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Posts Tagged ‘Christ our Strength’

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 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

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

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

The Wednesday Word: Gospel Salvation

December 16, 2015 Leave a comment

What a comforting truth to know that the Lord is the God of Salvation. He brings salvation. With Him is salvation. But above all else, He Himself is our salvation. The gospel truth is that salvation is not a something but a someone (Exodus 15:2; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 38:22).

Simeon confirmed this. Do you remember him? Just after the birth of Christ, we find Simeon dwelling in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit was upon him. Indeed, the Holy Spirit had revealed unto him that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. One day, as he came, by the Spirit, into the Temple, Mary and Joseph were bringing the child Jesus in to fulfil the custom of the law. They met! Simeon instantly took the baby up in his arms, and blessed God, saying, ‘Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to Thy word for my eyes have seen Thy salvation.’ Salvation was declared by Simeon to be a person … …and the person was Jesus (see Luke 2:25-29).

We don’t know where Simeon was born. We don’t know who his parents were. We don’t know what Simeon did for a living. We don’t know what he looked like. We don’t know if Simeon was rich or poor. We don’t know what other people thought of him. But this we do know, Simeon had lived in the expectancy of seeing the Lord’s Messiah. And he saw Him when he held the baby Jesus.

Simeon held Jesus in his arms and recognised what millions have come to know and that is, Jesus is God’s salvation. Jesus is salvation because He is fully God and fully man. He is, therefore, the one who is uniquely equipped to save. Jesus is the revelation of the One True and Living God. All that we may know about God has been spoken and demonstrated in Christ. Christ is the truth. He is the truth about God. He is the truth about man. He is the truth about the past. All God’s plans and purposes were bound up in Him. He is the truth about the future. His death andresurrectionwere end time events. They point to the Last Judgment and our resurrection. It is no wonder then that we are to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Furthermore, Jesus was uniquely equipped to save because He was sinless. He, Himself, is our Salvation. Imagine the best person that you’ve ever met or known. Imagine if they offered to pay for your sins. We’d admire them for their unusual offer. But there’s just one problem …. God would not accept their proposal. Why not? Because that truly amazing person, with the excellent offer, is a sinner themselves.

We are all sinners. None of us are in a position to act as a substitute for someone else’s sin.

Jesus, on the other hand, was sinless. He was, therefore, able to become the substitute for His people. And, because He is the infinite God, He is able to pay the penalty for the sin for us. That’s why, He is our Salvation! When Simeon held Jesus in his arms and said, “… my eyes have seen your salvation,” he was saying, “Here is the one, the only one. Here is the One who saves to the uttermost. Here is the one who saves when no one else can.”

We talk about God’s plan of salvation, but in truth, Jesus is God’s man of salvation. Redemption is in Him (Romans 3:24). Only through His doing, dying and rising again is there to be discovered the free and gracious gift of eternal life.

He is our Salvation.
And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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

God is our helper

November 2, 2015 1 comment

Spurgeon 6My dear friends, have you experienced this in your own hearts? Can you say “amen” to that, as it goes round? Can you say, “I know that God is my helper?” I dare say you can, most of you; but you will not say it so well as you will by-and bye, if God teach you. We believe it, when we commence the Christian life, we know it afterwards; and the longer we live, the more we find it to be the truth — “Cursed is he that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm, but blessed is he who trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” In fact, the crown of Christian experience is to be delivered from all trust in self or man, and to be brought to rely wholly and simply on Jesus Christ. I say, Christian, thy highest and noblest experience is not to be groaning about thy corruption, is not to be crying about thy wanderings, but is to say —

“With all my sin, and care, and woe,
His Spirit will not let me go.”

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

The greatest of all experience is to know that “he only is our rock and our salvation”

September 28, 2015 3 comments

Spurgeon 1II. And now, beloved, we come to THE GREAT EXPERIENCE. The greatest of all experience, I take it, is to know that “he only is our rock and our salvation.” We have been insisting upon a doctrine; but doctrine is nothing unless proved in our experience. Most of God’s doctrines are only to be learned by practice — by taking them out into the world, and letting them bear the wear and tear of life. If I ask any Christian in this place whether this doctrine is true, if he has had any deep experience, he will reply, “True I ay, that it is; not one word in God’s Bible is more true than that, for indeed salvation is of God alone.” “He only is my rock and my salvation.” But, beloved, it is very hard to have such an experimental knowledge of the doctrine that we never depart from it. It is very hard to believe that “salvation is of the Lord.” There are times when we put our confidence in something else but God, and sin by linking hand-in-hand with God — something besides him. Let me now dwell a little upon the experience which will bring us to know that salvation is of God alone.

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

Resting on God

September 23, 2015 Leave a comment

O God, most high, most glorious, the thought of Thine infinite serenity cheers me, for I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed, but Thou art for ever at perfect peace. Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfilment, they stand fast as the eternal hills. Thy power knows no bond, Thy goodness no stint. Thou bringest order out of confusion, and my defeats are Thy victories: The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

I come to Thee as a sinner with cares and sorrows, to leave every concern entirely to Thee, every sin calling for Christ’s precious blood; revive deep spirituality in my heart; let me live near to the great Shepherd, hear His voice, know its tones, follow its calls. Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth, from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit. Give me intenser faith in the eternal verities, burning into me by experience the things I know; Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel, that I may bear its reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as its essence, know in it the power of the Spirit.

Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill; unbelief mars my confidence, sin makes me forget Thee. Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to Thee, that all else is trifling. Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy. Abide in me, gracious God.

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. Reformatted by Eternal Life Ministries.

Preservation is of the Lord alone

September 7, 2015 2 comments

Spurgeon 32. And if we are delivered and made alive in Christ, still preservation is of the Lord alone. If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful: if I have graces, God gives me graces; if I have fruits, God gives me fruits; if I hold on in a consistent life, God holds me on in a consistent life. I do nothing whatever towards my own preservation, except what God himself first does in me. Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Wherein I sin, that is my own, but wherein I act rightly, that is of God, wholly and completely. If I have repulsed an enemy, his strength nerved my arm. Did I strike a foeman to the ground? His strength sharpened my sword and gave me courage to strike the blow. Do I preach his word? It is not I, but grace that is in me? Do I live to God a holy life? It is not I, but Christ that liveth in me? Am I sanctified? I did not sanctify myself, God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me. Am I weaned from the world? I am weaned by God’s chastisements. Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me. I find in God all I want; but I find in myself nothing. “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