Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Spirit gives life. The flesh- our unredeemed lives -counts for nothing.

I know that I am supposed to wait until Sunday night to send a new message. But when the Lord wakes you up at 4:am, and usually I have no problems sleeping, even more so when I am on holidays, then this is no ordinary situation. Actually, I have been sensing this need to write again ever since the last message, as this issue of, " what gives meaning to our lives", is of such profound significance - both for believers as well as non-believers. And I will write on Sunday, God willing, as there are other important issues about which the Lord has spoken.

So what is this message which is so important that the Lord would change the pattern of this, His inspired Internet Ministry? The answer! The critical importance of one of the truths, one of the foundations of the Christian faith, which all of us, both believers and non-believers ( of which there are many in this Ministry who are searching - thank God), need to believe, reflect on deeply, and allow this truth to direct our lives. As without a proper appreciation of the life changing difference between Jesus as teacher and Jesus as Saviour, our faith has no power to effect the kind of change which Jamaica, the USA, and indeed the entire world is so desperately in need.
As I read the following short meditation from Oswald Chambers last night before going to bed, and committing my spirit to the Lord, I knew that this was what the Americans term,
" huge". Not that I had not apprehended this truth before, but the way Chambers explains it is so arresting. Especially when you add the some of the words of that haunting hymn which the Lord has placed in my heart since the last message.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me........

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading.
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies.
Mercies for you and for me?

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing for you and for me;
Shadows are gathering , deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me

O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home.

The message here is that, what will make a huge difference in our lives, is not whether or not Barack Obama becomes the next President of the USA. Or if Peter Phillips manages to defeat Portia Simpson-Miller as leader of the PNP and Opposition in Jamaica, or whether Bruce Golding does well as Prime Minister. No it all depends on our worldview. What we believe about the Universe. Our understanding of who God is. And what gives meaning to our lives.
And the Holy Scriptures tell us that it is all about Jesus :

" In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being......." Hebrews 1:1-3 NIV

So then, it is critical for us to know the truth, the life-changing truth, about Jesus, and not what the world, sundry philosophers and CNN, would have us believe.



" Blessed are the poor in spirit" Matthew 5:3

Beware of placing our Lord as a Teacher first. If Jesus is a Teacher only, then all He can do is tantalize me by erecting a standard I cannot attain. What is the use of presenting me with an ideal that I cannot possibly come near? I am happier without knowing it. What is the good of telling me to be what I never can be -- to be pure in heart, to do more than my duty, to be perfectly devoted to God? I must know Jesus as Saviour before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of an ideal which leads to despair. But when I am born again of the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus did not come to teach only; He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The Redemption means that Jesus can put into any man the disposition that ruled His own life, and all the the standards God gives are based on that disposition.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces despair in the natural man --the very thing Jesus means it to do. As long as we have a self-righteous, conceited notion that we can carry out the Lord's teaching, God will allow us to go on until we break our ignorance over some obstacle, then we are willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. " Blessed are the paupers in spirit", that is the first principle in the Kingdom of God. The bedrock in Jesus Christ's kingdom is poverty, not possession; not decisions for Jesus Christ, but a sense of futility ---I cannot begin to do it. Then Jesus say--Blessed are you. That is the entrance, and it does take us a long while to believe we are poor! The knowledge of our own poverty brings us to the moral frontier where Jesus works.

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