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YOU HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME … John 15:16

John 15:16

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

This verse, especially the first part of it, is often quoted in support of God’s Decree of Election proper, while the context  is of being chosen disciples (v 8), appointed Apostles, preachers of the Gospel (v 27).

This work is God’s free gift to them out of undeserved grace and favour; to live out and preach the Gospel.
The main thrust of the verse and indeed most the chapter, is that they “go and bring forth fruit and that their fruit should remain” this is what they have been chosen to and appointed to bring forth.

They should earnestly engage in the work God has given them, they must labour and toil to make Christ known and bring forth fruit that will remain. What fruit ? Fruit in their own lives as they abide in the vine, then the fruit of the Gospel, lives transformed by the message that is preached. Hearts of stone changed to hearts of flesh having the love of God shed abroad in their hearts.

Another fruit of the Gospel is obedience to the Lord’s commands specifically in this context it is to love one another as He has loved us (v 12 & 17). The quality of that love is to be the same as His love for us. The example is this  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (v 13) and you are my friends if you do what I command you (v 14) Christ’s life, that He laid down, is the supreme example of this love.

Now there are three immediate applications for this love,

firstly love among those who preach the Gospel, sometimes not evident today,

secondly love to those who respond to and believe the Gospel, a love for the brethren.

Lastly love to all whom the Gospel is preached, in reality love for mankind, even those who are naturally hard to love. Are we bringing forth this fruit ?

Now we must remember that although they are appointed to bring forth fruit that remains, it is not in their power to produce fruit in their own lives or to produce fruit for the Gospel or fruit in the lives of men or women.

They must abide in the vine, they must be diligent, faithful labourers, working together with God, waiting and expecting God the Father to give the increase and the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in their lives and in the lives of men and women. This is why the last clause is included  “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Producing fruit of the Gospel in themselves and in the lives of men or women is impossible for them or us; But the Lord graciously adds the promise to ask of Him and He will give it them and indeed us.

So they must be diligent in asking God, but be careful why and how they do it,  “you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:2-3)

How many disciples today and preachers of the Gospel  seem to want the fruit of the Spirit in their lives to boost their own standing and egos. ?

How many long for much increase for the Gospel so that they may “Profit” out of  and “Lord” it over what is God’s heritage ?

How many are there who humbly long for fruit in their own lives, fruit from Gospel proclamation, and fruit in the lives of believers ? how many are there who plead with God constantly for this ? and with no other motive than the Glory of God.

© Jeff Maxwell March 16th 2016

Lord continue to work in me and bring forth fruit to thy Glory. Amen.

A WELCOME DEAFNESS AND BLINDNESS

A WELCOME DEAFNESS AND BLINDNESS

Neither give place to the devil. Eph. 4:27

As Christians it is possible to give place to the devil. It is possible to be overcome for  a season, to give way to the old man instead of putting on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Pride goes before a fall, so let him that thinks he stands take heed in case he falls, for it is possible to be tossed to and fro, and carried away with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

Even more so, when the devil turns his immediate attention to us, to undermine us and attempt to bring us down, all be it, by the permission of God and with the limitations of the Father.

We are in a spiritual warfare and while we often fight against the flesh and members of our own household, we also wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
 

You need a deafness in your life, let your ears be deaf to the devil, do not give any opportunity, occasion, scope, or room for the devil, do not yield to him, resist him with everything within you, resist unto the shedding of your blood. 

Be willing to give your very life not to be overcome by the devil, do not to listen to him, do not heed his suggestions, do not give in to his influences, do not let the devil get a foothold in your mind or heart, let not Satan take possession of your mind or move your heart to disobey.

 You need a blindness in your life, a blindness to all that the devil would set before your eyes, and he will try to use this means to overcome you, stimulating  the lust of the eyes, the inordinate desires for what you see,  greed for the material things, the love of money,  the desire to have power, influence, to be well thought of and popular in the wrong circles.

All these things and more will he set before your physical eyes and ears, the eyes of your understanding, and the deep desires of your heart, be blind to them, set your affections on things above, desire spiritual things, desire spiritual growth, desire the fruit of Spirit above all other things.

The devil can be very subtle, he tries to appear as an angel light, to deceive and to destroy. He tries every means, fair and foul. He uses our nearest and dearest, he delights in lies, he is the father of lies, he uses half truths, misrepresentations, insinuations, and all deviousness.

He will exploit all weakness in character, in thought processes, in understanding, in affections, any weakness he can find. He uses a full frontal attack and he comes in an indirect way, by a circuitous route to achieve his abominable purposes and undermine our faith.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed, to be aware makes it possible to be prepared.

We should be both forearmed and prepared;  not letting Satan get an advantage over us, we should not be ignorant of his devices.

To be conscious of the sins that so easily overcome us, helps us to be able stand against the wiles of the devil and to be able stand in the evil day. To be aware of the sins of youth, the  sins of the middle years, and the sins of old age make it possible for us to be prepared and armed for the battle.

Think not that the battle is ever ended or won, we face our foe till the end of our days, but with the knowledge, that to each one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ and  strength sufficient for each day.

Bear in mind that although the devil is powerful he is a defeated foe, defeated by Christ on the Cross of Calvary and in Christ we shall be victorious, we shall overcome if we faint not, those that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

So be not ignorant of his devices, know the wiles of the devil, be ready, be prepared, put on the whole armour of God for your protection, so that in the evil day, you may stand your ground, and having faced all, remain standing.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth around your waist, wearing the breastplate of righteousness, with your feet prepared with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  Taking also the shield of faith to extinguish all the devil’s  flaming arrows; with the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Praying always in the Spirit  with every kind of prayer and supplication and be alert praying for all the Lord’s people with perseverance for  the spiritual warfare that we are ALL called to who love the Lord and who are the children of God.

Is there a welcome Deafness and Blindness,         yes there is.  

Be deaf and blind to the devil and all his lies, neither give place to the devil. Eph 4:27

© Jeff Maxwell 2015

A DEVOTIONAL MEDITATION ON PSALM 130

A devotional meditation on Psalm 130

1 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.

2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

The Psalmist firstly indicates that he is in the depths. Many believe and accept that the Psalmist here is none other than David; others say we can not be certain. I am content to call him “The Psalmist” in this meditation, without prejudice to either argument.

“out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord” .

He is aware that he is in deep trouble, either by outward circumstances, heart felt emotions, or inward spiritual condition. The text does not confirm which, but the whole context clearly shows that a consciousness of sin is evident. He readily admits his trouble, he does not hide it. This trouble weighs heavily on his mind, takes him to the depths, keeps him awake at night, but does not bring him to despair…   for he

“cried unto the Lord”   

The Psalmist  is earnestly pleading with the Lord to help him, for there is no depths we can sink into, except into hell, from which, we cannot call upon the Lord. He cries from deep within, from the certainty of his need, with a lively expectation, as we shall see further on.

“O Lord” 

Refers the One and Only God, the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of all. This is the God who is revealed as to His Eternal Power and Godhead  by Creation, so that we are without excuse; but is progressively revealed as to His Nature, Attributes, and His Fullness in the Bible, the Word of God.

“Lord hear my voice”

“Lord”  here and in verse 6 is “Adonai” while in 1, 5, and 7 it is “Jehovah” and in verse 3 it is “Jah” the shortened form of Jehovah.

This plea is not, that the Lord will hear him, for the Lord hears all and misses nothing. The desire here is, that the Lord will hear his voice with grace and favour, in mercy and loving kindness. That the Lord will come to his aid and relieve his troubles, lifting him out of the depths.

“let  thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications”

He wants the Lord’s ears to be attentive, that is alert, attuned, and focussed on his voice. Now here is a wonder; that anyone could expect that Lord God, in all His Omnipotence, would, as it were, bow, stoop down and listen to one in the deepest depths, who had no seeming claim upon his attention. Why does the Psalmist expect this? It is because he has had dealings with God before and believes His Word, which over and over again, promises that God will listen to and answer the lowly and humble of heart.  Just a side note: The Psalmist does not believe the Lord has “ears” this is anthropomorphic, speaking of God in human terms to aid our understanding. God is Spirit and is cognisant of all things.

“the voice of my supplications”

His “supplications”  demonstrates his earnestness. It is stronger  than the “cry” of verse one. He wants the Lord to hear his prayers and pleas concerning himself, and perhaps for others, if his troubles stem from a consideration of others, as might be indicated by the last two verses.

The Psalmist is in trouble and wants help, whether this help concerns his “sins” is not confirmed but clearly the Psalmist is aware that Sin separates from God and that in the matter of prayer, sin is a great hindrance.

“if  thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities,”

“If” – There is no question… God does notice, take account, and call to account, all sins and iniquities. The “if” here really denotes a certainty as shown by many other scripture texts.

“O Lord” – refers the One and Only God, the Creator, Sustainer and Judge of all. See above.

“shouldest mark iniquities” – means to note and take account of them. Many, men and women, boys and girls, think that they can sin and break God’s rules without any redress by God at all. But God, as this Psalmist knows and feels keenly, keeps an accurate account, so that the Psalmist is aware that his personal sin, and from verse 8, Israel, the National sins, are a real problem when approaching the Lord God.

“who shall stand” – is to show that none could be in the presence of Almighty God and have any acceptance with God in their own pretended righteousness. We have all sinned and come short of God’s requirements, so that in our own strength we cannot ever stand in God’s presence and expect to gain any favour.

“but  there is forgiveness with Thee” – God alone can forgive sin, but because of His Holiness and Justice, He can forgive only on the basis of the finished substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. What does this mean? It means that Jesus Christ, God’s own son, who was sinless and undefiled,  took upon Himself Sin, and suffered and died on the cross at Calvary, for God’s own chosen people, who God gave to His Son. Death was not the end, for on the third day, Jesus arose victorious over sin and death, ascending unto His Father, entering in with His own precious blood to make satisfaction for the sins of His people.

“that he may be feared” – not a servile, quaking, demeaning fear, but to behold God with awesome reverential fear, that causes us to cling to him as a loving, forgiving, merciful Father. Many do not like to think of a God who should be feared, they prefer a God of their own making that is ALL Love, but that is not the God of the Bible, He is to be obeyed, respected, and to held in reverential fear. We should be afraid to sin against Him, afraid to disobey Him, but it is the kind of fear that should be out of love towards Him, for what He is and does. It should grieve us deeply to resist His Will for us and to fall short of His Purposes for us.

“I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait,”

The Psalmist waits patiently. His is a humble, submissive attitude, not a demanding insistent one, expecting God to act immediately. Waiting and hoping are closely linked together, as he waits, he lives in hope, expectant of the Lord’s goodness. His soul waits, there is no turmoil within, no restlessness of mind and heart, the trial of the depths, do not defeat him, it drives him to patience, faith, and hope. The Psalmist’s waiting and hoping is spoken of in a tense that shows that it is his normal habit, he habitually waits and hopes, it is his normal demeanour.

“and in his word do I hope.”

The Psalmist here declares that he hopes in God’s Word. He is confident that God is merciful and forgiving, that he will find grace in God’s eyes. Why ? It is a matter of faith, he trusts God. As “waiting” and “hoping” are inseparably linked so is “faith” and “hope”, we believe God and therefore our hope make us not ashamed, it gives us that inner confidence to wait patiently and trust God to deliver us from the deepest depths. God has spoken that is all I require.

“My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning”.

This verse shows that he waits eagerly and expectantly “More than they that watch for the morning.” The night can be long, and the wait tedious, especially for those in trouble, but the Psalmist is not waiting for the morning, he is waiting for the Lord. He has a real longing for the Lord to be attentive, to answer his distress and supplication. This is no half hearted desire, that is soon diminished or a weak cry, that is soon stifled by his own self pity. The repetition is for emphasis “More than they which watch for the morning” Here is real longing, an earnest desire, a lively expectation, a patient hope, a fervent faith, waking, watching, waiting, for the appearance of his Lord.

“Let Israel hope in the LORD”

Here is a change, the Psalmist previously seems to have been talking personally, perhaps now he has been graciously answered by the Lord and obtained his supplications. He turns to exhortation, he cannot keep his blessing to himself, he would share it with all Israel. The Psalmist’s faith and hope is centred, fixed, and anchored on the Lord, no other is worthy, suitable, or able: so his exhortation is that Israel should hope and trust in the Lord.

” for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.”

The Psalmist gives two reasons why Israel should hope in the Lord. He affirms firstly that “there is mercy with the Lord”,  that is his firm belief and the basis of all his cries and supplications. Secondly  “with Him is plenteous redemption” . The Lord is able to show mercy, loving kindness and to redeem out of all situations, the idea is that the Lord is able to multiply both mercy and redemption. There are no depths that the Lord is not able to lift the believer out of, if we wait, pray, and hope in the Lord. Is there not much encouragement here?

“And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities”

The Psalmist adds an additional encouraging thought “And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities” the phrase, being singular, shows that the Psalmist has the Nation in mind, but the import is that God is able to forgive sins and he is the one that they should look to. What an encouragement to us, that all Spiritual Israel will be redeemed and forgiven, of all that God has given to Christ he shall lose nothing.

Permit me another aside, what if the Psalmist’s trouble stems from his awareness of Israel’s spiritual condition and iniquities? That his view of these brought him to the depths and drove him to both to wait on and make supplications to the Lord. Many Pastors are brought low by the condition of the Church and are driven to earnest prayer. How does your Church’s sins and your nation’s sin move you? Do they move you at all? I could guess  there is a relationship, a correlation, as to how your own sins affect you e.g. to what extent they drive you to wait on the Lord,   …..   and your attitude to the Church’s and National sins !

Hallelujah, for the Lord our God the Omnipotent Reigns and is able to deliver from the deepest, darkest place either in outward circumstances, heart felt emotions, or an inward spiritual condition. Praise His Blessed and Holy Name.

© Jeff Maxwell 03/03/2014

CHRISTIAN CHARACTER AND WITNESS

Christian Character and Witness

If you don’t speak for Christ at all

your life should be lived,

so it speaks so loud,

that all may SEE you are a Christian.

 

  A life of  J  oy

  Even amidst  bad times

  A life of  E  ndurance

  Even amidst   hardships

  A life of   atisfaction

  Even amidst  want.

  A life of   sefulness

  Even amidst  busyness

  A life of   elflessness

  Even amidst  need

 

  A life of   Faithfulness

  Even amidst  apostasy

  A life of  Peace

  Even amidst  strife.

  A life of  Hope

  Even amidst  chaos.

  A life of  Love

  Even amidst  tragedy.

  A life of  Self-control

  Even amidst  provocation

  A life of  Obedience

  Even amidst  trials

  A life of  Patience

  Even amidst  difficulties

  A life of  Kindness

  Even amidst  hatefulness

  A life of  Goodness

  Even amidst  spitefulness

  A life of  Forgiveness

  Even amidst  retribution

  A life of  Gentleness

  Even amidst  conflict

  A life of  Integrity

  Even amidst  corruption

  A life of  Meekness

  Even amidst  egotism

  A life of  Purity

  Even amidst  immodesty

  A life of  Gratitude

  Even amidst  greediness

  A life of  Contentment

  Even amidst  restlessness

  A life of  Perseverance

  Even amidst  fickleness

  A life of  Submission

  Even amidst  unruliness

  A life of  Compassion

  Even amidst  indifference

  A life of  Friendship

  Even amidst  hostility

  A life of  Zeal

  Even amidst  lukewarmness

But you should have

courage enough

to speak for Christ

who saved you.

© Jeff Maxwell 2013

x

THE GOODNESS OF GOD

THE GOODNESS OF GOD

The Lord LOVES His Children with an everlasting LOVE.

He constantly draws us to HIMSELF.

We are kept by the Power of God.

We are safe and hidden in the hollow of His Hands.

Underneath is the Everlasting Arms.

He keeps us as the apple of His eye.

He hides us under the shadow of His wings.

He represents us at the Throne of Grace.

He cares for His lost sheep.

He leads us to the ROCK that is higher than I.

He is our Fortress and strong High Tower.

He gives his beloved sleep.

His Peace He gives unto us.

The Comforter He sends unto us.

He speaks to us through His Son.

He raises us up.

He gives us strength for the day.

He gives us beauty for ashes.

He takes away our filthy rags.

He gives us garments of righteousness.

He sets us free.

He shows us His mercy.

He forgives our sins.

He corrects us as a Loving Father.

He gives us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

He gives us the oil of joy for mourning.

We are the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

He leads us by still waters.

He restores our souls.

His rod and staff they comfort us.

He hears our cries.

The LORD is our shade upon our right hand.

The LORD is our keeper.

The Lord is our dwelling place.

He makes us to prosper.

He feeds us with food convenient for us.

He leads us to Glory.

We shall dwell in the House of the Lord for ever.

© Jeff Maxwell 2013

NO MEANS OF ESCAPE

England’s Duty under the present Gospel Liberty

Behold I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me. Rev 3:20

THIS day hath our compassionate Redeemer opened unto us a door of liberty ; liberty for us to preach, and liberty for you to hear the glad tidings of the gospel……….

 

Every offer of Christ to the souls of sinners is recorded and witnessed with respect to the day of account and reckoning.

Who are God’s witnesses to all the offers made of Christ by the gospel?

1 His Ministers,

by whom he makes them, are all witnesses as well as officers of Christ to the people. .

“I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness.” Acts 26:16 

Here you see ministers have a double office, to propose and offer Christ, and then to bear witness for or against those to whom he is thus offered: they are expressly called God’s witnesses, Rev. 11:6-7.

Their labours witness, their sufferings witness, their solemn appeals to God witness; yea, the very dust of their feet shaken off against the refusers of Christ, turns to a testimony against them, Mark 6:11. Every groan and sigh, every drop of sweat, much more of blood, are placed in God’s book of marginal notes by all their sermons and prayers, and will be produced and read in the great day against all the refusers and despisers of Christ.

2. The Gospel itself,

which is preached to you, is a testimony or witness for God, against every one that hears it;

“He that rejecteth me, and received not my words, hath one that judges him; the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48

And this is the sense of Christ’s word,

 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come.” Matt. 24:14.

Ah, Lord, what a solemn record is here! Every sermon you hear, yea, every reproof, persuasion, and conviction, is a witness for God to cast and condemn every soul in judgment that complies not immediately with the calls of the gospel: so many sermons, so many witnesses.

3. Every man’s conscience is a witness for God,

that he hath a fair offer once made to him: the very consciences of the Heathens that never saw a Bible, that had no other preachers but the sun, moon, and stars, and other works of nature; yet of them the apostle saith, 

” they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing them witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.”   Rom. 2:15

Certainly if such vigour and activity was put into the consciences of Heathens, who could only read the will of God by the dim moon-light of natural reason ; how much more vigorous and active will conscience be in its accusing office against all that live under the bright beams of gospel-light? Their consciences will be swift witnesses, and will ring sad peals in their ears another day, 

” You shall know that there hath been a prophet among you.”   Ezek. 2:5 

This single witness is instead of a thousand witnesses for God. 

4. The examples of all those that do believe and obey the gospel,

are so many witnesses for God against the despisers and neglecters of the great salvation. Every mourning, trembling soul among you is a witness against all the dead-hearted, unbelieving, disobedient ones, that sit with them under the same ordinances.

Hence it is said,

” Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?”  1 Cor. 6:2

They shall be assessors with Christ in the great day, and condemn the world for their examples, as Noah did the old world. Thus..

“John, came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not, but the publicans and harlots believed him; and ye when ye had seen it, repented not afterwards that ye might believe him” Matt. 21:32

What shift do you make to quiet your consciences, and stifle your convictions, when you saw publicans, the worst of men, and harlots, the worst of women, repenting, believing, and hungering after Christ! their examples shall be your judges.

These are God’s witnesses. 

You are without any means of escape if you neglect so great a salvation  freely offered in the Gospel !!!

John Flavel  Sermon 1 (1689) Vol 4 page 20
Extracted and adapted by Jeff Maxwell 2012
These sermons are well worth reading for our encouragement and admonition !

WELLS WITHOUT WATER

Isaac flourished at Gerar, by the blessing of the Lord,  having planted he received a hundred fold, waxed great and went forward and grew until he became very great. He had possessions of flocks and herds, a great store of servants until the Philistines envied him and sent him away into the valley of Gerar. This place was less hospitable for the Philistines had stopped up the wells that his father Abraham had digged and filled them with earth. Thus removing the possibility of supplying the need of his crops, flocks, servants, as well as his family.

 For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged
in the days of Abraham his father,
the Philistines had stopped them,
and filled them with earth.
Gen 26:15

Isaac, Abraham, Well, Stopped, Digged Again, © Jeff Maxwell

Well without Water

 

And Isaac digged again the wells of water,
which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father;
for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham:
and he called their names after the names by which
his father had called them.
Gen 26:18

This was fine, Isaac’s men dug the well and found water, but the herdmen of Gerar were not happy, they came and strove with Isaac’s herdmen, claiming that the water was their  water.  Isaac did not contest this, he renamed the well “Esek” which means “quarrel”  and moved on and dug again and found water. The herdmen of Gerar  contested this also, so Isaac renamed this well “Sitnah” meaning “hatred, hostility” and moved on. Isaac’s men then dug another well which was not contested so he called it “Rehoboth” meaning “broad places” for the Lord hath made room for us, and now we shall be fruitful.

Isaac now moved on to Beer-sheba and the Lord appeared to him in the night saying that HE was the God of Abraham his father, not to fear,  for HE would bless him and multiply his seed, for His servant Abraham’s sake.

Abimelech king of the Philistines came to Isaac saying that the Philistines had seen that the Lord was with Isaac and now wanted an oath between them, so they made a covenant together for peace. Isaac prepared a feast, they ate and drank, and in the morning rose up, confirmed the covenant and went in peace.

That’s the story of the stopped up wells, the wells full of earth, the wells without water, the wells that could not be a blessing to anyone.  I want to now try to apply the lessons of this story, spiritually. 
J A Alexander wrote     “Water is a natural and common figure, for obtaining and enjoying divine  favour.”  

Water, as we know, is essential for life and growth, water sustains and strengthens life, water is refreshing and reviving. This is true of physical life but it is also true concerning spiritual life, water is essential.

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst,
I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys:
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
Isaiah 41:17-18

There is a graphic picture of God doing this in Exodus 17. The children of Israel were in the wilderness of Sin (Sinai), they murmured and complained to Moses because of the lack of water and God showed them ‘Grace in the Wilderness’. Moses smote the rock of Horeb with his rod and water came forth and the people did drink and were satisfied. Now the Apostle Paul himself shows us that this has a spiritual application, it was Christ that met the needs of His children, as the rock released the waters when it was struck in faith, it is Christ that supplies our needs through faith…..

And did all drink the same spiritual drink:
for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them:
and that Rock was Christ.
1 Cor. 10 :4

 Unfortunately there are still Philistines about. There are those that would fill up the “wells of salvation” and block up the way to blessing with all kinds of debris. There are false prophets, who bring in damnable heresies, who cause the way of truth to be evil spoken of, who through covetousness would make merchandise of us. There are brute beasts who speak evil of things that they don’t understand. There are many with eyes full of adultery, who cannot cease from sin, who beguile unstable souls and forsake the right way and quickly go astray. How many “Christians”  live in such a way, that instead of bringing needy souls to the water of life, and leading the thirsty to the fountain of the water of  life, they thrust forth all kinds of obstacles to hinder, divert, block up that wonderful supply given by the grace of God. All these people are described as “wells without water, clouds that are carried away with the tempest. “Wells without  water” are quite useless things, bring no benefit or blessing, no refreshing, no life or growth, no sustaining power, no reviving within. Clouds might appear beneficial, have a promise of refreshing showers but yield absolutely nothing as they are blown away with the tempest. 

 These are wells without water,
clouds that are carried with a tempest;
to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
2 Peter 2:17

Fortunately not all “Wells are without Water”, not all wells are stopped, blocked up with earth, some have been dug again and yield the Waters of Life. There are those who open up the wells of salvation, and make the water of  life available through the preaching and the sharing of God’s word. The “water” in the verse below is an intensive plural it indicates the fulness and all sufficiency of the blessings which come from these springs, says one commentator, these oasis in the deserts are life giving, these natural springs of waters are given by the goodness of God and the waters in the wells of Salvation are given by the Grace of God, and yield life giving mercy.

 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
Isaiah 12:3

Firstly, I must ask if you are drawing “water out of the wells of Salvation” for yourself? Are you getting nourishment for your own spiritual life and growth? Why are so many Christians, weak, stunted, without depth and power, often bowed down in spiritual warfare, instead of overcoming in the Spirit’s power? They do not feed themselves with the Word, they do not refresh themselves with Prayer, they do not give themselves time to grow and develop, they do not give themselves the opportunity to be filled with the Spirit’s power. They miss out on fellowship with God and His people, they deprive themselves of the resources that are available, they never reflect upon the mighty acts of God in History, although we are mightily blessed with books, digital resources,  conferences, and lectures which are there to help us. It is with joy, real happiness, that we should be drawing “Water out of the Wells of Salvation”  but how often, our spirits, are  heavy when we come to the Word, or prayer, or fellowship, or some good book, or some other spiritual exercise. O Lord increase our “Joy in the Lord” Help us too know Peace and Joy, real Joy in our lives, that we might “Draw Water out of the Wells of Salvation” for ourselves firstly that we might then help others to draw water. We should be the means to bring sinners to Christ, to show them the benefits, to point them to life giving refreshing springs.

 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 4:14

 

This is why “Drawing Water out of the Wells of Salvation” is so important. For if, we drink of them we shall never thirst. Once we have drunk of them, they are a life giving supply; they spring up unto everlasting life. The only way to have everlasting life is to drink of Christ, to have Him in our hearts and lives, to know the Salvation that He gives us. Then when we have this great blessing, given to us by the Grace of God, we are to bring others unto Christ, to drink of the water that only he can give. We are, as it were, to unblock the way, remove all the hindrances, re-dig the wells, that Water of Life might flow freely once again, for this how Salvation comes before the eyes of the lost. Now are you a “well without water”, “a cloud” promising much, but carried away with a tempest. A New Year is before us, with new opportunities, are you blocking up the wells or unblocking them, helping sinners to Christ or hindering them? The consequences are eternal !

However, we are not quite finished with water yet, notice the verse below.

For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them,
and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters:
and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Rev. 7:17

Here is a picture, which takes us into heaven itself. Here is the Lamb, in the midst of the throne, feeding his own, wiping away all tears from their eyes. These two themes are often spoken about, the Lamb in the midst of the throne and the wiping away of all tears, but, the Lamb leading His own to the “Living Fountains of Water” is not often brought before our eyes. This is in Heaven and we are still being led to living fountains of water by Christ the Lamb, what does this mean?
Let John Gill answer this,

“by “water” is meant the grace, love, and free favour of God in Christ, that pure river of water of life, which proceeds from the throne of God, and of the Lamb, from divine sovereignty; and with which the saints in this state shall be sweetly and fully solaced and refreshed; and hence they shall never thirst more: and this is said to be “living”, because not only refreshing and reviving, but because it will last for ever; the love of God is from everlasting to everlasting; and it is signified by “fountains”, to denote the abundance of it, even as it will be perceived and enjoyed by the saints now;….” Rev 7:17

and for all eternity, we shall hunger and thirst no more because we shall have a superabundant supply, being feed and led by the Lamb in the midst of the throne.

There are “Wells with Water” and “Wells without Water” : WHICH ARE YOU?

 

 

©Jeff Maxwell 2011

 

 

What is Lord Jesus Christ Doing in Heaven Now

I was asked tonight “What is Christ doing in Heaven now”
and give scriptural verses
.

If you can think of anything else please add a comment and follow the same format.

1. Christ Jesus is seated in the midst of the throne, with a name above every name, on the right hand side of God, Crowned with Glory and Honour

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. Revelation 5:6 (KJV)

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: Philippians 2:9 (KJV)

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; Hebrews 10:12 (KJV)

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Hebrews 2:9 (KJV)

2.  Christ is preparing a place for us.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:2-3

3. Christ is our Great High Priest, mediating the New Covenant, making Intercession for us, being our Advocate.

But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.  For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;  Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. Heb 7:24-27

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:24 (KJV)

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25 (KJV)

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Romans 8:34 (KJV)

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 1 John 2:1 (KJV)

4. Set over the Works of God’s hand,

Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. Hebrews 2:7-8 (KJV)

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. 1 Peter 3:22 (KJV)

5. Christ is Head of the Church, giving gifts, sending the Holy Spirit, Christ is among the Candle sticks, evaluating, judging, admonishing, and  encouraging His Church.

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23 (KJV)

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. ……..He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:8 & 10-12 (KJV)

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. Acts 2:33 (KJV)

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31 (KJV)

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. John 14:16-21 (KJV)

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. Revelation 1:12-13 (KJV)

6. Waiting in Anticipation and Expectation for his return to Judge the World and usher in the New Heavens and New Earth.

From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. Hebrews 10:13 (KJV)

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30 (KJV)

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. Mark 13:26 (KJV)

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:20-21 (KJV)

Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Acts 17:31 (KJV)

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2 Peter 3:10-13 (KJV) 

As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Romans 14:11 (KJV)

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things 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 (KJV)

He is doing so much for us !

Do we praise Him as we ought?

Are we “too at home in this world”?

Do we appreciate enough His High Priestly Work?

Do we acknowledge Him , willingly,  as The Head of all things?

Do we give Him His rightful place in Church life?

Are we to man centred?

What are we doing for Him?

Do we receive his Admonitions?

Are we growing more like Him day by day?  

Do we live in expectation of His coming?

© Jeff Maxwell 2011

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