I was considering recently, what do I really need more than anything right now in terms of my internal, personal devotional life with Jesus? I simply need to see Him. Some of this stemmed from feeling a sort of dryness in reading the Scriptures recently. Now needing to see Jesus in Scripture is true in general all the time for all of us, but there are times that I think this can slip our thinking in our devotional life as being central.
Tag: jesus christ
Christ is Isaac, the beloved Son of the Father who was offered as a sacrifice, but nevertheless did not succumb to the power of death. He is Jacob the watchful shepherd, who has such great care for the sheep which He guards.
Originally posted at blog.myspace.com on Friday, February 17, 2006, archived here http://old.westerfunk.net/archives/personal/Dave%20Sermon%20Notes/
A. Read Philippians 4:4-7
B. ILLUS. Chaplaincy. Summer 2002. I was assigned to the reception station at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. I was counseling teenagers just about to step into Basic Training. The ones who stopped by my office were stressed and anxious about girlfriends they left behind, mean drill sergeants, the radical culture change, etc. and I did my best to soothe their worries and give them hope. One afternoon, halfway through my assignment, the Deputy Assistant Installation Chaplain and my Brigade Chaplain (my boss) entered my office. They told me that the Red Cross just informed them that my dad had had a massive coronary and was being care-flighted to a hospital 100 miles away and that my mom was in a car trailing them. I was to be released immediately to fly home and take care of family business. The counselor had now become the counselee.
(Excerpt from a Jonathan Edwards sermon entitled The Excellency of Christ)
Christ, as he is God, is infinitely great and high above all. He is higher than the kings of the earth; for he is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is higher than the heavens, and higher than the highest angels of heaven. So great is he, that all men, all kings and princes, are as worms of the dust before him; all nations are as the drop of the bucket, and the light dust of the balance; yea, and angels themselves are as nothing before him. He is so high, that he is infinitely above any need of us; above our reach, that we cannot be profitable to him; and above our conceptions, that we cannot comprehend him. Prov. 30:4 “What is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Our understandings, if we stretch them never so far, cannot reach up to his divine glory. Job 11:8 “It is high as heaven, what canst thou do?” Christ is the Creator and great Possessor of heaven and earth. He is sovereign Lord of all. He rules over the whole universe, and doth whatsoever pleaseth him. His knowledge is without bound. His wisdom is perfect, and what none can circumvent. His power is infinite, and none can resist Him. His riches are immense and inexhaustible. His majesty is infinitely awful.
I was just considering what a great and wonderful God we serve (we who believe in Christ that is). Words cannot sum up how wonderful He is. First of all, He secured our eternal destinies by His blood out of pure love, from no other motivation other than to glorify Himself and show His immmense love toward us. By making a sacrifice at great expense to Himself, He secured our salvation so that we could spend eternity with Him, forever enjoying His presense, the way it was designed to be before the fall. I am so amazingly grateful not so much for material blessings (though I am greatly thankful for that), but more, I am so grateful that Christ purchased me on the cross with His blood. I would be totally lost, a ship without a rudder had it not been for His eternal sacrifice paid for by Christ bearing the wrath of God in Himself. He is so wonderful, majestic, creative, beautiful, glorious, powerful, sovereign, loving, kind, just, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, omnivorous (jk), patient, kind; He is everything I am not. Jesus Christ is what makes me whole. I praise God that He chose to save sinful, loathsome me from an eternity without Him. He is my all in all, my great Comforter. He is pure and holy, beyond expression. Praise God that Jesus Christ didn’t simply die but that He also rose from the grave by the power of God! With this wonderful hope in Christ, we will be raised to kingship to reign with Him for all eternity, forever glorifying the God of grace. And not only do we receive all of these eternal blessings (many not yet experienced to their fullest), but we get to experience them now (to a degree)! That is just wonderful and drives me to the cross to constantly experience His forgiveness and pardon based upon His finished work. Thank You, Father, that You did not abandon me to my sin, allowing me to pursue the desires of my heart to their fullest, thus hardening me to a life of sin and eternal damnation. Praise You God that You sought me and changed me when I was not seeking You. Praise You that You are the almighty King that for whatever reason (pure love) You decided to rescue me from my sin, myself, and the result of that life, hell. Jesus You are everything to me, and I pray You would pour out Your Holy Spirit in me that I may show you to all I come into contact with, that all may see and know that You are Lord, the Sovereign King, through which the whole world came into being. I love You. God is so amazingly gracious …
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
I just love going back to the Old Testament and seeing Christ spoken of so clearly. This is the very Gospel in the Old Testament, that our Messiah would suffer so greatly on our behalf. I find it interesting to see how the writer talks about how He carried (past-tense) our sorrows, how he was stricken, smitten, and afflicted. Christ’s sacrificial death spans and pierces through time. When He died, He died with supreme, sovereign intentionality, to purchase those those the Father had chosen in eternity past, before the foundation of the world, His children (John 17). Christ’s atonement was to bring glory to God and to purchase salvation for the children of God, Jew and Gentile. The Holy Spirit then applies this work of redemption to the children of God in time. One of the cool things though is that the work of Christ was clearly perceived by the prophets several hundred years before Christ was born, this piece of scripture being a clear picture of this. How cool is that? They saw the work of redemption that was coming, not necessarily knowing all the particulars, but nevertheless seeing the Work of works. Thank God for Jesus, that He would put on human flesh, live a perfect life unto God, die on the cross for our sins, and rise from the grave, that any who would believe in Him would be saved. It’s just simply amazing, the very thing that brings life, and meaning to life. If you’re depressed, look to the cross of Christ; if you think more highly of yourself than you ought, look to the cross of Christ; if you have huge decisions to make, look to the cross of Christ and base them upon and as a result of His work. Are you worried or anxious? Look to the cross of Christ. There is nothing better than personal communion with the God of all time, the Sovereign King, the LORD of lords. Go to Him and look to Calvary where He was “crushed for our iniquities” and that “with His stripes we are healed.” Sin has ruined everything, Christ and His work can fix anything.