. The passover is now finished. It is not to be observed again this side of heaven (verse 16). Jesus refuses to partake of the cup, but does enjoy the fellowship of the brethren.

    Whilst Jesus is attempting to establish a link between himself and the disciples they are busy debating among themselves about who will be the greatest. The Lord is telling them that He will die; He will be crucified, and they are taken up with themselves. How human is that? It leads me to wonder just how much the disciples actually understood about Jesus and His teachings. Sometimes I wonder how much we understand about Jesus.

    In brief, we are getting three things from this passage, and if we learn them well, we will have done a great thing.
    1. Christ longs to have fellowship with us.
    2. Christ wants to communicate with us.
    and
    3. Christ wanted to finish His appointed mission, to die for the sins of the world.

    Let us emulate our Lord and long for fellowship with the brethren; listen to God and to our mates; and let us be prepared to sacrifice for the sake of the gospel of Christ.

    Lord, help me to give my all to you in my daily walk, In Jesus' name.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    It is so like the human to argue over unimportant things - and to leave the weightier matters unattended.

    Dan
     
  9. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Thursday, Dec 11, 2003

    John 13: 21

    "When Jesus has thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you will betray me."

    It was not long before that Jesus said of his disciples, "Ye are my friends." No greater compliment can be given a person than to be called a friend. A friend stands by the other no matter what may happen. The friend is there to console, to elate, to support, to just be there.

    Yet one among this lot is to betray the Lord even unto death. So easily it is for one to slip in unawares. The state of Judas was so guarded that not one of the disciples knew who it was. They had to ask.

    The Lord says how he will identify this one, but not a harsh word is passed on to Judas. Neither by Jesus nor by the disciples. In fact, the disciples thought Jesus was instructing Judas to purchase supplies...Vs 29. "buy those things..." Take care of the material things so we have no debt left behind.

    What we learn from this passage is that the disciples did not understand that Jesus was going to die for the sins of the whole world. Perhaps they are still thinking that Jesus will become the great leader of Israel, the Messiah, and he will save Israel. They are still thinking about temporal things.

    I can only image the numbness that would be felt later on when Jesus is taken captive, tried and sentenced to be crucified between common criminals. Surely they would be upset that the kingdom of which Jesus spoke was collapsing before their very eyes.

    I try to think how I would behave given the same circumstances. In very weak moments, I have screamed at God. I have been showered with doubts. I have turned inwardly and become a mere shell of my best moments of faith. Yes, I venture to say we have all experienced such moments. Those who are on the front lines have all faced the guns, the bombs, the disasters. In the end, we fall on our knees and beg forgiveness of God for such weakness, and we remember that Jesus deemed us to be His friends. How would a friend behave? Without doubt he would remember that God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He has promised to lead us through the valley of despair, and He has promised us a foothold in the land of honey.

    There is great comfort in knowing that our Sovereign is unbeatable, and even in death He lives. The Lord has not a harsh word, just a gentle and calming touch, and we are healed by His stripes. This is not a physical healing, as some may interpret, but a spiritual healing that will not go away. We can stand strong and mighty wrapped in the arms of God, and so we should.

    Lord, help me always to look into Your face, and humbly give thanks for your enduring love and blessing.
    Amen

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. Jim1999

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    Friday, December 12, 2003

    John 13: 31f

    "Therefore, when Judas was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him."

    In this passage we find the Lord speaking of a yet future event as an immediate victory. The betrayal has already begun and Jesus claims victory; the victory of the cross. His obedience to the will of the Father is glory to both Jesus and the Father. The Antichrist is defeated at this point, and Jesus is the victor.

    Too often we fail to claim the victory in our lives when, in fact, Jesus has claimed the victory for us. We walk as defeated soldiers. Jesus is facing the cross and death, yet He sees this as already completed, and He sees beyond the cross and His presence in glory. He sees the resurrection and beyond that.

    Jesus goes on to address the remaining 11 disciples. "Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go ye cannot come; So now I say to you." Jesus employs that tender language, "little children." This is not to say the disciples are immature in stature, but in understanding. They cannot comprehend what Jesus has been telling them about his crucifixion, death and eventual resurrection. They are still in the mindset that Jesus would be the military ruler who leads them to total victory. The total victory is true, but not in a military sense. It is the spiritual victory that will pass all time. The disciples do not understand this. Many times we, who have a somewhat complete knowledge of events, express the same doubts in our spiritual walk. We know that the victory of the cross and of death and of life itself is a done deal. Knowing this needs to reach a foot lower to the seat of understanding; the heart. If we truly believed these things we would not be the defeatists we tend to be. I was reading about a person who had a biopsy and it turned out to be negative. The immediate reponse I heard was, "Isn't God good!" Well, is that saying that God would not have been "so good" if the biopsy had determined that cancer existed? God is not good because we get the results we want. God is good because that is an attribute of God. It is essential to His nature. This is part of that immaturity that Jesus was applying to the disciples. "Little children". There is another attribute to little children and that is trusting. In their innocence, they tend to trust adults. They don't always like what those adults are demanding of them, but they do trust them. Jesus expects this of us. The child-like innocence of trusting regardless.

    "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."

    What an important commandment we have here. How often do we see just the opposite? Christians fighting among Christians. The explicit command,,,,not just an ideal....is to love one another. Why are we to do this? "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have loved one another."

    We ask people if they have been born again, when in fact there should be no question to ask. The evidence should be visible before the question is asked. How much are we working on this attribute? How true does our testimony ring?

    Knowing that the victory is in Jesus and He promised us the victory in His name, we ought to demonstrate that victory in our lives. Let us love one another.

    Lord, help me, day by day, to be a true witness to Your love and outstretched hands. May we be the magnets in your hands to draw all men unto Yourself. Amen

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    Jim, your devotional reminded me of something I had read online regarding the late James Montgomery Boice.

    6-23-00 - National Review Online - Ben Domenech:

    "In Philadelphia today, the friends, family, and followers of Dr. James Montgomery Boice are gathering in the Tenth Presbyterian church for his funeral service. It was on Good Friday, two hours before he climbed to the pulpit to give a sermon on Christ's crucifixion, that Boice received his physician's diagnosis. The results were numbingly bad — he had contracted a fatal form of liver cancer — but as Boice told the news to his congregation, he paused to ask a question: 'If God does something in your life, would you change it? If you'd change it, you'd make it worse. It wouldn't be as good.'"

    Dan
     
  12. Jim1999

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    Monday, December 15, 2003

    This morning's devotion is taken completely from C.H. Spurgeon.

    The same night in which he was betrayed our divine Lord instituted the sacred Supper, which is to his people the perpetual memorial of his death, and is to be celebrated till he shall come again.

    Matthew 26: 26-30

    26 And as they were eating (that is to say, while yet the Paschal feast was proceeding; so that the one feast might melt into the other), Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. (He could not have meant that the bread was actually his body, for in his body he was sitting at the table, and he could not have two bodies. Nobody could misunderstand these words of Jesus unless they wished to do so, or were too devoid of reason to comprehend anything. Jesus meant evidently the bread represented his body, and should be to them in future the sign that he was really incarnate.)

    27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; (As if he foresaw that the Papists would take away the cup from the people, he expressly bade them all drink of it. The plainest language of command is no bond to those who are given over to the delusions of Rome.)

    28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (The cup was the instructive token of his blood, for it was filled with the blood of the grape. Jesus is meat and drink to his people; their necessary food, their dainty luxury; their staff of life, their exhilaration and joy. How sweet to reflect that the memorial of our dying Lord is not a funeral wailing, but a festival of rest; not a superstituous rite, but a simple, joyful commemoration. It is a pity that by kneeling some of our brethren have missed the instruction which an easy reclining or sitting posture would have given them,-in Jesus, believers have entered into rest.)

    29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henseforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. (Symbols were not for him, though useful to us: We shall ere long with him enjoy the reality which the emblem could but feebly typify.)

    30 And when they had sung a hymn they went out into the mount of Olives.

    (Brave was the heart which could sing with death before him: surely that hymn was a battle psalm defying death and hell. In like manner let us sing at all times of trial and temptation, and so glorify our God.

    Cheers, and God bless,

    Jim
     
  13. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    Spurgeon had a way with words.

    Thanks Jim!!
     
  14. Jim1999

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    Tuesday, December 16, 2003

    John 14 1-14

    "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."

    After the Supper, our Lord turns to the disciples and offers words of comfort. He gives a glimpse of things to come; a heavenly comfort, a place of future abode in the presence of the Father. This passage has been very comforting to so many believers down through the ages. We ought not to dwell on the crucifixion, but in the purpose Jesus has in mind for us. Though paupers on earth, we inherit royalty in Jesus Christ. Our mansion in glory is already prepared. We only have to move in, and God will transport us there.

    Just like so many to-day, there are doubters or those who misunderstand what is being said. Thomas and Philip are wondering about where Jesus will go. Is it Nazareth or Galiliee, or some other capitol where Jesus will set up his kingdom and rule the nations? They have not fully realized that Jesus will die and be entombed. They cannot comprehend that Jesus will suffer these things. Jesus realizes they don't understand, and he offers these words of comfort. He is in essence saying, there will be a resurrection and I will reign in a kingdom, a heavenly kingdom. I will reign in the hearts and lives of believers.

    The gentle way our Lord deals with the disciples is comforting in itself. They travelled with Jesus and witnessed all the things he had done, yet they had their eyes set on temporal things. Again, so true of many of us. We are set on earth and we see earthly goals. Everything we do has earthly returns and we forget that this world is not our home, we are just passing through. Our reward is in his presence in heaven. We will suffer on earth and some will die in action, but our reward is not far behind as we gain his presence.

    Jesus goes on to relate two things: We will have power in ministry. "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also..." Vse 12. We are given a special power to act in Christ's name, and we are given this guarantee that we will know power.

    We are then told to "ask anything in my name, I will do it." Vse 14. This is not all inclusive. We cannot ask for silly things. "Whatesoever ye ask IN MY NAME. The asking is in the realm of his will and not in the realm of our wants. Our minds must be in union with the will of the Father. There is to be a consuming passion to be one with God. It was Bishop Hall who wrote: "Good prayers never come weeping home. I am sure that I shall receive either what I ask, or what I should ask."

    And we have not because we ask not.

    Lord, teach us to pray as we ought, seeking your face in all things, and thy will be done.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    Thanks Jim!
     
  16. Jim1999

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    Wednesday, December 17, 2003

    John 14:27

    "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

    Jesus was facing imminent death and suffering, yet he turns his thoughts toward his disciples. Not a selfish thought in him. They failed to grasp what He was saying about His death. Yet, here is the promise of another mystery. Jesus promised another Comforter; the Holy Spirit. The world cannot understand the gift of the Spirit. The world can only pat one on the back, shake hands, and say that everything will be alright. Jesus knows what will happen to us, and He cares. "Let not your heart be troubled..."

    If we go to the cross and lay our burdens there, and we come away still fretting about our estate, then we have left still carrying our burdens. Jesus tells us to "Let not our hearts be troubled." We are to leave our burdens at the cross, and walk away with absolute freedom from the chains that bind us. He has made us free, and to assure us of this He gave us the Holy Spirit to minister to us. All other religions leave a false hope and emptiness.

    In verse 19 He tells us, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also." Our hope is not in His death, but in His resurrection. This is our sure hope. Jesus was not defeated by death, but triumphed over death, and His promise to us is that we shall also conquer over death.

    Do not cling to the cross, but to the stone rolled away from His tomb. The sure sign of victory. He is not here; he is risen. Our sovereign Lord sits at the Father's right hand and rules. We ought not to walk about as a defeated army in glom and doom, but victorious in our celebrations in Him.

    Lord, help us to always see You as the Victor, and lay hold on the gift of the Holy Spirit to comfort us in trying times.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  17. Jim1999

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    Thursday, December 18, 2003

    John 16:1

    “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.” I was a
    little confused at the King James rendition of this verse and the word offended.
    We think of offended as being slighted. We are ignored. Having a knowledge of
    the life of Christ, we know this not to be the case. A better wording is found in the
    ASV, “Thes things gave I spoken unto you, that ye should not be caused to
    stumble.” And the NIV, “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.”
    The word “offense” has different meanings. It is an illegal act or transgression. Or,
    it is a wounding of one’s feelings, and, it is the act of attacking.

    Jesus is speaking to the disciples so that they will not fail in their mission once the
    Lord Jesus is taken from their physical presence. Jesus warns the disciples that
    things will happen against them because they dared to follow the teachings of the
    Christ. Here Jesus assures them, and us, that his physical presence is in one space,
    and not everywhere, whilst on earth. When He goes, He will send the Comforter,
    the Holy Spirit to be with them everywhere and at all times. They were not to be
    left defenceless, and neither are we. This is not a sheild against human vengeance
    and harm, but spiritual comfort knowing that we are always in the hand of God.
    They may take our lives and do bodily harm, but they cannot harm the soul, nor
    rob us of spiritual benefit.

    The blood of saints, down through the ages, has run freely, but the true church
    goes on to the glroy of God. A nation may bring down an iron curtain, or build a
    wall, erect intellectual barriers, but it cannot touch the church of Christ. When
    godless communism was at its height in power, the church of Christ continued
    strongly in pockets all over the communist world. They could not take the faith of
    the people. So, Jesus is saying to us in John 16:1 “These things have I spoken unto
    you, that ye should not be caused to stumble.” Our feet are solid on the rock of
    Christ, and the very gates of hell shall not prevail against her.

    In this passage, Christ is telling the disciples that, in His absence, they will need
    added diligence, and to aid in this alertness, He has given the Holy Spirit. We need
    to claim this power on a daily basis. If a brother or sister is weak, we need to
    strengthen them and lift them up, and remind them of the Spirit’s presence in their
    lives, that “they not be offended.....that they not stumble.”

    Lord, help us to be ever aware of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we seek to live in
    your name.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. Jim1999

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    Friday, December 19, 2003

    John 16: 16-33

    “A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see
    me, because I go to the Father.” In verse 17 we see the cnfusion on the part of the
    disciples. “Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is that he
    saith unto us?”

    Their mindset has not changed with all the teaching the Lord has given over the
    past few hours. These men were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah of God, but
    they failed to grasp the full meaning of what Jesus was saying. We cannot fault
    them. We have the whole Bible before us and we are often confused. These were
    called out fishermen, shepherds and other common folks. Prolly not much
    education, as we know it. I wonder sometimes how many could actually read the
    scriptures before they met Jesus. Then, at what point were these men “saved”?
    Would this act wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? They had a head
    knowledge of Jesus and the basic fundamentals of Judaism, but did they
    experience the new birth as we know it? In their simple faith they did several
    things: (1) They believed Jesus; (2) They followed Him; (3) They were prepared to
    be taught about God; (4) and, they were prepared to lay down their lives for the
    cause. What attracted these men to faith in Jesus Christ? It was a common bond of
    simple faith; they believed.

    We tend to add all kinds of conditions to the act of salvation, when simple belief
    embedded in their inner soul, was enough in Jesus’ day. This is the perfect picture
    of us being saved, our being saved and our ultimately being saved. Our
    redemption is secured in glory by Christ Jesus. We are saved the moment we first
    believe, and yet we are being saved as we journey along, and in heaven, our
    redemption is completed in the Saviour. In the interim, we are to grow in grace
    and knowledge and in our personal commitment to God. What a marvellous
    journey it is, and what a marvellous Saviour is ours.

    “Truly, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice:
    and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned to joy.” Vse 20 Now
    think about the events leading up to and following the death of Jesus. The
    disciples were grieved beyond measure. They assembled as a group in deep
    mourning. Doubts entered their minds. Their joy came with the resurrection. Jesus
    is alive, We see Him again. It was at this point they realized the kingdom was not
    of this world, but an heavenly kingdom. Christ is King over all. So they went from
    sorrow to joy as Jesus had taught. We too go from sorrow to joy when we give
    over our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. Our lives become topsy-turvy just before
    we become Christians, and when we realize Jesus, our whole lives are changed
    and we become a new creation in the Lord. We were blind, and then we can see.
    The Lord illustrates the message with a woman giving birth. She suffers great pain
    before and up to delivery, and then the pain becomes history as the joy of new life
    is presented.

    In verses 26, 27 we learn a new thing. Prior to the ascension, the disciples
    enquired of Jesus for everything. After the ascension, they had direct access to ask
    the Father of anything their hearts desired. What a wonderful truth. Through Jesus,
    we have direct access to the Father. A whole new relationship in their lives. It is a
    whole new relationship in our lives. We can talk with the Father anytime and
    anywhere, and we have the assurance from Jesus that the Father will hear us. We
    are never again to be left alone.

    I like the way this passage closes: “These things have I spoken unto you, that in
    me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good
    cheer; I have overcome the world” We are victors even before the battle begins.

    Lord, help us to realize day by day that we may claim the victory in our lives.
    There is no place for complacency, if we believe in You.


    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    Thank you Jim.
     
  20. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    For anyone interested in getting into daily devotionals, this is a sample of Scripture Union's Daily Bread.

    Bible in a year: Ezekiel 38,39; 2 Peter 3

    Prepare: Try to remember the visit of a VIP (royalty, sports-person, pop star, fashion model) to your area. Recall how big an event it was, with streets closed, crowds gathering, PA systems blaring and a whole train of people clearing the road for them. One day Jesus is coming in glory. When He does, He will make that event look like a sideshow.

    Reading: 1 Thes 5: 1-11

    Explore: No one wants to miss a big event. Perhaps that's what prompted the question, "When is Jesus coming?" which Paul seems to be answering in verse 1. The answer, he says, is not advance knowledge of the timetable, but living prepared all the time. He uses two pictures, a thief breaking in at night and the onset of labour pains (vs 2,3). Chew on these pictures for a moment: What do they suggest to you about Christ's return? To me, the both hint at unexpectedness - with labour pains also being unstoppable! Jesus, says Paul, will come when folk feel secure and comfortable (v3).

    Paul draws an obvious conclusion from this, helped by another two pictures - drunkenness and sleep (vs 6-8). Both of these suggest loss of control, unawareness of what is happening and blindness to danger.

    Respond: Jesus IS coming. That's the New Testament's unanimous teaching. Jesus might come at any time. Jesus could come before you read the final portion of this letter. If he did, would you be ready? What would you need to do so that if he came he found you awake and sober?

    Cheers, and God bless,

    Jim
     

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