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The Wednesday Word: Jesus: The Rock of Ages

February 19, 2020 Leave a comment

Jesus remains the same in all ages. He is the One who is constant when everything and everyone else fails. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He is our rock (1 Samuel 2:2).

In the Old Testament, in Exodus 33, Jesus is pictured as the Cleft Rock. In that chapter, verse 18 and following, Moses desired to see the glory of the Lord, but was told, “You cannot see My face; for there shall no man see My face and live.” And the Lord said, “There is a place by Me, and you shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.”

Notice that as Moses stood upon the rock, the Lord hid him in the cleft. This wonderfully applies to us today! Believers are both standing on and hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3). We are both in and on the Rock.

As life with its many bitter events presses upon us, the Lord hides us in the cleft of the Rock. As the hymn writer said,

“I rest in Christ the Son of God,

Who took the servant’s form:

By faith I flee to Jesus’ cross,

My shelter from the storm.”

And, in our shelter, in the presence of Christ, bitterness is turned to sweetness and misery is covered by mercy.

When hidden in Christ, the terror of the storm begins to melt. In Christ Jesus, we enjoy a peace which passes all understanding (see Philippians 4:6-7).

In Christ, we are given the hidden riches of secret places (see Isaiah 45:3). Untold treasures are to be found in Him! Sometimes in a rock, there are veins of precious ore. So it is with the Rock of Ages. There are permanent riches in Him and untold stores of wealth in His Word. As we discover these veins of truth in Christ, the more amazing He becomes to us.

Life, Love and Liberty are found in Him

The source of joy, spiritual food and salvation are found in Him

All things we need for time and eternity are found in Him.

He is the Rock we need for both life and death for in and on the Rock, we have both safety and security.

We no longer, like Moses, have to ask for a special revelation of God. In the New Covenant, Yahweh has given us the manifestation of Himself in the Person of Christ. His character and magnificence are continuously displayed to us in the gospel.

The good news is that, as the Rock of Ages, Jesus the Christ, is our refuge from the storm. Were it not for Jesus, life and death would shred us to pieces. He is our divine protection.

It is a beautiful thing to know that Jesus is our cleft rock, the wounded rock. He is the Christ who was crucified.

Consider Him, Christ wounded by His enemies.

Christ, smitten by the law and justice of God.

Christ, smitten by the Father.

Christ, pierced with the nails and the spear!

Had He not been smitten, pierced, wounded, slain and crucified, there would have been no Cleft Rock in which to shelter. It is wonderful! It is gracious! It is past man’s understanding!

“Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee;

Let the water and the blood,

From Thy riven side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure,

Save me from its guilt and power.”

Agustus Toplady

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Is His Ability Enough for You? Part 2

Last week we considered Jesus the Able One who is able to do above all we ask or think. Today we notice that, He is able to do abundantly above all we ask or think.

This gets better and better. Not only is He able to do above all, but He is also able to do, “Abundantly above all” (see Deuteronomy 1:10-11). In other words, take what we are praying for and multiply it by 100 then by 1000. That’s the kind of answer God is willing and able to give. The Lord is not limited by our prayers, and a good thing too for our prayers are deficient and shallow. He takes even the frailty of our prayers, touches them with His greatness and returns an answer worthy of His majesty. He is enough!

Notice next that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we as or think.

Think of the greatest abundance you can imagine by multiplication and then multiply it again. Is that what this means? No! That can be measured! His answers and provision are as vast and immeasurable as the stars of the universe. He answers us like royalty because we are the children of His magnificent grace.

He will answer and provide “exceeding abundantly.” Spurgeon says, “His power to bless us is not limited by our power to understand the blessing! Grace is not measured to us according to our capacity to receive, but according to His ability to bestow! —Has not the Lord said, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it?” Yet our widest mouth is not the measure of what He can give us! Our boldest prayer is not the boundary of what He is able to bestow!”

Spurgeon’s sermons: Vol 21

I heard a story about the first city fathers of New York as they contemplated the future growth of their municipality. They laid out the streets and numbered them from the centre outward. When they began, there were only six or seven thoroughfares, but they felt they needed to project for potential future growth.

Being men of vision, they decided they needed to ‘think big’ so reaching beyond their wildest imagination, they drew streets on the map all the way out to 19th Street. They called it “Boundary Street.” They were sure that that was as big as New York would get.

Good luck with that one men! History has proven them to be so very short-sighted. The city has reached more than 284th Street and counting!

Jesus is never limited in His ability. We should always be prepared to receive exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or even think.

The thief on the cross asked to be remembered but was given eternal life —-that was an ‘exceeding abundantly above’ answer.

Simon the Pharisee asked Jesus to dinner and got a revelation of the Character of God —another ‘exceeding abundant above’ moment!

Mary and Martha asked Jesus to pray for their sick brother but got a miracle of resurrection—-they got exceeding abundantly above all that they asked or thought.

We need to discover, like Mary and Martha, that Jesus is bigger than any request we have. He is the God who is enough! He is big enough, wise enough, great enough, strong enough, powerful enough, kind enough and caring enough for anything we will have to face today. So let’s ask the question again, is Jesus enough?

HE

HE IS ABLE

HE IS ABLE TO DO

HE IS ABLE TO DO ALL

HE IS ABLE TO DO ALL WE ASK

HE IS ABLE TO DO ALL WE ASK OR THINK

HE IS ABLE TO DO ABOVE ALL WE ASK OR THINK

HE IS ABLE TO DO ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL WE ASK OR THINK

HE IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL WE ASK OR THINK

HE IS ENOUGH

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Is His ability enough for You? Part 1

In Christ Jesus, there is an immense strength available for believers. When His salvation first apprehended us, we began to comprehend our nothingness and entire dependence on Jesus. Even now, as His followers, we are still confronted by our weakness apart from Him. This is good, for it keeps us in a place of brokenness and dependency. It’s a place where we can learn that His ability is enough.

When we consider Christ’s ability, it’s good to contemplate, for example, His skill at answering our prayers. We read, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think—–” (Ephesians 3:20). This is an astonishing scripture! If this gets a hold of us, it will cause us to realize that Jesus really is enough. Let’s take a moment and look more closely at this verse and see what it says to us.

It begins by declaring’ “Unto Him”. All prayer starts, with Him, with Jesus. He is the ultimate prayer warrior. But who is He? He is the God/Man, the Maker of Heaven and earth. He is the one to whom all power in Heaven and earth is given. Our verse next informs us that,

He is able:

Jesus is the able one. He is able to save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25): He is able to make us stand (Romans 14:4): He is able to establish us (Romans 16:25): He is able to help us when we are tempted (Hebrews 2:18) and He is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless in Heaven (Jude 1:24). He is enough for every situation we face.

He is able to do:

He is the one who gets things done. When He opens a door no one can shut it, when He closes a door no one can open it. He is the God of all-power who does according to His will. He is enough!

He is able to do all:

Nothing is too difficult for the Lord! He is the great and mighty God and who can withstand Him? He commands the winds and the waves to be silent and they obey. He can calm all the storms in our lives—is this enough for us?

He is able to do all we ask.

He is able to make good every promise He has ever made. We, therefore, need to get into the habit of asking! Just think of the extravagant love and power there is for us. Reflect on Romans 8:32; which tells us that we shall be freely given all things with Christ.

He is able to do all we ask and think.

This almost gets scary! He is able to do all that we think. This means that, in Jesus, there are limitless possibilities. There is an inexhaustible fullness of grace, mercy and provision which our prayers can never drain.

Spurgeon says, “Have you not, at times, been filled with great thoughts of what God might do with you? Have you not imagined how He might use you for His Glory? He can do more than you have dreamed! Turn your pleasant dreams into fervent prayers and it may yet please the Lord to make you useful to an amazing degree—so that you shall be astonished at what you will accomplish. If of a humble shepherd lad He made a David, He may do the same with you!”

He is able to do above all we ask or think.

To know that He can do all we ask or think is good enough for me, but now to be told that He is able to do above all that we ask or think is enough to make a Presbyterian shout! He is able to do more than we ask or think! Isn’t it time for us to get a bigger vision of the greatness of Jesus and His ability?

As John Newton wrote,

“Thou art coming to a King,

Large petitions with thee bring;

For His grace and power are such,

None can ever ask too much.”

He is enough!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

To be continued.

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Is it Enough to be His?

“My beloved is mine and I am His” (Song of Songs 2:16). What a verse! What a truth. ‘We are His!’ Just to know that He is mine doesn’t do it for me. Why not? Because I am in the habit of losing things that are mine. But Jesus has never lost anything that is His. We are His! We are safe.

But how did we become His?

We became His because He created us (John 1:3). We are His because the Father gave us to Him as a gift (John 6:37). We are His because He bought us (1 Peter 1:18). We are His because He found us (Luke 19:10). We are His because He conquered us (Colossians 2:13). We are His, not because of our performance, but because of His grace (Ephesians 2:8).

Our sufficiency is in Christ alone! He is enough? Poor old Job would have utterly fainted had he not believed that He belonged to the all-sufficient Lord. There was once a time when Job could talk about everything that he had. He could boast about his, health, wealth and children, but there came a time when, suddenly, they were all gone. He had nothing left but the Word of the Lord and the Lord of the Word. He had lost everything, but still could say, “I know that my Redeemer liveth’ (Job 19:25).

Is Jesus enough for us? We have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7). Is that enough? We have His precious promises (2 Peter 1:4). Are they enough? He has promised, “Come unto me and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Is His rest enough? What more can He do than that which He has done? Is there something else we want to add to Him to find fulfillment?

We are His! What a beautiful truth! When we stumble and fall, we are His. In those situations, we actually collapse into His embrace for, “underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). His arms are almighty, they catch, hold, strengthen and restore us. He is our source, safety and salvation. He is enough!

When we fall, the everlasting arms catch us. And, it is in that fall that we realize, were it not for His grace, our destiny would be Hell and destruction. We apprehend that, in spite of our new life as Christians, we remain, at best, sinners saved by grace.

So, let me get personal and ask, have you fallen? Have you fallen badly? Does that mean then you are now finished as a believer? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He turned His back on you? No! You have fallen into His everlasting arms! Let Him teach you, therefore, the horror of your sins, let Him show you your nothingness; let Him strengthen you and demonstrate the power of His might. Don’t be dismayed under the sense of our own vileness and insufficiency. You are in His arms now! You are His! He will restore you and make you stand.

Perhaps you are struggling with the wretchedness of sin right this second! Look up and see, Jesus sitting majestically, robed in love, upon a throne of Grace. He is your King! Look again and see that He is your advocate who pleads your cause. Look again and see those the everlasting arms of sovereign power.

What authority then can snatch us out of those arms? What force can undo our reconciliation? What power can unfasten our redemption? What foul spirit can defy the Holy Spirit? “The eternal God is our refuge:” He has surrounded us with His grace, love, might and power. Is this enough for us? May we purpose today to walk into freedom, thankfulness and joy. Jesus is enough!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus enough to bring us through Discouragement?

Here’s an important thing to learn! Not everything we attempt to do for Jesus is going to please everyone. People may not rally to us! But this is the price of the call! As followers of Jesus, we will attempt the things others refuse to do. David was like that. He stood against Goliath while the rest of Israel cowered and cowed down in troubled fear. Yet his elder brother, Eliab, was furious and rebuked him when it became apparent he would undertake the fight. David wanted to bring glory to God, but it brought him harsh criticism and attacks from those who should have known better.

When the great missionary Patton was preparing to bring the Gospel to the savages of the New Hebrides an old gentleman in his church took him aside to warn him he was on a fool’s errand. “The cannibals, the cannibals,” cautioned the older man, “they will surely eat you.” Patton replied, “Mr. Dickson, with respect, you are advanced in years, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will arise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.”

For Patton, Jesus was enough! With Jesus, he was more than able to endure the discouragements thrown into his life. His ministry in the New Hebrides would last for over forty-three years. Did cannibals eat him? No, but some of his fellow workers perished that way! However, serving Jesus brought him a far from trouble-free life. He endured multiple disappointments. His first wife and child died—–he dug their graves with his own hands. He withstood affliction, shipwrecks and illness. But perhaps the biggest disappointments of all were the indifference of the Christians back home and the betrayal of friends and converts on the field. His life was filled with major disappointments. But for John G Patton, Jesus was enough! And what of his work? He lived to see the entire culture of the New Hebrides transformed by Christ. Men who once had hated and eaten one another would come to sit down together and worship the Lamb who was slain.

Maybe the Lord is calling you to feed orphans and widows in India; maybe your call is to partner financially with those who are spreading the gospel throughout the world. Maybe it is to go feed the poor and homeless in your hometown. You have only one life, make it count for Jesus. But be warned, not everyone will love you for taking the Word of God seriously. Members of your own family may think you’ve gone mad (Mark 3:21).

Let’s face it then, it is nothing for us to serve the Lord when everything is easy, when there is no opposition; when there are no roadblocks. However, what will happen when we encounter disappointments? Will we give up or be faithful in the midst of discouragement? The more we learn that Jesus is enough, the more we will be equipped to withstand the storms which come against you.

Look at Jesus, He didn’t abandon His mission when He encountered opposition and discouragements. Just think, what if He had given up! What if, when He was hanging on the cross being insulted and mocked by the passersby He had said, “that’s it, I quit!” I believe the universe would have collapsed like a deck of cards. But, Jesus was no quitter, and we have His Spirit so let us find our very life in Him. He is enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com