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The Wednesday Word: Not Ashamed Part 2

Last time we concluded that, as Christians, we are not ashamed of the Lord Jesus. We are not ashamed of His Virgin Birth. His Miracles, His claims or His silence. Let´s take this a bit further.

We are not ashamed of His scream!

Yes, you read that right, we are not ashamed of His scream! From the cross He screamed the agonising words, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me.” These were not the words of a man who has suddenly discovered that he was all wrong. These were the anguished words of the One who was dying for us.

At the cross, He hung there as our substitute. He was executed as our representative and reckoned guilty before God. It was as though He tasted the depth of our God forsakenness. Our sins separated Him from His Father. He tasted the God-desertedness that His people´s sins would have caused them at Judgment day.

What He said (His scream) and what he didn´t say (His silence) were both on our account.

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Death

Isaiah 53:5, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.” Every aspect of His death was vicarious (substitutionary). He was doing it for us. The sinful shame that we would have felt before God, He felt as He hung there naked on the cross.

“Bearing shame and scoffing rude

Condemned and in my place He stood.

Sealed my acquittal with His blood,

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!”

I´m not ashamed of Him, His Birth, His miracles, His claims, His silence, His scream, His death, His resurrection, His ascension or His intercession.

What about you? Are you ashamed of anything about Him?

I am not ashamed of His Gospel.

Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” But what is the Gospel? There are many who claim to be sent to preach the Gospel, but they don´t know what it is. Their message is a subjective, man-centred message of self-help. But the true Gospel is the perfect work of God in Christ. It´s an event which took place outside of us in history. It is a completed finished work accomplished by the One who is the Gospel incarnate. Indeed, the Gospel is Jesus Himself (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

The Gospel is not about Christ coming into our heart, it is about Christ coming into this world to save His people. In Psalm 89:14-15, we are introduced to the ´joyful sound.´

But what is the joyful sound?

It is that, Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, was buried, rose on the third day and was seen of many witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

What is the joyful sound?

It is that because of the Gospel, our judge became our justifier (Romans 3:26).

What is the joyful sound?

It is that because of the Gospel there is full acquittal for us through the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9).

What is the joyful sound?

It is that because of the Gospel the accuser of the brethren is cast down (see Revelation 12:10-11).

What is the joyful sound? It is that the accuser has been routed because of the blood of the lamb (see Revelation 12:10-11).

What is the joyful sound? It is that through the Gospel, those trusting in the merits of Christ and His blood have a verdict in their favour.

VERDICT?

Yes, all charges against us are dropped. Case dismissed, (see Romans 8:33-34).

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.

We don´t rest on the Plan of Salvation as much as we trust, rest and cling to the Man of Salvation.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word- Not Ashamed!

They looked unto Him and were lightened and their faces were not ashamed Psalm 34:5.

We´ve all done things of which we are ashamed. Although we have been forgiven through the blood of Christ, we wish we could go back in time and erase all manner of sins and failures.

However, there are certain things of which we need not be ashamed, mortified or embarrassed.

First, and foremost, we are not ashamed of Jesus. For example,

We are not Ashamed of His Birth.

He was Virgin born. Sceptics through the centuries have railed at this magnificent truth. Even during His lifetime Christ was taunted about His birth. In John 8:41, His enemies mockingly said, “We were not born of fornication.” In other words, they were calling Him a bastard.

But we believe it just the way it was foretold. The angel said to Mary,

” The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee” (Luke 1:35).

It was a miracle act of paternity. The scoffers may not like it, but Yahweh had always signalled His intention to become human. According to the Law, if someone was to be redeemed (bought back) and have their debts paid, they could only be redeemed by a Kinsman (Leviticus 25:47-55). The redeemer had to be related. He had to be a Kinsman Redeemer. Thus, Yahweh announced in Isaiah 43:15 (and other places), that He was the “Gaal,” the Kinsman Redeemer of His people.

This means, every time He refers to Himself as the Gaal, the Lord was prophesying that He would become a man. Consequently, the Virgin Birth present us with no problems.

I am not ashamed of His birth. Are you?

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Miracles.

He was a real faith healer. There was no money angle. There was no sham or pretence. In Christ we had an invasion of supernatural reality. Unfortunately, today if you talk about miracles, people think you´re ´away with the fairies. ´ But we Christians believe in His miracles … every single one. We are not embarrassed by them. We don´t feel we have to explain them.

He healed blind eyes.

He raised people from the dead.

He ruined every funeral He ever attended.

I am not ashamed of His miracles … Are you?

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Claims.

Jesus claimed the most remarkable things. He claimed,

“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

“Before Abraham was I am” (John 8:58).

“No man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

Jesus by this last statement claimed to be both intolerant and exclusive.

Why intolerant? Because, He didn´t tolerate any other claiming to be the way to God. He is the Way! But, it wasn´t an unkind intolerance. Parents get intolerant and, because of the dangers, forbid their children from playing in the middle of the street. No one in their right mind would say their intolerance was hateful.

Why exclusive? Because He excludes all other mediators. Buddha is out, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young are Out, Mohammed is out. Christ alone is the revelation and truth of God.

Because of love, He is both exclusive and intolerant.

I am not ashamed of His claims. Are you?

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Silence.

Jesus stood before His accusers and answered them not a word (Matthew 26:62-63).

Why?

He stood before His accusers much in the same way we would have had to stand before God. As unredeemed sinners we would have had nothing to say before Him (Romans 3:19). \

He stood in silence, but it was not the silence of guilt. No indeed, this silence was prophesied in Isaiah 53:7 “… he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.”

He stood in silence in our place as we would have had to stand before God. He could have defended Himself, but He stood in silence because He was the Substitute.

Are you ashamed of His silence? I´m not!

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word- Ashamed

Some years ago, an eminent minister of the Gospel lay on his death bed and a friend asked him, “Are you afraid to die?” ” No,” he said, turning his dimming eyes on his questioner. “No, I am not afraid, but I am ashamed!”

These words impacted me. I identified with them entirely. I love and believe the message of grace but when I look at my past life, I cringe. I am ashamed. I am compelled to say with Bishop Beveredge, ‘I cannot but look back upon my whole life but as one continued act of sin! “

I melt when I consider God´s patience and forbearance towards me. How does he put up with me? I´m amazed at the hideous vitality of sin and self that yet lurks within me. I am ashamed.

I have not preached the way I should have preached. I am ashamed

I have wasted opportunities for the Gospel and am ashamed

I see my lack of love and am ashamed.

I see my ingratitude and shortcomings and am ashamed.

I realize my lack of zeal and am ashamed.

I consider my prayer life and am ashamed.

Concerning prayer, I identify with the great John Newton who wrote,

“Often at the mercy-seat,

While calling on Thy name,

Swarms of evil thoughts I meet,

Which fill my soul with shame.

Agitated is my mind,

Like a feather in the air,

Can I thus a blessing find?

My soul, can this be prayer?”

Thank you, brother John Newton! Glad to see I´m not the only one in this boat. In fact, we are a large company. We know God has forgiven us, but we find it hard to forgive ourselves. We look at our failures and feel ashamed.

All fear of death has been taken away by the certainty of eternal life through Jesus; but we are at times keenly aware that, at best, we are unprofitable servants (Luke17:10)! Think of the many times our heart has been cold towards our precious master, friend and Saviour, the Lord Jesus. We have earned the right to be ashamed.

Ashamed of our imperfections,

Ashamed of ourselves.

Ashamed at our start, stop prayer life.

Ashamed at how little of the Word we know.

How we thank our Saviour for grace, mercy and the precious blood.

An awful price has been paid for our ransom. May we be overwhelmed and amazed at the undeserved mercy of God. He has even died for our shame. He has saved and adopted us.

Final thought. The “ashamedness,” we feel can only be felt in this life. In glory we will be like the Lord, we will remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12). Shame cannot exist in the presence of God. All the bitter shame and sorrow flee in the brightness and glory of His grace! Psalm 16:11 assures us that “In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” There’s not an inch of room for “shame” there.

But do some people actually arrive in glory with shame? Perhaps so! We read, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes,” (Revelation 21:4). Included in these tears could well be tears of shame. At the end of the day, I don´t know. But this I do know; all memory of unworthiness and sin shall be impossible when we wake in His likeness (Psalm 17:15).

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word- Numbered Hairs

September 25, 2019 2 comments

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30).

A doctor once tried to count the number of hairs on the human head. Taking a fairly hairy head, he found the number of hairs on a square inch of surface to be 1,066. This he estimated would give 127,920 for the whole head, while thicker heads of hair might have 150,000 hairs.

150,000!!!! And these hairs are all numbered!

Who said that?

It was Christ Himself, the God-man. He said, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Notice, He doesn´t say they are counted but numbered. Numbering is something above and beyond counting. Many things are counted, but not all numbered.

The numbering speaks of additional and special care.

Numbering implies a marking.

Numbering suggests a special noting.

Numbering infers a labeling.

The very hairs of our heads have all been numbered.” What immense care He has for His people!

God knows us intimately and minutely. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He has numbered every hair, even though they are of little value and not one of them, like the sparrow, falls to the ground apart from our Father’s will.

One old time preacher said it like this, “Such is the marvelous and inconceivable knowledge of Christ Jesus that, if a hair fell from the head of one of His children and was carried by the winds of heaven across the wide-spreading ocean, the Lord would know to whose head that single hair belonged.”

This is a wonderful truth that warms our hearts when all around us is spiritually cold.

Let´s ask for a moment, what is the source of this numbering? Were our hairs numbered by an angel who was specially trained for the task? No, the numbering is done by our Father in heaven. Of course, there are many who will dispute that statement about our hairs being numbered as being extravagant and extreme. This statement is not to be taken literally they say. But that shouldn´t bother us. It was Jesus who said it and we believe Him. His words are neither false nor exaggerated.

Jesus said it,

That settles it.

I believed it,

That settled me.

May we let the Master´s words encourage us. The Lord really takes meticulous care of His blood bought people.

This truth is further illustrated in the following scripture., “But Zion said, The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet will I not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me” (Isaiah 49 15-16).

Notice the mother and the sucking child. In most cases, the mother will at all costs protect and provide for the baby. How much more will the Lord protect His own children?

Also He says, “I have engraved you upon the palms of My hands.” He doesn´t say he has written us on His hands, that would have been a great thing, but to engrave, to cut our names into His hands! What a symbol of His immense love for His blood bought.

Of course, this language points us to the day when the hands of the young Prince of Glory were nailed to the cross. They were nailed there for the sins of those whose names were carved there.

Whatever our problems – The Lord is with us. The Lord understands and the Lord can help.

As Spurgeon said, “God reckons everything about His people to be so precious that He even takes stock of the hairs of their heads.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word – When I get to Heaven

September 18, 2019 Leave a comment

There are certain things I look forward to seeing in Heaven when I get there. Brother McKee, you say ´WHEN´ you get to heaven. Are you not being too cocky? No indeed! However, I would be being boastful if I were depending on me for eternal life. The truth is, I am a wretch saved by grace but I´ve been bought and paid for by precious blood. I´m safe and secure in Christ. That´s why I say WHEN I get to Heaven

There are things I´d like to see there. For example, there are radiant crowns of pure gold that the elders wear (Revelation 4:4). Then there´s a river, a crystal-clear river, (Revelation 22:1). What must that look like? Then the Throne, the very Throne of Heaven from where our Sovereign majesty rules and reigns. And as I stand in awe and gaze upon the majestic rainbow around it (Revelation 4:3), I´d remember that I want to see and understand why there is a sea of glass mixed with fire (Revelation 15:2-3).

I´d also love to contemplate the brilliance of the costly stones and crystal-clear jasper that are in use everywhere. I´d delight to see the twelve gates (Revelation 21:12) and the twelve foundations (Revelation 21:14). The foundations of those gates are garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation is jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. (See Revelation 21:19-20). Totally amazing!

Then I´d make sure to hear the music. John says he heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: (Revelation 14:2-3). I can only imagine what those harpers must sound like. It will be utterly magnificent.

There´s also a street constructed of pure gold. Walking on gold! I think that when I stand there it, I will be abandoned to astonished speechlessness (Revelation 21:21).

But magnificent as all these things are, the great attraction of Heaven for me will be JESUS, in His own divine and glorious Person. The great desirability of heaven will neither be the prophets, apostles, martyrs; nor “the general assembly and Church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven. “

Much as I look forward to seeing the place where there is no sickness and death and where tears never fall, the main attraction will neither be the “great cloud of witnesses,” nor the song of the redeemed but JESUS HIMSELF-

JESUS-

JESUS-

JESUS HIMSELF.

He will be the one grand and glorious object of universal attraction and delight. There´s an old saying I fully endorse which says, “Were I in heaven without my God, it were no heaven to me.”

So true! Heaven means we will get to meet face to face with the God-Man, the one who was wounded, bruised and slaughtered on our behalf. May Jesus be our entire salvation and all our desire. May He not be a stranger to us when we arrive in Glory.

The old-time preacher, Joseph Irons, said it like this,

“Heaven is where Jesus is and, consequently, I am not going to say a word about its locality. All I want to know of heaven, before I get there, and all I shall want to know of heaven, when I get there, is that I am to be with Jesus–everlastingly with Jesus; immortal as He is-yes, more, as safe as He is. For, He says, “Because I live, you shall live also,” so that I may boldly assert that the life of a believer is as safe as the life of Christ and must be so to all eternity.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

You have the freedom of Jerusalem

September 2, 2019 Leave a comment

Then, to conclude, you have the freedom of Jerusalem, the mother of us all. That is the best gift. We are free to heaven. When a Christian dies, he knows the open sesame that can open the gates of heaven, he knows the pass-word that can make the gates wide open fly; he has the white stone whereby he shall be known as a ransomed one, and that shall pass him at the barrier, he has the passport that shall let him into the dominions of Jehovah; he has liberty to enter into heaven. Methinks I see you, ye unconverted, in the land of shades, wandering up and down to find your portion. Ye come to the porch of heaven. It is great and lofty. The gate hath written o’er it, “The righteous only are admitted here.” As ye stand, ye look for the porter. A tall archangel appeareth from above the gate, and ye say, “Angel, let me in.” “Where is thy robe?” Thou searchest, and thou hast none; thou hast only some few rags of thine own spinning, but no wedding garment. “Let me in,” sayest thou, “for the fiends are after me to drag me to yonder pit. Oh, let me in.” But with a quiet glance the angel lifteth up his finger and saith. “Read up there;” and thou readest, “None but the righteous enter here.” Then thou tremblest, thy knees knock together; thy hands shake. Were thy bones of brass they might melt, and were thy ribs of iron they might be dissolved Ah! there thou standest, shivering, quaking, trembling; but not long, for a voice which frights thee from thy feet and lays thee prostrate, cries, “Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” O dear hearers, shall that be your portion? My friends as I love you,—I do this morning and hope I ever shall,— shall this be your lot? Will you not have freedom to enter into the city? Will you not seek that Spirit which giveth liberty? Ah! I know ye will not have it if left to yourselves; some of you perhaps never will. O God, grant that that member may be but few, but may the number of the saved be great indeed!

Turn, then my soul unto thy rest

The ransom of thy great High Priest,

Hath set the captive free.

Trust to his efficacious blood

Nor fear thy banishment from God,

Since Jesus died for thee.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855

You have a right to enter into the city

Then, if you have the “Spirit of the Lord,” dear friends, you have a right to enter into the city. There are many of the freemen of the City of London here, I dare say, and that is a great privilege, very likely. I am not a freeman of London, but I am a freeman of a better city.

Savior, if of Zion’s city,

I, by grace, a member am,

Let the world revile or pity,

I will glory in thy name.”

You have a right to the freedom of Zion’s city, and you do not exercise it. I want to have a word with some of you. You are very good Christian people, but you have never joined the church yet. You know it is quite right, that he that believeth should be baptized; but I suppose you are afraid of being drowned, for you never come. Then the Lord’s table is spread once every month, and it is free to all God’s children, but you never approach it. Why is that? It is your banquet. I do not think if I were an alderman I should omit the city banquet; and being a Christian, I cannot omit the Christian banquet; it is the banquet of the saints.

Ne’er did angels taste above

Redeeming grace and dying love.”

Some of you never come to the Lord’s table; you neglect his ordinances. He says, “This do in remembrance of me.” You have obtained the freedom of the city, but you won’t take it up. You have a right to enter in through the gates into the city, but you stand outside. Come in brother; I will give you my hand. Don’t remain outside the church any longer, for you have a right to come in.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855