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The Wednesday Word: Is it Enough to be Created for Him? Part 2

Colossians 1:16

“…all things were created by him, and for him:”

We have been created for Jesus. To absorb ourselves in our self-absorbed plans and dreams is to miss out on our purpose. Oh indeed, men may applaud us, but Heaven’s endorsement will be noticeable only by its absence.

Last time we demonstrated this truth in the story of Jonah. To further illustrate this point, let your mind go back to 1 Kings 17. The Lord had sent Elijah into hiding from wicked King Ahab. But, how would he survive in the wilderness? So, the Lord said to Elijah (and I paraphrase) “Don’t worry a thing about it, I have commanded the ravens to come and feed you.”

This is startling!

Why?

Because the most stingy and greedy birds in the world are ravens. They would rather plunder and pillage than share with anyone. But the Lord spoke to them and they obeyed. It’s as if they said, “Lord we were created by you and we are created for you.”

Then, consider Jesus on the day He entered into Jerusalem (Luke 19). He dispatched the disciples to bring him a little, unbroken donkey. Furthermore, He instructed them to respond to anyone who gave challenge to their right to take the donkey, “The Lord has need of him”. Imagine going up to a stranger’s house and taking a car without permission. But this is the equivalent of what they did and yes, they were challenged as to what they were doing but when they replied, ‘the Lord has need of him’ everything changed. “Oh, the Lord has need of him…that makes everything alright.” It’s as if they said of the donkey, “He was created by the Lord and He is created for the Lord.”

And then remember when Jesus was entering Jerusalem on that donkey. The crowd was calling out their praises but there were those who wanted Jesus to silence them. The Lord’s reply was and is significant. He said that if the crowd refused to praise him the very stones would cry out. It’s as if He said, “These stones were created by me and they are created for me.”

Are you getting the point? All of nature gets it! The wind, the fish, the Ravens, the owners of the donkey and the inanimate stones all get it. They know that all has been created for Him. Have we grasped this yet? We are not independent of Him, we are not some untouched island.

We are created for Him.

We are here to glorify Him.

Let’s quickly take a trip to Heaven and listen in to what they are doing there. Peek in and see the 24 elders before the throne. Listen to what they are saying to Jesus. Their mantra is, “Thou art worthy to receive glory honour and power for thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they were and are created”

He has created us for Himself and for His pleasure. So, is Jesus enough? Is building your life on Him enough? Perhaps you are saying, “I believe that I am created for Him but how do I put legs on this? How do I start living for Him in all things?”

There’s no law, no 7 steps to take. However, the words of a children’s Hymn are very helpful to answer this question. While not exhaustive, the insight it furnishes is very helpful; it says;

“O what can little hands do

To please the King of Heav’n?

The little hands some work may try

That will some simple need supply:

Such grace to mine be given,

O what can little lips do

To please the King of Heav’n?;

The little lips can praise and pray,

And gentle words of kindness say:

Such grace to mine be given,

O what can little eyes do

To please the King of Heav’n?

The little eyes can upward look,

Can learn to read God’s Holy Book:

Such grace to mine be given,

O what can little hearts do

To please the King of Heav’n?

Young hearts, if he his Spirit send,

Can love their Maker, Saviour, Friend:

Such grace to mine be given.”

As we purpose to set our life apart to the glory of God, He will lead us to the steps He has prepared. We have been created for Him!

Jesus is enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word: Is It Enough To be Created for Him? Part 1

October 10, 2018 2 comments

Colossians 1:16

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”

This gripping text (Colossians 1:16) declares that we have been created both by and for Jesus. Although it’s good to know we are created by the Lord and didn’t just crawl out from under some log, it’s even better to know we were created for Him. This is a transforming truth. Think of it, the reason we are alive is not for ourselves but for Him.

God has created us for an immediate purpose which is neither concealed nor obscure—- Purpose?

Yes, our purpose is to live for Christ Jesus (Revelation 4:11).

Of course, we will not see the unfolding of His purpose in its fullness till we meet Him face to face. But in the meantime, it’s a simple arrangement, He died for us … we live for Him.

I’ve discovered that, when we really believe we were created for Him, there are fewer anxieties in our lives. There is less fussing, fewer fights and a reduced amount of pettiness.

We have been created on purpose and that purpose is to live for Jesus.

Remember this, His love was set upon us before the dawn of time (Ephesians 1:4). He created us. He loves us personally and specifically. We all know God is love but it’s much more satisfying to know He loves us in particular.

Do we know that Jesus has created, loved, lived for, died for and has risen again for us? Has this truth gripped us?

That all things are, ‘created for Him,’ is beautifully illustrated in the book of Jonah. There we encounter the fleeing prophet. Poor Jonah, the Lord had told him to preach at Nineveh but he refused and tried to get away. He’s forgotten that he was created for the Lord. Instead, he rose up and fled! Disobedience had made him dumb in both senses of the word. Here’s a prophet who had forgotten good Bible doctrine. He’d forgotten that it is impossible to get away from God. Listen to these words,

“Whither shall I go from thy Spirit or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea even there shall thy hand lead me.” Psalm 139: 7-12

Jonah had risen up to flee from the presence and purpose of the Lord. There he is trying to get away from the omnipresent God in a puny little ship that, at best, limped from port to port. Look at it as it makes its weary way across the sea. So the Lord sent a great wind into the sea. It’s as if God said to the wind, “Wind, I’ve got a disobedient prophet out on the water; go out there and blow Him home to me.

And the wind said, “Yes Lord, I was created by you and I am created for you, do with me according to Thy good pleasure”.

Of course, you know the story, how the wind nearly sank the ship and Jonah volunteered to be thrown overboard to quell the storm. Thus the storm was stopped but Jonah is now in the “Sea of No Hope and Fewer Prospects!” So the Lord prepared a big fish and said, “Listen to me fish, I have a disobedient prophet out there and I want you to swallow him but don’t chew him up. Don’t eat him. Hold him like he’s in hell and after three days vomit him up on the shore”. And I think I hear the fish say, “Lord I was created by you and I am created for you. Your wish is my command.”

What immense joy comes from knowing we are created for Him.

Next time (DV) we will continue this thought.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: The Unsearchable Riches of Christ

Ephesians 3:8 ‘Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

The unsearchable riches of Christ were the thrust of the apostolic message and should be our focus today (Ephesians 3:8). The preacher’s main pulpit subject is not to be politics, nor morality but the preaching of the unsearchable riches of Christ.

‘Unsearchable’… what a mystifying term. It takes us to the treasure-house of God’s grace and shows us that the riches of Christ are,

Inexhaustible, they are like having a bank account that no matter how much we spend we can never empty. These riches are,

Unfathomable, they are like a bottomless ocean of limitless reserves. These riches are both,

Unexplorable, and Indescribable. Just when we think we have arrived, these riches keep showing us that there is more beyond. They are dynamic and ongoing.

We are to declare primarily and essentially, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He is the subject of, ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ.’

We preach doctrine, but our doctrines are to be clothed with Christ. We preach Election but our election is not separated from Christ (Ephesians 1:3-4). We preach assurance, but our assurance is not in ourselves, but in Christ (Ephesians 3:12, 2 Timothy 1:12). We preach reconciliation unto God, but reconciliation is only in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18). We preach redemption but not without Christ (Romans 3:23-24). We preach the One true living God but not without the revelation of Christ Jesus, God manifest in the flesh (John 1:18; John 14:9).

As Spurgeon says, ‘The doctrines of the Gospel are a golden throne upon which Jesus sits as King—not a hard, cold stone rolled at the door of the sepulcher in which Christ is hidden.‘

The able minister of the New Covenant preaches Christ crucified (Romans 15:16, 25).

Spurgeon again tells us the following story. A young man had been preaching in the presence of a highly respected older minister, and after he had done, went to the old gentleman, and said, “What do you think of my sermon?”

“A very poor sermon indeed,” was the reply.

“A poor sermon?” said the young man, “it took me a long time to study it.”

“Aye, no doubt.”

“Did you not think my explanation of the text a very good one?”

“Oh, yes,” said the old preacher, “very good indeed.”

“Well, then, why do you say it is a poor sermon? Didn’t you think the metaphors were appropriate and the arguments conclusive?”

“Yes, they were very good as far as that goes, but still it was a very poor sermon.”

“Will you tell me why you think it a poor sermon?”

“Because,” said he, “there was no Christ in it.”

“Well,” said the young man, “Christ was not in the text; we are not to be preaching Christ always, we must preach what is in the text.”

So the old man said,

“Don’t you know young man that from every town and every village, and every little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there is a road to London?”

“Yes,” said the young man.

“Ah!” said the old divine “and so from every text in Scripture, there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ. And my dear brother, your business is when you get to a text, to say, ‘Now what is the road to Christ?’ and then preach a sermon, running along the road towards the great metropolis—Christ. “And,” said he, “I have never yet found a text that had not got a road to Christ in it, and if I ever do find one that has not a road to Christ in it, I will make one; I will go over hedge and ditch to get to my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savor of Christ in it.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

http://www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Good News for Bad Christians

September 26, 2018 1 comment

“Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6)

Have you ever thought of yourself as a bad Christian? You look at your life and all you see is flaw after flaw. You fail in your thought life. You fall easily. You don’t read the word or pray the way you could.

Here’s some good news, your Saviour does not condemn you for these failures. There remains no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

All of us, no matter in what stage of growth we find ourselves, need to hear the Gospel on an ongoing basis. That’s because we forget it on an ongoing basis. We need to remember the words of Elizabeth Prentice who wrote: “The greatest saint on earth has got to reach Heaven on the same terms as the greatest sinner; unworthy, unfit, good-for-nothing; but saved through grace.”

To grow in grace, we need to hear about Jesus, His person, His doing, His dying and rising again.

We need to be immersed in the truth that Jesus is the God-man…God manifest in the flesh.

We need to know that Jesus has perfectly satisfied God’s justice.

He has magnified God’s Law.

He has entirely met God’s demands on us.

He has forever put away sin.

He has completely routed the devil.

He has defeated death.

He has cleansed our conscience.

He has perfectly loved His people.

He has perfectly hated His people’s sins.

He has perfectly cleansed His people’s sins.

He has perfectly taken them away.

He has perfectly paid for them with His blood.

His Gospel is Good news and more good news.

The Gospel is finished, it is complete.

His Gospel is unsearchable but not incomprehensible.

O that all the churches would preach the Gospel and its multiplied applications! At best, however, we get a little bit of grace to make us feel loved, a big bit of law to try to make us behave and a major amount of condemnation when we don’t make the grade.

But that is not the pattern for New Testament ministry.

Speaking of condemnation, even we who are grace preachers sometimes leave our listeners with the impression that there is now, therefore, still condemnation to those that are in Christ.”

But that’s wrong! Let’s try it again.

‘There is now, therefore, only a tiny teeny bit of condemnation to those in Christ.’

Never!

There is NO condemnation to those who struggle and fail. The Gospel is about good news, good news and more good news (Romans 5:20-21). And that’s what we need if ever we are to grow in grace.

Do you remember the story of the prodigal son? That scallywag disregarded his father and then disgraced himself in every way possible. One old time preacher said, “Do you know the difference between the son in that pig-pen and the pig? The pig never said to himself, ’I will arise and go to my father.’

No indeed, it’s not in the pig’s nature to leave the Pig-pen but the Child of God hates it there.

And the truth is, we’ve all been in the Pig-pen at various times. We have all failed, disappointed ourselves, and felt condemned. But the good news is, all the wealth of the righteousness of Christ is ours and all our guilt is His. He is the shepherd who seeks until He finds. Yet we hide from Him and turn away in fear and shame, not because we don’t love Him, but because we don’t know His love for us. We don’t know the Gospel.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: ‘Until’ (Part 2)

September 19, 2018 Leave a comment

Do you remember those dreaded words your Mother would say when you were a child? “Wait until your Father gets home!” It was a long, anxious, uneasy wait, wasn’t it?

We, likewise, are waiting, waiting for Jesus to come back. But, for us, there is no dread or fear. Jesus is coming back … to unite His family with Himself … forever! We don’t know just WHEN He will return but we know that He WILL.

Concerning the return of Jesus, Acts 3:21 gives us another precious UNTIL. It reads, ‘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.’

This ‘until’ will herald the consummation of Salvation to His people but at the same time will announce the destruction of Christ- rejecters.

The destruction of Christ-rejecters?

Yes! But don’t get mad at me, I didn’t write it! Speaking of this last day’s ‘until’, Acts 3:23 declares; ‘And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.’

Oh but the redeemed of the Lord have no need to fret and worry about this. Those whom the Savior has rescued can never be lost again. Concerning people who believe that we can be saved and lost, Spurgeon said, and I paraphrase, ‘those who hold this view need to go up to heaven and set the angels straight on this matter. They need to tell them not to rejoice until the sinner dies and goes to heaven, because they may be rejoicing too soon. What if he repents but later falls away and is lost? The angels shouldn’t be so fast with their joy!’ (see Luke 15:10).

Salvation is the gift of God, and God’s gifts are “irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).

The redeemed of the Lord cannot be unpurchased.

The blood can never lose its authority.

Eternal life cannot be temporary if it’s eternal.

It’s not provisional life, it’s everlasting life.

Remember, we are not secure in our salvation because of our grip on the Saviour, but rather because of His grip on us. He loved us before time began. He came here Himself in the person of His Son to secure our redemption with His blood. He sought us until He found us. Do you think that He will now let us go back into our sins and be lost again? Away with such nonsense! If a child of God ends in Hell, Jesus, the One who claimed to be the Truth, is made a liar because He has promised His sheep they will never perish (John 10:28).

May we learn patiently to wait for this next great ‘until’ that will bring the resurrection of our bodies and the consummation of His glorious salvation.

We have been justified, reconciled and set apart unto Him. And now we wait, resting on the exceeding great and precious promises of His Word (2 Peter 1:4).

Until He comes, we are Worshippers. We show His death (1 Cor. 11:26).

Until He comes, we are Warriors. We hold fast his truth, (Revelation 2:25).

Until He comes, we are Workers. We are occupied in His service (Luke 19:13).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

Categories: Gospel Tags: , , ,

The Wednesday Word: ‘Until’

September 12, 2018 Leave a comment

Lk 15:4; “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost until he finds it?

Perhaps you know the story of an ad that appeared in the “Lost and Found” section of a local paper. It read, “Lost Dog: Crippled in front paw, blind in left eye, mange on back and neck, tail missing. Answers to the name ‘Lucky.’

Funny!

Actually, Lucky was a blessed dog because, in spite of all that was wrong with him, somebody loved him and was searching for him.

In point of fact, we’re a bit like old Lucky. God loves us, not for any quality about us or in us, but loves us because He loves us with the love of grace and the grace of love.

Wonder of wonders! God came to seek and to save that which was lost and He kept seeking UNTIL He found us. He has found and rescued us. He will never leave or lose us.

Let’s say it again, we were lost and Jesus found us. And what part did we play in this drama? Did we help to find ourselves? No indeed! Our part was to stray and we did it with excellence. My friend Keith Lamb says it like this, ‘The only thing God expected from us was sin and He was never disappointed.’

The just and holy Law of God had come rightly demanding that we love God with all. According to this Law, we ought to have Him as our first priority. But we went astray. None of us sought God with our whole hearts (Romans 3:11).

Nevertheless, all hope had not vanished, for Grace said, I will come and seek until I find! “But Brother,” you say, “What about our free will?” Listen to me, our wills are free only to wander farther and farther from the Love and Mercy of the Saviour. We by nature are lost sinners. Many people generally admit to being sinners but precious few admit to being lost sinners and nothing else.

Nonetheless, our Shepherd seeks us ‘Until’ He finds. What determination and persistence…..Until!!! None of the barricades we erected got in His way. Not the barricade of Self -righteousness, not that of indifference, neither the enmity towards our Saviour nor the hatred of men…none of these things deterred Him in His search, for He seeks UNTIL He finds.

‘I sought the Lord, and afterwards I knew

He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me.

It was not I who found, O Saviour true,

No, I was found by Thee.’

Here’s a beautiful truth bathed in Gospel understanding. When we find Christ, we discover that we were the ones who were lost and it was He who did all the finding.

There is no other faith like this. Gospel Christianity stands apart from all other ways of approaching God. Religion demands that we make every effort to get to God…but the God who seeks the lost and seeks until He finds is a revolutionary idea birthed in Heaven.

Only the lost can be found by Jesus,

In much the same way, only the sick need a Doctor

And only the self-satisfied cannot receive grace.

Only the poor in Spirit can receive the riches of Grace.

And it’s only the naked who can be clothed.

It’s all of Grace!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Categories: Gospel Tags: , , , ,

The Wednesday Word: He Came, He Sought, He Saved

September 5, 2018 Leave a comment

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10.

He Has Come

What a beautiful word is that word ‘Come.’ The Lord says;

“Come now let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18).

“Come unto me all you that are weary and heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28).

“Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for thee” (Matthew 25:34).

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

And; “….this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:11).

What a marvelous little word is the word ‘COME’.

He has Come to Seek

In the Old Testament, in Deuteronomy 4:29, we are told “..seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”

What a wonderful promise, but no one attains to it. Such a degree of passion for the Lord was and is unreachable. Seek with all your heart and soul ?? …that scuppered the most diligent of us. This is why we read in Romans 3:11 ‘there is none that seeks God.’

But because of our inability to seek with all our heart and soul, Emmanuel, God with us, came to this earth to seek us. In Christ, we are now perfect seekers.

Adam, our first Father was sought by God, but Adam ran away. That’s where we learned our skills of avoiding God. Adam wasn’t looking for God, He was desperate to escape from his Creator and thus went into hiding. Sin had made both him and his descendants cowards.

Jesus came to this Earth to seek. He came and sought out the big uneducated fishermen on the shores of Galilee.

He sought the young, fit tax-collector, Zacchaeus and by His Spirit, He is still seeking today!

But not only did He come to seek …

He Has Come to Save

The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11). Notice the precision of this verse. Jesus (the Grace of God) has come to bring salvation. He didn’t come to attempt to bring salvation. He had and has a mission, a task, a goal. He has come with a purpose.

He didn’t come to teach academic studies.

He didn’t come to settle political differences.

He didn’t come to tickle the ears of His listeners.

He came to seek and to save.

He came to make an atonement by the shedding of His blood. He came to save us from the penalty, pleasure and ultimately the presence of sin.

In Conclusion

Finally, who did He come to seek and to save? He came to seek and to save the ‘lost’. And here’s the truth of the matter: until a person is lost they cannot be found!

I love the following story. George Whitefield, one of the greatest Gospel ministers since the days of the apostles, had a brother who was far from God.

One day as the Countess of Huntingdon was witnessing to him over a cup of tea he said to her,

“I know what you have said is very proper, and I believe in the infinite mercy and goodness of God. But I do not believe it applies to me, for I am a lost man.”

The Countess put down her tea and said, “I am glad to hear it, Mr. Whitefield!”

“Madam,” he said, “I did not think you would rejoice and glory in a thing so terrible as that.”

“I am glad to hear you say you are lost Mr. Whitefield,” she said, “for it is written that Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

His eyes sparkled, and he said, “I thank God for that text, and for the extraordinary power with which it has now come into my heart.”

He died later that night.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com