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The Cross and Gospel of Christ

The Cross and Gospel of Christ

What is your attachment to the gospel of Christ?

Is it increasingly precious to your soul, sanctifying your heart, and influencing your life?

Would you bid high for the truth of Jesus, at any cost to your personal ease or worldly advantage, and sell not that truth, for earth’s richest gem or greatest rewards?

Do you increasingly love the truth of Jesus, because it searches, rebukes, and humbles you, yet, also strengthens, comforts, and sanctifies you?

Do you feel a growing love for those doctrines that are especially identified with, springing from, and leading the soul to, the Cross of Jesus?

That is how you may test the closeness of your soul to the Crucified Christ.

Christ being precious to you, then oh how precious will be the truth He taught!

Purer than the purest silver, richer than the richest gold, sweeter than the sweetest honey, lovelier than the fairest gem, will be to you those doctrines, precepts, and promises which your Lord and Saviour demonstrated in His life and by His teachings.

They demand your simple faith, your fervent love, your holy walk, your zealous evangelism, and, if need be, your testimony at the martyr’s stake.

The doctrines of the substitutionary offering, the expiatory suffering, the atoning blood, the imputed righteousness of Christ, derive their virtue, their power, and their efficacy from, the divine dignity and spotless holiness of His person, and need to be combined with your increasing love and unswerving faith.

The precepts which encourage your bearing Christ’s cross, your confession of His name, your self-denying service in His cause, your death to the world, and your simple, unreserved obedience to His commands, will be to you His easy yoke and His light burden.

Test, then, your spiritual nearness to the Cross by your ardent attachment to the doctrines of the Cross.

“If any man will do His will, He shall know of the doctrine.”

“O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

“How sweet are your words unto my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

“Your words were found, and I did eat them; and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.”

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

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell 7/12/2014

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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RUNNING THE RACE – World Athletics Moscow

RUNNING THE RACE

I have been watching with interest the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

I admire the way that all of these athletes are so dedicated to achieve honours in their chosen discipline.

They work hard, they deny themselves, they are disciplined, they put aside everything that would hinder them in their goal.

This is not a momentary effort either, the majority of them have been pursuing their excellence for many a year, in it for the long term.

They achieve a medal and high honours but are not satisfied, they press on to the next event, ever expecting to get better, they put disappointments behind them and press on.

These are the crème del la crème, the high achievers, but we should remember that there are many others with the same dedication who you will never see in the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games. They expend themselves equally with the best but will never be high achievers. Then there are others, who try hard at first, make every effort, about whom you have great expectations, but hurdles and difficulties come along, they fall by the wayside, they look back, then turn back, giving up the race.

We will long remember Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, Meseret Defar, Brianna Rollins for their outstanding achievements this year, but who remembers Xue Lei, Jason Smyth, Felpipe Gomes, Cristian Valenzuela, El Amin Chentouff, all gold medal winners from the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, few indeed, if any, I expect.

The Christian is in a race, set before him is the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, around him are many witnesses, he is encouraged not to run in vain, he must not labour in vain, he must lay aside every weight and every sin that so easily besets him, he must run with patience, he must so run that he might obtain, as he strives for the mastery he must be temperate in all things, he must run but not uncertainly, he must fight but not as one that beats the air, he must bring his body into subjection, he must continue to run well and not let any hinder him.

What is this race, above all its the Christian Life, the obeying the truth, its becoming Christ like, communicating the Gospel, holding forth the Word of Life, its running to obtain an incorruptible crown, that the Christian may rejoice in the day of Christ. The Christian does not run for worldly honours, or to be remembered here on earth, as few will be, he might not be amongst the crème del la crème, but he will be regarded from on high, he will not achieve gold medals but he shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare him, as a man spares his own son that serves him.

The Christian has every advantage in this race, he runs with a manual of instructions, of help and encouragement. He has, as Terezinha Guilhermina of Brazil the blind T12 runner, a guide who runs alongside, who will never fall, as Guilherme Soares,  just before the finish line, tripping her up. The Christian is given a comforter within who is always present to be called upon and has Power to share. The Christian does not travel alone, he has many who accompany him along the way. Above all the Christian has a dedicated direct line to one who has successfully run the race before who, can impart wisdom, knowledge, comfort, and encouragement.

But there are many that seem to enter the race, to start on the pathway to life, the Christian pathway, but fall away. Hurdles and difficulties come along, they fall by the wayside, they look back, then turn back, giving up the race. They turn as a dog to its vomit again, return as a sow to wallow in the mire, become as Lot’s wife, who heeds the warning, flees from the city of destruction, but then looks back in disobedience and is turned into a pillar of salt.

Now my questions are. What kind of athlete are you? What kind of race are you running? What is the expected end of your journey? How are you overcoming obstacles? Are you persevering unto the end?

Sally Pearson (100 metre hurdler) said, after coming second in her race,  “every single person out there is a competitor” are you in the Christian Race, is this true of you, are you a competitor ?    Ben Johnson said (of Usain Bolt) that successfully winning the races,  “is such a sweet place to be”

Are you a real competitor who is enjoying the sweetness of the presence of Jesus as you Run Christian’s Race to Glory ?

Are you pressing  toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ?  Philippians 3:14

The Saviour says at the end of the race “Well done good and faithful servant….. Enter into the joy of your Lord”  Matthew 25:21

CONSIDER

Mark 13:13
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Hebrews 3:14
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.

Hebrews 12:1
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

2 Timothy 4:6-8
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

See also:    1 Corinthians 9:24-27  :   Philippians. 2:16 :  Galatians 2:2  : Galatians. 5:7

© Jeff Maxwell 17/08/2013

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My Spiders

My Spiders.

My spiders live on my motor bike. My spiders do not know me. Every night they spin webs from the handle bars to the mirrors. On days that I do not move my bike the webs remain to attempt to catch food and the spiders are spared, if they want, of spinning new webs.
However on days that I do ride my bike, the webs are destroyed. The spiders travel many miles with me but probably do not even know they have moved locations and entered entirely different environments, they remain true to their nature and spin new webs at night. If I ride again the next day, and I do, their world is turned upside down, the webs destroyed, again and again, yet they do not give up, they try and try again, to build the means to catch food. They had a load a babies, mini spiders with the same nature, who began to spin webs together.

Now location and circumstances do not change their nature.
They are creatures of habit, they do the same things.
They persevere against odds that are stacked against them.
They are unaware of my existence, they do not recognise or adapt to it.
Their offspring are of the same nature as themselves, they work together, using the same means, seeking the same ends.

Sinners are like these spiders, their nature is not changed by their location or circumstances. In every place and every circumstance they are sinners.
Sinners are creatures of habit, they are habitual sinners, they cannot change themselves, they always sin and will continue to do so.
Sinners persevere in their sins, although the odds are stacked against them achieving their desired aims.
Sinners are unaware of God’s existence, as a controlling power, able to change their location and circumstances. They do not change their actions in the light of this fact.
Sinners produce offspring, who are the same nature as themselves, have the same sinful habits, and work for the same self-centred ends, using the same sinful means.

What the spiders really need now is one who can put them back in their original situation, amongst the trees and bushes of the garden. Their natural habits will become fruitful.

What the sinner needs is to be returned to the same nature as their first parents in the garden before the fall. To be able to recognise and talk to the Highest Power. To live in the light of His Presence and live in accordance to His Laws. Habits need to remain but be transformed and used to the appointed end of the Highest Power. Perseverance needs to be used for the purpose it was intended. They need to recognise their intended end and use every means to move towards it. Their offspring need to go through the same rebirth or they will not have the same new nature as originally intended. Their whole being needs to become fruitful.

My friends consider my spiders and the lessons drawn from my observations of the sinners position and needs.

© Jeff maxwell 2013
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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

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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.)

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HEAVEN LONGED FOR …….

Long after heaven ! –  your God is present there, unveiled in Glory – God your Father, God  your Saviour, God  your everlasting Comforter.

Long after heaven ! – it is full of holiness. Sin has never sullied it ! No evil shall pollute it ! All its inhabitants are pure : the Angels and the Redeemed are without fault before the Throne of God

Long after heaven ! – it is the “rest that remains for the people of God” –  it shall remain a their rest for ever ! There  pain, trouble, and weariness are never felt ! There  Satan, sin, and sorrow cannot enter ! There peace and prosperity continually abide. There God is worshiped in perfection forever.

Long after heaven ! – it is the end of groaning for all creation; – it is the paradise of  your perfection in soul and body ! There you shall know even as you are known ! There you shall reach the manhood of  your being, regain once and for ever the lost likeness of your Creator, and hear again the voice of the Lord God walking with you in the tenderness of His amazing love and the plenitude of His everlasting friendship !

Long after heaven ! – it is a glorious home !   It is the house of Lord Jehovah !   The created home of thy Eternal Father !   The purchased home of thy Elder Brother !    The holy home of the Lord  your Saviour !   It is the safe and happy home of Angels !   It is the eternal home of all pure and holy beings !    It is the everlasting home of the whole family of the Redeemed !  It is the inheritance of your brothers and sisters in the Faith !
There are they gathered together in safety;
there they are all joined together in love;
there they all “dwell” together in unity,
there they give full expression of the love, joy, and peace of Salvation,
there they delight to fully worship, honour, and glorify the Triune God;
There they abide forever and go no more out of “the house of the Lord .”

Edited, adapted, and modernised by Jeff Maxwell ©2013
(From:  Anon.   From Christian’s Penny Magazine vol. 2 1847)
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