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GETTING OLDER

GETTING OLDER

As we get older we have many fond memories that fill our minds with pleasure and delight.

It is also true that our minds blot out memories that we rather forget for various reasons, or that we deem to be insignificant and unimportant in our lives.

Such as our sins, the breaking of God’s laws, offences committed against God…. if we even acknowledge HE exists.

These are easily forgotten and hidden from our memories, as insignificant and of none importance.

We think of ourselves as “good people”, “doing no-one any harm”, “commending ourselves for our charitableness”, and “doing good works”, having a reasonable reputation before all.

These are the types of thoughts that one hears when attending funerals of “good folks”.

The reality is: that what we think of ourselves, or what others think of us, does not matter…….
for one day we have to answer to Almighty God for every idle word, every seemingly insignificant action, and every offence against God’s Laws.

When we are eventually before God’s Judgement Seat,… and WE WILL BE, all these forgotten memories will return and all those actions will be vivid in our minds and we will have to answer for them.

God’s Law is quite clear if we offend in one point we are guilty of all,

WOW… WE are ALL guilty of breaking the 1st commandment “You shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength”
Mark 12:30

What is the answer to this great catastrophe, this day of confirmation of our guilt, this realisation of judgement and condemnation ?

The Bible contains a Doctrine called …
“Justification by Faith alone “

This “Faith alone” is a living Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone for our need.

“Justification” in the Old Testament can be defined as ” to declare judicially that one’s state is in harmony with the demands of the law” and Paul in the New Testament uses it to mean “the act of God declaring men free from guilt and acceptable to Him”

In simple terms, this means that God can, account / accept a person as righteous and free from the guilt of the Law before Him.

This can only be done on the basis of God’s Justice being satisfied by the merits of Jesus Christ being set down to our account.

Glance a moment at God’s Judgement Seat and “one” before Him, Judged, Guilty, and Condemned ….

BUT

Jesus Christ appears as that “ones” advocate.
JESUS declares to God the Father that His Righteousness, His fulfilment of the Law, is set down to that “ones” account and therefore they can be made free from all the claims of the Law.

This is Salvation indeed “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ” John 8:36

But this scenario will never happen, if we continue to live our present lives apart from God and without the radical change of becoming believers , followers of Jesus Christ, being obedient to and loving Jesus Christ and His Word.

The Bible calls this change being “Born again” in John’s Gospel.

We are called to Repent and Believe, to have a new direction and a new focus in life.

“Repentance” and “Faith” are not from within ourselves, they are both the Gifts of God.

What shall we do then ? The answer is to ……

“Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7

“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.
Hebrews 3:1-3 (NIV)

There is a way of escape, the warning has been given, all are without excuse, every mouth (word of excuse) has been stopped.

What shall YOU do with the Gospel, the Good News, now presented to YOU?

Neglect it ? or seek it with all your heart ?

© Jeff Maxwell 26/04/2018

MY SIN AND SALVATION

MY SIN AND SALVATION

The ink has long since dried upon the page
That early wrote my sin:
There is no possibility that age
Should let me now begin.

To purge away my sins of deepest dye
Hide and obscure them all:
No merits have I, that will rectify
The sin that made me fall

The longer I live, the worse it shall get
Darker the page shall be:
With sins so damming, I cannot object
To death applied to me.

No effort of mine, can set me quite free
God’s Holy judgement I see:
It’s out of my hands, I cannot decree
My perfect liberty.

To where shall I turn, to whom shall I go ?
To shift the penalty:
Undo the damage, remove all the woe
Gain immortality.

There is a testament, which speaks the truth
I cannot pass it by:
It tells the contrite sinner, there is proof
That one for him did die

The Just for the unjust, so can it be
That God’s Son died for me
The great Creator hung upon a tree
To die at Calvary

God’s wrath appeased, with one sacrifice
Atonement has been made
The shedding of His precious blood, the price
Our ransom fully paid

The benefits of this redemption sure
Holy Spirit apply
Wash me and cleanse me, cure me, I implore
That I from death may fly

So I return to give this grateful praise
I have escaped from Hell
By Jesus Christ I have been fully raised
Higher than tongue can tell

© Jeff Maxwell 3/2/2016

THE GOSPEL FEAST

 

THE GOSPEL FEAST

“Come; for all things are ready.”

Luke 14:17

Ye devotees of pleasure, ye lovers of the world,

ye egregious triflers with your immortal interest;

ye, who, though hastening to your graves,

are still sporting on destruction’s brink,

and indulge a false and fatal levity,

though the precipice is before you,

and one single step would determine your doom for ever;

ye, who are pursuing phantoms,

and grasping at shadows,

while you suck happiness in a world lying in wickedness,

and,

amidst all your cares and schemes for this world,

forget you are to die,

neglect your souls,

and never take one solemn anxious thought about eternity;

to you also I bring the invitation of my text:

 

“Come; for all things are ready.”

I invite you this day,

in the Name of my great Lord and Master,

to Christ, to happiness, to heaven.

Ye have been long toiling for that which is not bread,

and spending your strength for what can yield little satisfaction in life,

and none at all in the hour of death.

Still time flies with its wonted velocity;

and the king of terrors is drawing from his quiver the arrow,

that shall, ere long, lay you in the dust.

Satan, the world and sin,

strongly unite to keep you in their servitude;

and spread ten thousand baits to allure you to destruction.

but shall their call be obeyed  ?

and God’s invitation disregarded ?

Shall hell be preferred to heaven ?

the care of you bodies to that of your souls ?

Shall time engross all your solicitude,

and eternity, dread eternity, none ?

Shall the adversary of God and man

call with a more attractive voice,

than He who bled for sinners ?

and the biting pleasures of sensuality,

be preferred before the joys that are at God’s right hand ?

God forbid !

O sirs, pause a moment !
Consider what you are, whither you are going.

Your souls are at stake,

and you must soon stand before the living God in judgement.

 

Obey the call of the Gospel:

and all shall yet be well;

disobey it;

and the call itself shall be more than a thousand witnesses against you:

and he who gives it,

shall be clear of your blood.

But, embrace the invitation;

and my soul shall rejoice over you,

even mine;

and you shall rejoice with joy unspeakable,

When the Judge comes in the clouds of heaven’

and time shall be no more.

Amen.

Richard De Courcy 1745- 1804
Sermons by the Late Richard De Courcy Vicar of Alkmond 1810
Sermon III   An invitation to the Gospel Feast.

 

TIME AND TIDE

TIME AND TIDE

Time and tide wait for no man.

Your life is hastening on.

Soon you will face eternity.

Death will usher it in.

God will Judge you by Christ Jesus.

Your mouth will be stopped.

You will be judged guilty before God.

You will die in your sins.

Unless you have an advocate

Sentence will be passed.

Eternal punishment yours.

There is hope in this life.

There is a Saviour.

Jesus Christ is His Name.

He dealt with sin on the Cross.

He shed His Precious Blood.

His Righteousness can avail for you.

He can set you free.

Repent and Believe.

While there is still time.

For time and tide wait for no man.

 

© Jeff Maxwell March 2016

” 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

 

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

CHRIST IS ABOVE ALL

CHRIST JESUS

Christ has come to us that we might come to Him.

Christ has many joint heirs, but no successors.

Christ in the heart is better than corn in the barn.

Christ in the heart is Heaven on earth.

Christ is a great Saviour for great sinners.

Christ is a physician who asks no fees.

Christ is all in all to all His people.

                   “My Christ, he is the heaven of heavens:

                          My Christ what shall I call?

                  My Christ is first, my Christ is last,

                         My Christ is all in all ………………………………………… Mason

Christ has gone from our sight, but abides in our hearts.

Christ is in all believers and all believers are in Christ.

Christ is not loved at all, if not loved, above all.

Christ is our adornment, as well as our atonement.

Christ is the hope of our glory, and the glory of our hope.

Christ is our mercy, merit, myrrh, and our mirror.

Christ is our patron and our pattern.

Christ is preparing saints for heaven, and heaven for saints.

Christ is the souls sole solace.

                 “I have heard the voice of Jesus,

                       Tell me not of ought beside;

                 I have seen the face of Jesus.

                        All my soul is satisfied.

Christ sends none away empty but those who are full of themselves.

Christ sweetens our comforts and sanctifies our crosses.

Christ’s crimson blood cleanses crimson sins.

Christ was born a man that we might be born again.

Christ’s merit covers our demerit.

Christ pleads for us above, let us plead for him bellow..

Christ receives the Devil’s castaways.

Christ may wait long, but he will not wait forever.

C H Spurgeon ( The Salt Cellars 1889  vol 1 A-L  page 111 Et seq.)

x

Prayer for the week 8

Prayer for the week 8

Almighty and Eternal God, we desire to praise Your Holy Name, for graciously raising us up, in soundness of body and mind to see the light of this new week.

We bless You on the behalf of all Your creatures; for the eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due season. But, above all, we acknowledge the inestimable benefits given to mankind in Christ Jesus. We thank You for His miraculous birth, for His most Holy life, His bitter agony and death, for His glorious resurrection, His ascension into heaven, His triumph over all the powers of darkness, and His sitting at Your right hand for evermore.

O God, how great was Your love to the sinful sons of men!

O the riches of Your Grace in sending the Holy Spirit, to make us abound in hope, that we shall rise one day from the dead, and after our short labours here, rest with You in  eternal glory.

We would begin this week in devout meditation, in joy unspeakable, and in such blessing and praising You, who have given us good hope and everlasting consolation. Lift up our minds above all the little things below, which are apt to distract our thoughts; and keep our thoughts  above those things, till they are fully bent to seek You and the WAY which Jesus has gone before.

We are ashamed, O Lord, to think that we have disobeyed You, who redeemed us by the precious blood of Your own Son. O that we may agree with Your Will in all things! May all the powers of our souls and bodies be wholly dedicated to Your service! We desire unreservedly that all the thoughts and designs of our minds, all the affections and tempers of our hearts, and all the actions of our lives, may be pure, holy, and unreprovable in Your sight.

Search us, O Lord, and prove us. Look well if there be any wicked way in us and lead us in the way everlasting. Let Your favour be better to us than life itself; so that in all things we may approve our hearts before You, and feel the sense of Your acceptance of us, giving us a joy which the world cannot give.

O Lord, hear us, and make Your face to shine upon us, that we may enter into Your gates with thanksgiving and into Your courts with praise; that we may be thankful unto You and bless Your Name, for Jesus Christ’s sake, and so we conclude our imperfect prayer.

John Wesley
From page 50-51 of John Wesley’s Prayers Edited by F C Gill 1959.

Edited, adapted, and modernised by Jeff Maxwell ©2012

Prayer Week 6

Prayer  Week 6

Not a formal prayer but the breathings of the heart of a man of God.

 

Christ the Lamb of God

 Oh, for such a look of Christ as will scatter sin. Oh, for such a discovery of his glory as will draw forth love to him! Oh, for such a sight of him as will never let the eye off from him again – such a sight as would make us follow him through good report or through bad report, through life and through death – such a sight of him that would lead us to seek to be with him where he is, that we may behold his glory! Oh, for such a sight of the Lamb of God as would make it the soul’s perpetual exercise ever to look!

Oh! to have our sins washed away in the precious blood, our crimson stains that we might be whiter than snow! He took away sin – he died once for the expiation, but oh! the accomplishment of it is going on through the ages of time, rolling on, the accomplishment of what he did, the application of it, the communication of pardon, purity and peace.

 Once for all he took away our sins by expiation, but he is forever taking away sins by the application. Oh!, for applications! Believers I trust you have brought your sins with you to the Lord, to the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. I hope you have brought your sins with you to give them to Christ, to take them away from you.

 Look now, behold him now, through all your pilgrimage on earth; behold him till you come through the Jordan of death. ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ That light shines from heaven, that light that guides you. Oh, walk with him.

 John Duncan (1796 – 1870)

GOSPEL WORK AND MESSAGE

The Gospel Work and Message.

May the Lord guide some lost wandering souls into an area of harvest  today.

May the sickle be sharp and effective in gathering that harvest in.

May the “Fishers of Men” put the net out of the side of the boat as directed by the Lord and have a bountiful catch.

May the Good Shepherd and the under shepherd successfully seek the lost sheep today.

May the good seed be planted to bring forth a harvest tomorrow.

May the mire yield up those to be washed and sanctified in the Precious Blood of the Lamb.

May the darkness of sin be overcome with Light of the Gospel.

May the strongholds of this world be assaulted and broken down.

May the “horrible pit”  be commanded to give up some to the Salvation of the Lord.

May the day of wrath and judgement be turned into a day of peace and forgiveness for some poor soul.

May a “day of good tidings be proclaimed” and that we do well, by not holding our peace.

May the “supper” be prepared, the “wedding garments” distributed, and many be invited to “come” from the highways and byeways.

May the “pearl of great price” be discovered and all parted with to gain the eternal prize.

May the “leaven” permeate the whole lump but the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees find no growth.

May the old serpent be restricted and his poison be neutralised.

May the “dens of iniquity” be turned into the houses of the “just made good.”

May the “despised, rejected, man of sorrows” be enthroned as the Lord of Glory in hearts of stone changed to hearts of flesh.

AMEN

© Jeff Maxwell 2012

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

Window Cleaning

Just thinking about cleaning windows, glass and mirrors.

You clean them thoroughly and they look great, even perfect to ones eyes.

Then the sun comes out, and shines on and the through the glass; guess what? That which is so perfect, now looks so imperfect, so full of smears, missed places, and unwelcome grime.

This is much like our life, out of the light of God’s Word and the Son’s sight, viewed by our own eyes, it looks great, almost perfect……

But in the light of God’s Word and beams from God’s Son shining on it, it looks smeared, tainted, very dirty and in need of a complete Washing in the Blood of Christ.

In what light do you look at you life?

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:19-21

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