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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.

” I ” LIVE; YET NOT ” I “

” I ”    LIVE; YET NOT   ” I “

I …   often sin

I …   often fail

I …   often fall short

I …   often miss the mark

I …   do these things

But   ” I “

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ lives in me:

and the life which I now live 

in the flesh 

I live by the faith

of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

 

CHRIST  MAKES  ALL  THE  DIFFERENCE !

 

Because as Patrick Hamilton wrote ….

“Christ is the Saviour of the world. 

Christ is our Saviour. 

Christ died for us. 

Christ died for our sins. 

Christ offered himself for us. 

Christ bear our sins upon his back. 

Christ bought us with his blood. 

Christ washed us with his blood. 

Christ came in the world to save sinners. 

Christ came in the world to take away our sins. 

Christ was the price that was given for us and for our sins. 

Christ was made debtor for our sins. 

Christ hath paid our debt, for he died for us. 

Christ hath made satisfaction for us and for our sin. 

Christ is our righteousness. 

Christ is our wisdom. 

Christ is our sanctification. 

Christ is our redemption. 

Christ is our satisfaction. 

Christ is our goodness. 

Christ hath pacified the Father of Heaven. 

Christ is ours, and all his. 

Christ hath delivered us from the law, from the devil, and hell. 

The Father of Heaven hath forgiven us for Christ’s sake.”

(Patrick Hamilton 1503/4 – 29 February 1528
Burnt for his faith in St Andrews
Patrick’s Places —  THE DOCTRINE OF THE GOSPEL.)

IT IS NOT ” I ”    ….    But   CHRIST

Let me ask YOU is Christ for you ? or are YOU at war with HIM ?

Can YOU say ” I am crucified with Christ ” ? ? ?

 

© Jeff Maxwell Feb 2016

 

Making Christ known.

Making Christ known.

Christians are called to be Ambassadors for Christ, to Live, Preach, Share, Make Known the Gospel to all.

More over we are to earnestly contend for the Faith which was once delivered unto the Saints. If you don’t know what the Bible teaches how can you do these things ?

Error abounds today as it has always done,

Have we equipped ourselves ?

Have we a firm grasp upon the doctrines within the Word ?

Have we protected ourselves from being led astray by every peddler of false doctrine ?

Do we know how to answer every man that asks us the reason of the hope that we have ?

We will not have every answer immediately to hand but do we know where to point the serious, the gainsayer, and the heretic ?

We are servants of the Most High GOD who have been given talents and told to occupy until HE comes and who will be called to give account.

How will you or I feel if the verse below is true of us on any day….. but especially on that day when we meet our Saviour face to face ?

“Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.” 2 Kings 7:9

Rather may this be true of us! ……..

For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.  1 Thess. 1:8

Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

2 Cor. 2:14

Be prepared, be ready, be enthusiastic, go and make Christ Jesus known!

The disciples “turned the world upside down”

 Why do the vast amount of true Christians (not false professors) have so little effect today ?

God does not change.

 

© Jeff Maxwell 2016

A SIGHT OF SIN AND A SIGHT OF JESUS

A Sight of Sin and a Sight of Jesus

“They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn.”—

Zech. 12:10

 We can only properly deal with sin as, at the same moment, we personally and closely deal with Jesus. 

A spiritual sight of one’s SIN, apart from a believing sight of  the Lord Jesus Christ, will plunge the soul into the deepest despair. A sight of atoning blood must accompany the sight of our guilt.

Seen and dealt with alone, dissociated from the Saviour, sin is the darkest and most appalling object that can engage human study. But God has graciously and marvellously met the case. The instrument that exhibits sin in its greatest blackness at the same moment exhibits it in its fullest pardon.

A sight of sin and a sight of Jesus, as presented in the cross, is found in no other spot in the universe. Nowhere, not upon earth, where sin’s ravages are vividly and fearfully traced— not in hell, where sin’s punishment is fully and eternally endured—is sin seen as in the light of Christ’s cross.

God’s hatred of its nature and infliction of its penalty, as exhibited in the soul-sorrow, and bodily suffering of His beloved Son, is a demonstration unsurpassed, yes, unparalleled. Oh, how great the love of God to provide such a mirror in which to see at the same moment both the enormity of sin and the completeness of its forgiveness—the utter blackness of its guilt—and the snow-white purity of its cleansing.

There was but one Being in the universe who concentrated upon Himself so much sin— yet, “He knew no sin”—and in whom met so much punishment of sin, as Jesus, the Sin Bearer of His Church.

What defective views and realizations have we of this truth! How shallow our sounding of its infinite depths, how faint our experience of its preciousness and power ! And yet it is all and everything to us in the momentous matter of our comfort, holiness, and hope. If Jesus did not bear my transgression and curse; He did nothing for me, and I am yet in my sins. If He did, then the load is gone, the burden is annihilated, all transferred to Him, and by Him borne into eternal oblivion.

I am no longer my own sin bearer; my sins were all laid on Jesus, not by my hand, but by the hand of God. Since, then, Jesus has dealt with my sins, my only care should be first to realize their full pardon, and then to live a holy life as not to recommit those sins which Christ bore, and for which He sorrowed in Gethsemane, bled and expired on the tree, and so crucify the Son of God afresh.

Deeply interesting to the believing, spiritual mind is the theme of our present chapter. To have a sight of sin and a sight of Jesus at the same moment constitutes one of the holiest and richest pages in the history of a child of God. There are many of the Lord’s people who see sin, but who do not see Jesus at the same moment—who do not look at their sins through the medium of the cross.

To look at sin through the divine holiness, as reflected in the divine law, is to look and despair, to look and die!

BUT to look at sin through Christ—to see it in the blood that cleanses it, in the righteousness that covers it, in the love that pardons it fully, freely, and forever; oh, this is to look and hope, to look and live!

One eye upon sin, and one eye upon sin’s atonement, will enable the soul to walk humbly and filially with God. One eye looking at self and one eye looking at Christ will so regulate the experience of the soul, so accurately adjust its moral compass, as to keep the balance between presumption and despair; leading to a humble, holy, watchful walk as it regards sin on the one hand, and to an assured, happy, hopeful sense of pardon, acceptance, and glory on the other.

No fact in Christian experience is more certain than this, that sin is never properly seen until Christ is known; and that Christ is never fully known, until sin is seen in its existence, guilt, and power.

It is a sense of our vileness, guiltiness, and condemnation that takes us to Christ; and when we see Christ, and accept Christ, and enter into believing rest in Christ, we then have the deepest conviction of the greatness, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and at the same moment the most assured conviction of our full and eternal deliverance from its guilt, tyranny, and condemnation. 

This harmony of tint— the blending of light and shade—sin and Christ—forms one of the loveliest and most impressive pictures of the many which illustrate the history of the Christian’s life. 

Originally by Octavius Winslow in “The Foot of The Cross” 1864

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell

 

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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

THE GOSPEL IS URGENT NEWS

GOSPEL URGENCY

Have I lost the urgency of the Gospel ?

Yes ” I ” …. ” Me.”…. indeed ” MYSELF “

Not the Church, the Pastor, the Evangelist,
the young Peoples Worker, the Church Planter,

BUT ” I ” ” me ” ” myself “

Have I lost the urgency of the Precious Gospel committed to me?

Have I done anything today to make Christ known…. ?

to those dying, yes, dying in sin ?

If I walked by and saw a person sinking into the mire

only moments to live…

Would I walk on by ? Looking the other way ?

I would feel useless and inadequate for the situation ..

BUT ….. I would do something, surely !

Yet ” I ” have Family Sinking in Sin !
Yet ” I ” have Friends Sinking in Sin !
Yet ” I ” have Colleagues Sinking in Sin !
Yet ” I ” have Neighbours Sinking in Sin !

” I ”   am weak,   ……..      ” I ”    am inadequate …..

BUT the Gospel is not ….

” It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth “

Am    ” I ”    ashamed of Gospel ”       Romans 1:16

12 disciples ” turned the world upside down “

How far has my influence for the Gospel spread ?

Where’s ” MY ” URGENCY today !!

Where’s ” MY ” Boldness in the Gospel !!

© Jeff Maxwell 2013

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A POEM OF ENCOUAGEMENT TO TWEET FOR GOD

LITTLE BIRDIE

There was a little birdie
Sitting in a tree
There was a little birdie
Looking down on me

There was a little birdie
Such a joy to see
There was a little birdie
Singing yet to be

There was a little birdie
Hear my call to thee
There was a little birdie
Do not silent be

There was a little birdie
Bring some glee so free
There was a little birdie
Sing a song my plea

There was a little birdie
As I sat for tea
There was a little birdie
Tweet a tune in key

There was a little birdie
Make a tuneful spree
There was a little birdie
Fit for more than three

There was a little birdie
Rings a melody
There was a little birdie
Such that none should flee

There was a little birdie
Trill without a fee
There was a little birdie
Abba watches thee

There was a little birdie
 List’ning now to me
There was a little birdie
Warbling from the tree

There was a little birdie
Lilting now to me
There was a little birdie
Out across the sea

© Jeff Maxwell 23/8/2013
Dedicated to
 @daughterofFostr

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb, saying,
Great and marvellous are thy works,
Lord God Almighty;
just and true are thy ways,
thou King of saints.
Rev 15:3

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