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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

Faith is the ticket which we use to get our souls out of pawn

Spurgeon 6I must tell you a singular story, which was related at our church meeting, because there may be some very poor people here who may understand the way of salvation by it. One of the friends had been to see a person who was about to join the church; and he said to him, “Can you tell me what you would say to a poor sinner who came to ask you the way of salvation?” “Well,” said he, “I do not know — I think I can hardly tell you; but it so happened that a case of this sort did occur yesterday. A poor woman came into my shop, and I told her the way; but it was in such a homely manner that I don’t like to tell you.” “Oh, yes, tell me; I should like to hear it.” Well, she is a poor woman, who is always pawning her things, and by-and bye she redeems them again. I did not know how to tell her better than this. I said to her: — ’Look here; your soul is in pawn to the devil: Christ has paid the redemption money; you take faith for your ticket and so you will get your soul out of pawn.’” Now, that was the most simple, but the most excellent way of imparting a knowledge of salvation to this woman. It is true our souls were pawned to Almighty vengeance; we were poor, and could not pay the redemption money; but Christ came and paid it all, and faith is the ticket which we use to get our souls out of pawn. We need not take a single penny with us; we have only to say, “Here, Lord, I believe in Jesus Christ. I have brought no money to pay for my soul, for there is the ticket, the money has been paid long ago. This is written in thy word: ‘The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.’” If thou takest that ticket, thou wilt get thy soul out of pawn; and thou wilt say, “I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven, I’m a miracle of grace.” May God bless you, my friends, for Christ’s sake.

Charles H. Spurgeon-God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856

A word to the ungodly

Spurgeon 3Now, just one word to the ungodly — you who do not know Christ. You have heard what I have told you, that salvation is of Christ alone. Is not that a good doctrine for you? For you have not got anything, have you? You are a poor, lost, ruined sinner. Hear this, then, sinner: thou hast nothing, and thou dost not want anything, for Christ has all. “Oh!” sayest thou, “I am a bond slave.” Ah! but he has got the redemption. “Nay, sayest thou, “I am a black sinner.” Ay, but he has got the bath that can wash thee white. Sayest thou, “I am leprous?” Yes but the good Physician can take thy leprosy away. Sayest thou, “I am condemned?” Ay, but he has got the acquittal warrant signed and sealed, if thou dost believe in him. Sayest thou, “But I am dead?” Ay, but Christ has life and he can give thee life. Thou wantest nothing of thine own — nothing to rely on but Christ, and if there be a man, woman, or child here, who is prepared to say solemnly after me, with his or her heart, “I take Christ to be my Savior, with no powers and no merits of my own to trust in. I see my sins, but I see that Christ is higher than my sins, I see my guilt, but I believe that Christ is mightier than my guilt;” — I say, if any one of you can say that, you may go away and rejoice, for you are heirs of the kingdom of heaven.

Charles H. Spurgeon- God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856

Keep thine eye wholly on God and on nothing

December 28, 2015 Leave a comment

Spurgeon 6Lastly, I bid thee once more to keep thine eye wholly on God, and on nothing in thy self, because what art thou now, and what wast thou ever, but a poor damned sinner if thou wert out of Christ! I had been preaching the other day all the former part of the sermon, as a minister; presently I thought I was a poor sinner, and then, how differently I began to speak! The best sermons I ever preach are those I preach, not in my ministerial capacity, but as a poor sinner preaching to sinners, I find there is nothing like a minister recollecting that he is nothing but a poor sinner, after all. It is said of the peacock, that although he has fine feathers he is ashamed of his black feet: I am sure that we ought to be ashamed of ours. However gay our feathers may appear at times, we ought to think of what we should be if grace did not help us. Oh! Christian keep thine eye on Christ, for out of him thou art no better than the damned in hell; there is not a demon in the pit but might put thee to the blush, if thou art out of Christ. Oh that thou wouldest be humble! Recollect what an evil heart thou hast within thee, even when grace is there. Thou hast grace — God loves thee, but recollect, thou hast a foul cancer in thy heart still. God has removed much of thy sin, but still the corruption remains. We feel that though the old man is somewhat choked, and the fire some what damped by the sweet waters of the Holy Spirit’s influence, yet it would blaze up worse than before, if God did not keep it under. Let us not glory in ourselves, then. The slave need not be proud of his descent: he has the brand-mark upon his hand. Out upon pride! Away with it! Let us rest wholly and solely upon Jesus Christ.

Charles H. Spurgeon-God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856

If thou join anything to Christ, thou wilt soon go into sin

December 21, 2015 Leave a comment

SpurgeonAnd, mark thee, once again, if thou lookest at anything save God, thou wilt soon go into sin. There was never a man who kept his eye on anything save Christ, who did not go wrong. If the mariner will steer by the pole-star he shall go to the north; but if he steers sometimes by the pole-star, and sometimes by another constellation he knoweth not where he shall go. If thou dost not keep thine eye wholly on Christ thou wilt soon be wrong. If thou ever dost give up the secret of thy strength, namely, thy trust in Christ; if thou ever dalliest with the Delilah of the world, and lovest thyself more than Christ, the Philistines will be upon thee, and shear thy locks, and take thee out to grind at the mill, till thy God give thee deliverance by means of thy hair growing once more, and bringing thee to trust wholly in the Savior. Keep thine eye, then, fixed on Jesus; for if thou dost turn away from him, how ill wilt thou fare I bid thee, Christian, beware of thy graces; beware of thy virtues; beware of thy experience, beware of thy prayers; beware of thy hope; beware of thy humility. There is not one of thy graces which may not damn thee, if they are left alone to themselves. Old Brooks saith, when a woman hath a husband, and that husband giveth unto her some choice rings, she putteth them on her fingers; and if she should be so foolish as to love the rings better than her husband; if she should care only for the jewels and forget him who gave them; how angry would the husband be, and how foolish she would be herself! Christian! I warn thee, beware of thy graces, for they may prove more dangerous to thee than thy sins. I warn thee of everything in this world; for everything has this tendency, especially a high estate. If we have a comfortable maintenance, we are most likely not to look so much to God. Ah! Christian, with an independent fortune, take care of thy money, beware of thy gold and silver; it will curse thee if it comes between thee and thy God. Always keep thine eye to the cloud, and not to the rain, — to the river, and not to the ship that floateth on its bosom. Look thee not to the sunbeam, but to the sun; trace thy mercies to God, and say perpetually, “He only is my rock and my salvation.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856

If you join anything to Christ, you can not see him so well

Spurgeon 1I beg thee, mark also, one reason why thou shouldest not look at anything else, and that is, if thou lookest at anything else thou canst not see Christ so well. “Oh!” thou sayest, “I can see Christ in his mercies.” but thou canst not see him so well there, as if you viewed his person. No man can look at two objects at the same time, and see both distinctly. You may afford a wink for the world, and a wink for Christ; but you cannot give Christ a whole look and a whole eye, and the world half an eye too. I beseech thee, Christian, do not try it. If thou lookest on the world, it will be a speck in thine eye, if thou trustest in anything but him, betwixt two stools thou wilt come to the ground, and a fearful fall wilt thou have. Therefore, Christian, look thou only on him. “He only is my rock and my salvation.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856

Christ is grieved if you join anything to Him

November 30, 2015 Leave a comment

CharlesSpurgeonAgain, Christ is very grieved if you do it. Assuredly you do not desire to grieve him who shed his blood for you. Surely there is not one child of God here who would like to vex his blessed elder Brother. There cannot be one soul redeemed by blood who would like to see those sweet blessed eyes of our best beloved bedewed with tears. I know ye will not grieve your Lord; will ye? But I tell you ye will vex his noble spirit if ye love aught but him; for he is so fond of you, that he is jealous of your love. It is said, concerning his Father, that he is “a jealous God,” and he is a jealous Christ you have to deal with; therefore, put not your trust in chariots, stay not yourselves in horses, but say, “He only is my rock and my salvation.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856

We are bound to put trust in God, give our love to God, all our hope in God, spend our life for God, and devote our whole being to God

November 16, 2015 2 comments

CharlesSpurgeonAnd now, in the third place, we speak of THE GREAT DUTY. We have had the great experience, now we must have the great duty.

The great duty is–it God only be our rock, and we know it, are we not bound to put all our trust in God, to give all our love to God, to set all our hope upon God, to spend all our life for God, and to devote our whole being to God? If God be all I have, sure, all I have shall be God’s. If God alone is my hope, sure, I will put all my hope upon God, if the love of God is alone that which saves, sure he shall have my love alone. Come, let me talk to thee, Christian, for a little while, I want to warn thee not to have two Gods, two Christs, two friends, two husbands, two great fathers; not to have two fountains, two rivers, two suns, or two heavens, but to have only one. I want to bid thee now, as God hath put all salvation in himself, to bring all thyself unto God. Come, let me talk to thee!

Charles H. Spurgeon-God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856