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The Wednesday Word: Can God Use You?

A great warrior was once painted with his hand resting on his face, as if in contemplation. But the real purpose was to hide an ugly scar on his cheek.

The German emperor, Wilhelm II, was photographed and painted standing in such a position that his withered arm would not appear.

We all try, to some extent, to disguise our imperfections. However, in the Bible, people are presented just as they are. No scar of deformed character, however hideous, seems to ever be covered up.

This tells us, among other things, that Christ is building His kingdom with broken and flawed people. By contrast, in building their kingdoms, men of this world want only the strong, the successful and the slick. But God is not like that. When choosing His workmen, Christ demonstrates that He is the God of the unsuccessful and the imperfect. He is the God of those who have failed.

The truth is, our strength lies neither in ourselves nor our perfections but in our message. Christ is perfect, the gospel is finished, and it is in the proclamation of this message of Christ crucified that we have power in our ministry (Romans 1:16).

He is the God of the flawed, the defective and the damaged.

Take for example;

Moses was a stammerer.

John Mark was a reject who was sent home by Paul.

Timothy had constant stomach problems.

Amos’ only training was in how to trim and prune fig trees.

Jacob was a liar.

David had an affair.

Abraham was too old.

David was too young.

Peter was afraid of a servant girl.

Lazarus was dead.

Naomi was a widow.

Paul was a murderer.

And so was Moses.

Jonah ran from God.

Miriam was a gossip.

Gideon and Thomas both doubted.

Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.

Elijah took cold feet and ran away.

Martha was always worrying.

Mary may have been lazy.

Noah got drunk.

Moses was hot-tempered.

We are not an impressive lot, but Jesus is an impressive Saviour. He is superb in who He is and in all that He does. Consider this, He does not usually choose the mighty! ”For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (1 Corinthians 1:26).

The committed Christian, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon (1707-1791) a mighty English noblewoman said of this scripture, “Blessed be God, it does not say “any mighty,” “any noble”; it says, “many mighty,” “many noble.”

She then concluded, “I owe my salvation to the letter “m.”

But back to the main point, the truth is, we are so flawed that each one of us is unworthy to be called into the service of the Lord Jesus. Get used to it, but also know that there is no bruised reed whom Christ cannot restore and heal. Not one of His people has gone beyond His grace. Not one of us is useless.

Is there anything more useless than a piece of bone from a dead donkey? Listen to this. There was once an old, exhausted donkey which just lay down and died. Along came the vultures, foxes and carnivores and picked off chunks of flesh from the dead beast and left it, a skeleton scorching in the flaming sun. Let me ask you, how can God use that donkey? It’s useless.

Then along came Samson and gives us the answer. He needed a weapon with which to destroy God’s enemies. He looked around and found…the dried-up jawbone of that old animal. And with that seemingly useless and worthless jawbone, he slew a thousand Philistines (see Judges 15:11–17).

Too many people have told you that you are useless, and that God has finished with you. Oh, and yes, that quiet, accusing, inward voice has continually endorsed that sentiment. But God doesn’t go down to Perfect Street to choose his material. God can and does use the unusable. Have you failed the Lord in the past? Take it to Jesus, confess your sins and then move on with life. You are made righteous by the blood of the lamb! (see Romans 5:9; Hebrews 9:22; 1 John 1:7; Romans 3:25).

If God can use the dead, dried jawbone of an old donkey, He can use you, and He can use me.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: It´s All About Jesus

February 26, 2020 3 comments

“The gospel of God…….concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:1-3).

There was a time when I didn´t know that the gospel was all about Jesus.” I thought that it was all about me,—what I should do, and what I should be. Many of us had similar ideas before grace opened our eyes to the truth.

Before we were saved, we mistook the message of the gospel for the message of the law, thinking its chief purpose was to make us better-behaved people. A grand mistake indeed!

But then, concerning God, the thinking of an unrenewed heart is always wrong. Saul of Tarsus thought that he should do many things contrary to the name of Jesus (Acts 26:9); but he was wrong. He soon discovered his mistake when the Lord suddenly and graciously converted him.

We may as well expect a blind man to appreciate the Mona Lisa or a deaf man to enjoy Mozart, as suppose an unrenewed person can understand the gospel. This is a strong statement, but, nevertheless, it´s true. Neither learning, labour, nor law can give a divine knowledge of that gospel which is God’s sole prerogative to communicate.

But if the gospel is not about us, who is it about? It´s about Jesus (see our text, Romans 1: 1-3).

True, it may have much to say as to both sinners and saints, but the theme and splendid subject-matter of the gospel is Jesus the Son of God. He is the centre, sum and substance of divine revelation. How little, after all, can be said about man? He blotted his copy-book and needed to be rescued! That´s his story in a nutshell. On the other hand, how much may be said of Christ? As John wrote, the world itself could not contain the books that might be written about Him (John 21:25).

When Saul was converted, the very first thing he did was to preach in the synagogue. And what was his subject? His message was that Jesus was the Son of God (Acts 9:20). That was his keynote theme, first preached in Damascus and continued through his ministry. According to Paul, that message is and will be the deepest and richest point of all Christian knowledge. That is why we read that the goal and purpose of the five-fold ministry is Christ centered…see Ephesians 4:11-13) “till we all come to the knowledge of the Son of God.”

Now, don´t get me wrong, the gospel has for its object the salvation of sinners, not their improvement, nor reformation, but their deliverance from their fallen condition to form the Body and Bride of Christ. But salvation is not the gospel. It is the result of the gospel.

Jesus is to be glorified, adored, and worshipped by the multitude who owe Him praise for their salvation. But this praise is not the gospel!

The gospel is all about Jesus, not about anything we do.

The gospel is about the Son of God and what He has done in His finished work in history.

The gospel is about the Blessed Eternal One who became a man to die.

The gospel is about the one who lived and died for the glory of the Father.

The gospel is about the one who was raised from the dead.

The gospel is about the one who when on earth, as man, made the Father known.

The gospel is about the eternal Word made flesh—full of grace and truth; to whom multitudes of needy, diseased, famished, and sinful came.

The gospel is about the one from whose lips flowed words of truth for He was the Truth.

The gospel is about the one who died the Just for the unjust that He might bring us to God (1Peter 3:18).

The gospel is about the one whose word of welcome is ” Come” (Matthew 11:28).

The gospel is about the one whose blood paid the full price of our redemption, and “cleanses from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

What a gospel! What a Saviour!

What wonderful, wonderful grace.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

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 

The Wednesday Word: 12 Marks of the Grace Believer!

September 2, 2015 1 comment

1. Grace Believers trust that they are saved entirely and utterly by someone else, the Lord Jesus Christ. They believe that their sole qualification for salvation is found, not in their worthiness, but in their unworthiness. The Grace Believer sees Christ as his complete acceptance before God (Philippians 3:4-9). The Grace Believer holds that Christ alone is his saviour. He believes, like the faithful of other generations that,“There is no Priest but Christ, no Sacrifice but Calvary, no Confessional but the Throne of Grace and no Authority but the Word of God.”

2. Grace Believers understand, along with the greats of the past, that to know Christ and Him crucified is not the minimum of spiritual knowledge but the maximum. The Grace believer knows that all doctrines find their hub in Christ Crucified. All doctrines indeed lead to and from the Christ of the cross. All teaching, responsibilities, and Christian activities find their centre in Christ Crucified. In Christ alone, the Grace Believer discovers the treasures of wisdom, knowledge and spiritual understanding (Isaiah 45:3; Colossians 2:3).

3. Grace Believers, as they grow in grace, rather than become self-satisfied and hard spirited, continue to develop in their understanding of their lack of worth. As the gospel-hammer breaks them, they increase in the comprehension that they receive favour, not because of themselves, but because of being in Christ! They understand that Christ’s worthiness is the source of all their blessings (1 Corinthians 4:7).

4.Grace Believers know that they have the full favour of God, not because of any works they have done or are doing. They have the full favour of God because of Christ alone. By faith, they grasp that the Father is well pleased with them and indeed rejoices over them. (Zephaniah 3:17) Indeed, the Father cannot be more delighted with His people than he already is. Grace Believers know they are not accepted by having their own righteousness which comes by fulfilling rules and regulations. They are in Christ and have Christ’s entire righteousness credited and reckoned to them (see Philippians 3:9).

5. As they grow in grace, Grace Believers refuse to make resolutions, vows and pledges to enable them to serve God in a fuller way. Grace Believers put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3).

6. Grace Believers are not so foolish as to try self-improvement techniques. Instead, they focus on Christ and his glory. They know that change comes from looking outside themselves to the glorious person of Christ. They rejoice in 2 Corinthians 3:18; “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”.

7. Grace Believers are confident of God’s past, present and future grace, yet they refuse to make a practice of abusing that grace. Grace, not Law teaches them to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. Grace, not law, teaches them to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:11-12).

8. Grace Believers are learning to not get permanently discouraged with their performance. Instead, they are learning to focus on Christ and His performance on their behalf. One of the Grace Believer’s theme songs could be;

“It is finished!” yes, indeed,

Finished, every jot;
Believer, this is all you need,
Tell me, is it not?
Till to Jesus’ work we cling

By a simple faith,
“Doing” is a deadly thing—
“Doing” ends in death.
I’ll cast my deadly “doing” down—

Down at Jesus’ feet;
I stand in Him, in Him alone,
Gloriously complete.

9. The Grace Believer is so reduced by the sight of himself as a wretch … a sight graciously granted by the Holy Spirit in a non-condemning manner … that he soon discovers he has no room to practice arrogance and pride.

10. The Grace Believer holds that devotion to God arises, not from an obligation to repay God. On the contrary, the Grace Believer knows that we love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Devotion to God comes through the gospel.

11. The Grace Believer does not believe that blessings come as the result of our acts of consecration to God. That is to reverse God’s order. That is to teach law and not gospel. The Legalist makes man’s blessing depend on his personal dedication and devotion. Also, the legalist insists that the more we consecrate ourselves to God the greater will flow the blessing. According to his scheme, we move the hand of God by our works. To think like this, however, is to remove ourselves from the enjoyments of gospel blessings. This is to cease to look to Christ alone as our only acceptance before God.

12. The Grace Believer knows that grace has not made us a debtor to God. The Grace Believer does not try to repay the debt of grace he feels he owes. The Grace Believer holds that God, in giving His grace, did not put us into any contract with accompanying clauses and conditions. It is grace that saves and grace alone. It is faith alone which receives that which Grace alone in the person of Christ alone has accomplished. The Grace Believer does not serve God because he feels he owes God something. Rather, he serves God because He loves God and he loves God because God first loved Him.

And that’s 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 

Free Ebook

April 22, 2014 2 comments

Christ The Resurrection And The Life by Ebenezer Erskine

 

 

Contents

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1

1. What Is Implied in This Title, By Which Christ Reveals Himself to You and Me? ……………… 3

2. To Whom Is Christ the Resurrection and the Life?………………………………………………………… 6

3. Of What Is He the Resurrection and the Life? ………………………………………………………………. 7

4. To What Life Is It We Are Raised Up by Him? ………………………………………………………….. 12

5. How Does Christ Come to Be the Resurrection and the Life to Dead Sinners?………………….. 14

6. Why Did He Become the Resurrection and the Life to Us?……………………………………………. 15

7. The Application…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 15

Redeemed by Blood

October 23, 2013 1 comment

The Wednesday Word: Redeemed by Blood

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

The word ‘redeem’ means ‘to purchase for ownership’; ‘to buy back’ or ‘to give a ransom’. It stands to reason then if we are redeemed, neither the Devil nor anyone else can ever buy us back! We are bought with a price! We belong to Christ forever! We cannot be lost! If we can be lost, then there is a flaw in the work of Calvary. Admittedly, there are all manner of flaws in us, but there are no flaws in our substitute and His precious blood. May we allow this powerful truth into our hearts. The blood has bought and paid for us, and we, therefore, can never be lost.

By his own blood, Christ entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12). Notice that Christ Jesus has already obtained our redemption.

We sometimes sing the old hymn, “Power in the blood.“ And indeed there is! Because of the blood, we have been redeemed from all iniquity (Titus 2: l4); redeemed from a fleshly religion, (1 Peter 1:17-18), redeemed from death, (Hosea 13:14 and redeemed from the grave” (Psalm 49:15).

Redemption, therefore, is something that has already been legally accomplished. It is not something, that we earn, neither is it something temporary that the Lord lends us. It is the purchase by blood.

In addition, when we consider that Christ has redeemed us by His blood, we are struck by the fact that, since His blood has fully redeemed and paid for us, there is nothing that we can now contribute towards the price of our ransom. In fact, to try to pay something to help the blood accomplish its purpose would be an insult. Take, for example, if you were broke and a generous friend bought you a new car, would you give them whatever pittance you had to help him towards the purchase price? If you did, you would insult him. Likewise, the Lord Jesus has poured out His blood as the payment for us. There is nothing we can contribute to that. By faith alone, we receive what He has done on our behalf. Have you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ?

Many years ago, there was a Scottish pastor who met a young boy in front of the church building. The boy was carrying a beaten up cage that contained three distressed looking birds. The pastor said, “ Jock, my boy, where did you get those birds?” Jock replied, “ I trapped them out in the field.” “That’s nice, but what are you going to do with them?” “I’m going to play with them, and maybe try to teach them tricks and then I’ll feed them to the big Tam Cat we have at home.”

Immediately the pastor offered to buy them, but Jock protested, “Minister, you don’t want them, they’re just stupid, daft birds that can’t sing very well.” The pastor replied, “I’ll give you a pound for the cage and the birds.” “Okay, says Jock, but don’t tell my Father, for you’re making yourself a very bad bargain.”

The exchange was made and the boy went away delighted with his new found fortune. The pastor then walked around to the back of the church, opened the door of the wire cage, and let the struggling creatures soar into the air. The next Sunday he took the empty cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ paying for sinners with His own precious blood. He said, “I was told that the birds were not much good at singing, but when I released them, and they flew towards heaven, it seemed to me that they were singing, ‘Redeemed, Redeemed, Redeemed!”

And that’s the Gospel Truth

 

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Can you subscribe to this great truth?

April 1, 2013 1 comment

fullerConcerning the Gospel, Andrew Fuller asked:

Can you subscribe to this great truth, in all its hearings, and rest the salvation of your soul upon it; or do you doubt whether you be so guilty, so helpless, or in so dangerous a state as this doctrine supposes? Is it as one of the chief of sinners that you view yourself; or does it grate upon our feelings to receive forgiveness in that humble character? In suing for mercy, are you content to stand on the same low ground as if you were a convict actually going to be executed; or does your heart secretly pine after salvation less humiliating, in which some account might be made of that difference of character by which you may have been distinguished from the vilest of men, and in which you might be in some degree a co-operator with God? Does that which pleases God, please you; or does your mind revolt at it? It meets all your wants, but none of your prejudices, and proud thoughts, or vicious propensities; all these must come down and be made to sacrifice to it. Can you subscribe to it on these terms?

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

You must be born again

This is the Gospel

March 18, 2013 1 comment

fullerCommenting on Acts 16:30 Andrew Fuller said:

Let me deal freely with you. Yours is a most serious situation. The Gospel-rest is before you; and if you enter not in, it will be because of unbelief. You know the answer given to the jailer; and this is the only answer that can with safety be given to you. Consider, and beware, as you regard your eternal salvation, that you take up your rest in nothing short of it. But, in the first place, let me declare unto you the Gospel of God, which you are directed to believe. If this meet your case; if, rightly understood, it approve itself not only to your conscience, but your whole soul; if it accord with your desires, as it undoubtedly does with your necessities, all is well, and well forever. I shall not trouble you with the opinions of men as to what the Gospel is, nor even with my own, but direct you to the account given of it by its Author. The New Testament informs us what it is, in such plain and pointed language, that he who runs may read: “God so loved he world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life.” “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” “This is a faithful saying,”–a truth of such importance as to have become a kind of Christian proverb–“and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief.” “WE PREACH Christ crucified.” “I determined NOT TO KNOW ANY THING among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” ” THIS IS THE RECORD, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”

It is not meant, by these brief descriptions of the Gospel, that there is no other truth necessary to be believed but that the doctrine of the cross, properly embraced, includes all others, or draws after it, the belief of them.

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered