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The Wednesday Word: Jesus is Very Near

The LORD is near unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18).

Do you ever feel that the Lord’s face is hidden from you? You say, “I cannot sense Him. I can´t seem to recognize his presence. “

We´ve all been there…if you haven´t, just wait a while.

In the meantime, here’s some good news; your not being able to sense Him doesn’t mean that the Lord is not near. In reality, the Lord is never nearer than when we feel and think we are at a loss to discover Him.

One old time preacher said it like this, “God is never nearer to His people than when they cannot see His face; He is never closer than when they do not hear His voice.”

He is there even when it seems that all hope has been knocked out of the ball park.

Look at Hagar, she left Ishmael under the shrubs, and said, “Let me not see the death of the child” (Genesis 21:16). What happened then? God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water” (Genesis 21:19). The Lord had been there all the time.

And what about Abraham? He “Lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns” (Genesis 22:13). The Lord had been there all the time.

Again, consider Mary Magdalene. Remember her? On the resurrection morning, she was the first at the tomb. She was the one who, when she discovered the stone had been moved, ran and fetched Peter and John. After the two disciples had concluded their investigations of the vacated tomb they returned home, but Mary, remained. She had lost her Saviour. She couldn’t find him. She was distraught, distressed and despairing. She wept. Someone had taken Jesus’ body. Poor, precious Mary. She didn’t realize that, although she could neither see nor feel the Lord’s presence, Jesus was very near.

In John 20:14-15, a man came into the picture and she supposed he was the gardener, so she pleaded with him to reveal where the body had been taken. But this was no gardener. This was the creator of the Universe. Then He said to her, ‘Mary’ and she turned herself, recognized Him and said, ‘Rabboni’, which is to say, Master. Even when she could not sense, feel or discover His presence, He had been there.

Mary illustrates the nearness of the Lord even when we don’t know where He is.

Also, consider this, Jesus held his first post-resurrection conversion with a woman. But not just any woman. Here Jesus gave primacy to a woman who had been a notorious sinner and demoniac (Mark 16:9). What wonderful matchless grace. Her sins were gone. Jesus had paid for them with his own blood. Far from holding her sins against her, Jesus made her the first preacher of the great and glorious facts of the resurrection and ascension (John 20:17).

“Days are filled with sorrow and care,

Hearts are lonely and drear.

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.

“Cast your care on Jesus today,

Leave your worry and fear.

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.

“Troubled soul, the Saviour can feel

Every heartache and tear.

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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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

We need to remember Christ in all the times he has manifested himself to us

Thanks be unto God, I speak not of you all, for in this place there is a goodly remnant according to the election of grace, and to them I turn.

Perhaps I could tell you of some old barn, hedge-row, or cottage; or if you have lived in London, about some garret, or some dark lane or street, where first you met with Christ; or some chapel into which you strayed, and you might say, “Thank God, I can remember the seat where first he met with me, and spoke the whispers of love to my soul, and told me he had purchased me.”

Dost mind the place, the spot of ground,

Where Jesus did thee meet?”

Yes, and I would love to build a temple on the spot, and to raise some monument there, where Jehovah-Jesus first spoke to my soul, and manifested himself to me. But he has revealed himself to you more than once-has he not? And you can remember scores of places where the Lord hath appeared of old unto you, saying, “Behold I have loved you with an everlasting love.” If you cannot all remember such things, there are some of you that can; and I am sure they will understand me when I say, come and do this in remembrance of Christ-in remembrance of all his loving visitations, of his sweet wooing words, of his winning smiles upon you, of all he has said and communicated to your souls. Remember all these things to-night, if it be possible for memory to gather up the mighty aggregate of grace.” Bless the Lord. O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”

Charles H. Spurgeon—The Remembrance of Christ—A sermon delivered on Sabbath Evening January 7th 1855

Driven to God

Did you never run for shelter in a storm, and find fruit which you expected not? Did you never go to God for safeguard, driven by outward storms, and there find unexpected fruit?

John Owen

 

Concerning God’s Providence

It is the great support and solace of the saints in all the distresses that befall them here, that there is a wise Spirit sitting in all the wheels of motion, and governing the most eccentric creatures and their most pernicious designs to blessed and happy issues.

John Flavel

 

Grief and Troubles Exalt and Lift Us

The highest honor that God can confer upon his children is the blood-red crown of martyrdom. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings that God has made, are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us.

Charles H Spurgeon

Trials Make us Great Christians

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Fiery trials make golden Christians.

Charles H. Spurgeon’s Proverbs