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The Wednesday Word: Behold your God!

“He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11).

Pause a while and think of this verse. It gives us a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus. Let’s unfold some of its treasures word for word.

‘He’

Who is this ‘He’?

He is the Messiah (Matthew 1:1).

He is Immanuel; God with us (Matthew 1:23).

He is God manifest in the flesh ( I Timothy 3:16).

He is the one Who is revealed in the Word of God under a vast array of titles, names, characters and offices. For example, He is,

Our Hope – 1 Timothy 1:1

Our Peace – Ephesians 2:14

Our Prophet – Hebrews 1:1-3

Our Redeemer – Job 19:25, Galatians 3:13

Our Rock – 1 Corinthians 10:4

Our Sacrifice – 1 John 4:10

Our Saviour – Luke 2:11

The Supreme Creator Over All – 1 Corinthians 1:16-17

The Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25

The Door – John 10:9

The Way – John 14:6

The Eternal Word – John 1:1

The True Vine – John 15:1

The Truth – ” John 8:32

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

‘Shall’ – Without doubt, or fear, or uncertainty.

‘Feed’ – Nourish, provide for, sustain.

‘His Flock’ ––His own, peculiar, personal, property. The Flock is given by the Father (John 6:37), redeemed by the Son (Ephesians 1:7) and brought alive by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:1); therefore, the flock is ‘His’ by gift – by purchase and by the conquest of grace.

‘Like a Shepherd’ In verse 10 it says, “Behold your God who shall come.” Do you really want to see what God is like? The 11th verse gives us the answer. Did you notice it? Look at the 11th verse. It says, “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd:” He’s a shepherd. This is our God. This is His portrait. He goes before His sheep, removing hindrances and difficulties; to shield us from danger and protect us from enemies. He seeks us when we go astray and provides the best pasture for us.

‘He shall Gather.’ That’s what a shepherd does. He gathers. He doesn’t scatter. No ‘shape up or ship out’ message comes from His lips.

‘The Lambs’ – He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them in his bosom; these are strong arms. Verse 10 says ‘The Lord will come with strong hand and His arm shall rule for Him.’ The Father’s arms neither grow tired nor weary carrying His children.

“What have I to dread,

What have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms?

I have blessed peace

With my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Leaning, Leaning,

Safe and secure from all alarms

Leaning, leaning,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Remember how Jesus told it? He said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). He also declared, “I am the door. By Me if any man enters in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). He is also the Great Shepherd. That is why we read in Hebrews 13:20, “Now the God of peace who brought again from the dead, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”

Our Lord is the Good, Chief and Great Shepherd.

Behold your God!

He is pictured as a shepherd with little lambs in his arms.

Behold your God!

He is the shepherd with lambs in his bosom.

Behold your God!

He gently leads those that are with young.

Behold your God!

Our God is our Shepherd. What a Shepherd! He encircles His flock with tender care and love. He loses none of us. I want to shout, Hallelujah! This is our God. He is the God who comes as a shepherd with the lambs in His arm.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word: What a Gospel! What a Saviour!

What a Gospel!

What makes Christianity different from all the other religions of the world? Years ago that question was discussed at a conference. Some of the participants argued that Christianity is unique in teaching that God became a man. But someone objected, erroneously saying that other religions teach similar doctrines. What about the resurrection? No, it was argued, some other faiths believe that the dead rise again. The discussion grew heated.

A well-known theologian, a staunch defender of Christianity, came in late, sat down, and asked, “What’s the rumpus about?” When he learned that it was a debate about the uniqueness of Christianity, he immediately commented, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”

How right he was!

At the very heart of our message is the concept of Grace. We are not only saved by Grace but also live in and by it. Our life is not one of trying to impress God as we tick off a list of dos and don’ts. We can do nothing to move the heart of God to love us. He loves us constantly and continually. His love for us is assured. He loves us simply because He loves us…. He loves us, not because we merit it. No indeed, the truth is that we deserve the very opposite of love. We are helplessly sinful, but God has been and continues to be amazingly gracious to us. This is one of the main things that sets us apart from the world religions.

What a Gospel! It’s all of grace!

Think of this, it’s only by His infinite grace that we are saved,

It’s not by our moral character,

It’s not by our works of righteousness,

It’s not by keeping the Law,

It’s not by Churchgoing,

It’s by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. What a Gospel!

Grace is free. Jesus was not obligated to die for anyone. If we are saved, it is because God resolved to save us and not because we resolved to be saved! It’s all of grace!

What a Gospel!

He is the God of all grace. Think for a moment how graciously He deals with us. Robert Farrar Capon noted in Christ’s story of the return of the prodigal that the Father, “Wasn’t afraid of giving the prodigal son a kiss instead of a lecture, a party instead of probation.”

That’s Grace!

What a Saviour!

Grace is hard to comprehend but so indeed is our Saviour. The Saviour with whom we have to do is none other than God clothed with humanity. He is not a man made into God but God made man. When He spoke, God spoke. When He laughed, God laughed. When He sang, God sang. When He wept God wept. The fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Him (Colossians 1:19; 2:9).

“Wonder of wonders! The mighty God, without ceasing to be God, becomes a man to redeem us! Let the greatest king become the lowest beggar; let the richest prince leave his palace for the vilest cell of a loathsome prison; it is as nothing compared to the act of Jesus, when He left heaven to put on the rags of our mortality! The Creator of all things becomes a creature! The Almighty is a weak baby! The Eternal is a child of time! The Infinite is contracted into the limits of poor flesh! Is not this the wonder of wonders? Is not this grace which has no bounds?”

Henry Law: Christ is All.

What a Gospel! What a Saviour!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

Of Repentance and Coming to Christ

December 23, 2016 Leave a comment

OF REPENTANCE AND COMING TO CHRIST.

THE end of affliction is the discovery of sin, and of that to bring us to a Savior. Let us therefore, with the prodigal, return unto him, and we shall find ease and rest.

A repenting penitent, though formerly as bad as the worst of men, may by grace become as good as the best.

To be truly sensible of sin, is to sorrow for displeasing of God, to be afflicted that he is displeased by us, more than that he is displeased with us.

Your intentions to repentance, and the neglect of that soul-saving duty, will rise up in judgment against you.

Repentance carries with it a divine rhetoric, and persuades Christ to forgive multitude of sins committed against him.

Say not with thyself, to-morrow I will repent; for it is thy duty to do it daily.

The gospel of grace and salvation is above all doctrines the most dangerous, if it be received in word only by graceless men; if it be not attended with a sensible need of a Savior, and bring them to him. For such men as have only the notion of it are of all men most miserable; for by reason of their knowing more than heathens, this shall only be their final portion, that they shall have greater stripes.

Mr. John Bunyan’s Dying Sayings

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

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

The Wednesday Word: God Manifest in the Flesh!

April 15, 2015 2 comments

1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, ….”

That God became a man is foundational to the gospel! It’s without controversy! If God has not manifested Himself in Christ Jesus, then there is no gospel.

This sublime truth was one of the great foundations of the ancient church. Not only did they believe it, they also sang it. Indeed, the words Paul quotes in this verse are thought by many to be part of one of the ancient songs of the early church. So convinced was the Early Church that Christ Jesus was God, that they often engraved this truth in stone. The following is the translation of an ancient inscription about Jesus, found etched in marble in Asia Minor,

“I am what I was — God
I was not what I am — man
I am now both — God and man.”

God was manifest in the flesh in the person of the Lord Jesus! It was not an exalted angel who was manifest, but rather the Almighty God, ruler of heaven and earth. If we reject this central doctrine of the manifestation of God in Christ, then we exclude ourselves from being followers of Christ! To be a follower of Christ is to follow the Christ of the Scriptures and the Christ of Scripture is both fully God and fully Man. He has two natures in one person. If we reject this truth, we might have an exceptionally enjoyable religion and call ourselves Christians, but we don’t have Biblical Christianity. We have, on this subject, redefined the Biblical Christ in terms that suit us. Not a smart idea!

Listen to this scripture again, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.” Since repetition is the price of learning, we must stress that this matter of Christ’s deity is, for the follower of Christ, without controversy! It is not a doctrine that disciples of Jesus debate! God was manifest in the flesh. As His followers, there are some fundamental things which we have to get straight … and Christ’s deity is one of them.

Matthew Henry says, ‘He who was manifest in flesh was God, really and truly God, God by nature, and not only so by office, for this makes it to be a mystery. God was manifest in flesh, real flesh. “Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, Hebrews 2:24.”

(Matthew Henry: Commentary on 1 Timothy)

In Christ Jesus, God became a member of the human family. The God who has always been, who has always existed, has now been manifested in Christ Jesus!

As Henry Mahan said, “The Ancient of Days became an infant of days. The Son of the Most-High God became a man of sorrows. He made the World, but as a man, ‘he had no place to lay His head.’ He who made the rivers asked a woman to give Him a drink of water. He who cast out devils was tempted of the devil, and the author of life died and lay in a tomb.”

What immense condescension! He came to earth, was treated as a felon, and put to death. But there, at the cross, the man who was God, was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), that man Jesus the God/Man, stepped into our shoes and died in our place. On the third day, however, He rose again thus proving that His sacrifice for our sin was sufficient.

He was hated then and hated now. What say you? Do you love Him or hate Him? If you hate Him, then hate Him with all your might, but if you love Him, pray that you will never be ashamed to declare Him as your God and Saviour. God will certainly answer that prayer.

And that the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Just As I Am

February 18, 2015 2 comments

It is true that the highest motive we can have is to seek the glory of God. However, such a motive is not required to come to Christ. If it were, we would all be in trouble. In the beginning, we came to the Lord with selfish fears and concerns for our future and final destiny. It was all about us! But Jesus is wonderful for, even in the midst of our selfishness, He welcomed us. We were concerned neither for Him nor His glory. Nevertheless, in spite of our selfish approach to Him He saved us. Why? There’s but one answer, GRACE!

Let’s just say that the standard God demanded before we came to Him was that we had a perfect and pure motivation for His glory! Think about it, if we could have met that standard we would have been sinless, and sinless people have no need of a Saviour! The very thing that qualifies us for the Saviour is the fact that we are ‘dyed in the wool’ sinners. Each one of us, individually, has fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 6:23, Romans 4:5).

So let’s say it again, having a heart that exclusively seeks God’s glory does not qualify us for Christ. In fact, we need to be careful not to replace the cross with a passion for His glory. A passion for His glory is an excellent thing, but it not the basis of our approach to God. As we grow in grace, we learn to seek God’s glory in all things (1 Chronicles 16:29; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Psalm 29:2). However, we dare not qualify ourselves to come to Him because we have learned to long for His glory. Longing for His glory is neither a pre-requisite nor a qualification for coming to Him.

We must free ourselves from the enslaving idea that we come to him with unselfish motives. Christ receives sinners, not people with good motives. If good motives saved us, who then could or would be saved? And while we are at it, let’s ask ourselves is anything we do, actually pure and free from tainted motives? There are people who will answer “yes” to that question, but they are deceiving themselves!

As we grow in grace, we continue as we began! In other words, we continue to go to Christ Jesus, just as we are, flawed motives and all, (Hebrews 4:16). At His throne, we receive mercy and grace to help in the time of need. We bring nothing to the throne of grace, not even good motives for being there. To qualify ourselves to be there, we don’t have to tell our High Priest what we desire to be, or what we ought to be, but what we are. We tell Him the honest truth about our condition at this very moment. We confess the impurity of our bad motives; the sin that we feel; the hardness of our hearts and all things contrary to His glory. He wants us to come to Him exactly as we are; He wants us to come knowing that we cannot make ourselves fit to be there. He wants us to know that He alone is our fitness and qualification.

Jesus receives sinners and only sinners! A number of years ago, some children were visiting a church service. The preacher was speaking on Luke 15:2, “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.” Afterwards, one of the children, an eight year old girl, went up to the pastor and said, “Excuse me, sir, but I didn’t know that my name was in the Bible.” He asked, “What’s your name?”

“Edith, sir.”

“No,” the kindly preacher smiled, “Edith is not in the Bible.”

“Yes, it is,” she replied. “I heard you say, ‘This man receiveth sinners and Edith with them.”

Bless her! This little girl had misheard the text, but she had applied its truth to her heart. May we also learn to apply the good news of our substitute to ourselves. We need to stop trying to improve in order to get Him to accept us. We need to learn to say “This man (Jesus) receives sinners, and receives me just as I am.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com