Redeeming The Time In 2015

Our excerpt today in our Words of Grace for Strength series is from the message “Do You Know What Time It Is?” by Dr. Ray Pritchard

Dr. Pritchard writes:
Paul challenges his readers, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11 NKJV). Do you know what time it is? It’s time to wake up! Why? “Because our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” That’s a reference to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus is coming, and each day brings us closer to that great world-shattering event.

In light of that, Paul tells us to wake up, put off the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. The long night is fading away, the sun is peeking over the eastern horizon, and Jesus is coming soon!
Christian, do you know what time it is? It’s time to wake up and get dressed!

This is something we must know!

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12).

What “time” is Paul talking about in verse 11 and what “hour” does he mean? He means that this present age is sinful and dark and ultimately passing away (Galatians 1:4). It won’t last forever (1 John 2:17). Colossians 1:12-13 uses the image of darkness and light in many places to explain what happens when someone becomes a Christian. They are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Do you know what being saved is like? It’s like living in the darkness for twenty or thirty or forty years and suddenly the lights come on.

What time is it right now? Check your watch and see. Now read verse 11 again and answer the question.
What time is it? It’s time to wake up. You sleep at night. You don’t sleep during the day. All of us understand what that means. It’s hard to sleep during the day. It doesn’t feel right. It’s not natural. Day is for waking and working; night is for sleeping and dreaming.

Why does Paul say that the long night is over and the day has come? Because the coming of the Lord is at hand. How near is it? Very near indeed. When Billy Graham preaches on the Second Coming, he often tells the story of a grandfather clock whose chimes rang every hour, once for one o’clock, twice for two o’clock, and so on. One night the clock malfunctioned, causing the chimes to ring thirteen times. A little boy heard it and raced through the house yelling “Get up, everyone get up! It’s later than it’s ever been.” How true that is. It’s later than it’s ever been, and we’re closer to the coming of Christ than ever before.

Words of Grace for Strength

In a few days we will enter into a new year. 2015 is nearly upon us and we will begin anew the process of counting down the 365 days of the year. What will this New Year hold for you? What will transpire in the world which will affect your life? As each year passes we grow closer to the time in which Jesus Christ will return for His Church, when the time of Tribulation will envelop the earth, and ultimately when Christ will return in power and great glory to defeat Satan and establish His Kingdom reign.

Knowing this, we are aware that the day in which we live is still very dark. Satan, as the ruler of this present world is still doing everything he can to exercise control over world events. It is his plan to subvert the cause of Christ, to marginalize the church by watering down its message and commitment, and to cause derision and persecution to fall on the True Church.

Yet even in this dark day we still have the light of the Gospel. When the Gospel light meets the darkness it destroys its hold and power over those who have experienced it. Ephesians 5:15&16 and Colossians 4:5 encourages us to redeem the time. As we enter into 2015 we should take this admonition of the Apostle Paul to heart. God has given us a mandate to serve Him in these Last Days and until His return, we should make every day in 2015 count for the cause of Christ.

I am not one who “makes” New Year’s “resolutions” but I do believe that as a member of the Body of Christ there are some things every believer should do to redeem the time. What are they? Let’s make a list:

1. Set aside daily a time to meet with the Lord in Bible Study and Prayer. Make it a personal habit to talk to the Lord and listen to the Lord.

2. Determine to live daily by biblical principles and sound doctrine.

3. Be involved in your local Church. Don’t just attend, commit to an active role and participate in all of the ministries and Bible Studies of your church. Don’t let “life” interfere with your commitment to your local church family.

4. Commit yourself to being a good steward of your time, resources and finances by giving to the Lord your tithe in every area. As Christians we should understand that absolutely everything we have is from Him and we owe Him everything.

5. Become a disciple. Find a more mature believer to disciple you and become an accountability partner to you. Then commit to becoming a disciple to a less mature believer. (Men to Men, and Women to Women)

6. Learn to trust the Lord in everything. He has promised to take care of you and provide everything you need. When it seems everyone or everything is against you, when your burdens seem to be too big for you to carry, trust in Him!

7. Set personal goals for ministry and service in your church family. Be ready to challenge yourself to stretch beyond your “comfort zone” as you follow His will for your life and the life of your church family. Make a plan to accomplish your goals!

8. Never fear your past whatever it held, let past failures be put under the blood of Christ and allow God to use your future. Determine every day to serve God and let Him establish your future.

9. Support your pastors and follow the leadership of the shepherds God has placed before your church family. These men have uniquely been chosen by God, and understand the gravity of the responsibility they have before God as leader servants in the local church. In his shepherd role your pastor will be held to a higher standard of accountability for the way he follows God and the way the members of the local church family follow his leadership as pastor – teacher.

10. Be excited that you are living in these times. As Christians we live in the most exciting time that this earth has experienced. The Signs of the Times are very clear and we can say with certainty that “our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” The Rapture is imminent and Jesus is coming soon! Live every day believing that this could be the day.

Redeem the time in 2015! Let this be the year in your life that you walk closer to the Lord than ever before; let this be the year when you serve the Lord with all of your heart, mind, and soul; let this be the year when others can say without reservation that they see Christ in you.

Redeem the Time!

Is God Turning the Bear?

For about 70 years, between 1920 and 1970, the USSR was ever expanding. Soviet leaders gobbled up Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Poland, part of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, East Germany, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia and much more.

In the early 90s, some nations rebelled and demanded their independence. Soviet leaders tried to hold the union together, but the rebellion spread, the Soviets lost their power and the USSR fell apart.

Some political leaders thought the collapse of the Soviet Union meant that the world had entered a new era of peace, but by the end of the decade a former KGB agent named Vladimir Putin had risen to power and become the acting president of Russia.

He went on to become president, then prime minister and then president again. He changed laws, consolidated his power, cracked down on his opposition, rebuilt the military, developed close ties with Iran and quietly nurtured the dream of restoring the old Soviet Union. Some even said he also wanted to take over all of Europe.

Mr. Putin liked to present himself as a strongman and his desire to restore the old USSR troubled some of the former Soviet Union nations. His intervention in Georgia, Kyrgystan, Ukraine, his annexation of Crimea and the fact that he threatened to use Russian power outside Russia’s borders made them nervous.

Several of those former USSR nations joined, or tried to join NATO, primarily for protection. They had broken away from the old power-hungry bear and they didn’t want to be subjugated and forced back in.

About eight months ago when Mr. Putin took over Crimea, western leaders finally decided that he had gone too far and he needed to be turned around. They demanded that he stop supporting the opposition forces in Crimea and threatened to impose sanctions on Russia if he didn’t turn around and leave. Their initial sanctions were virtually meaningless and Mr. Putin scoffed at them, but western leaders continued to ramp up the sanctions and the bear began to hurt.

Almost overnight, there was a global glut of oil triggered by an economic downturn in Asia and Europe, fracking for oil in the U.S. and stepped up production of oil in Saudi Arabia. The price of oil quickly dropped from more than $100 per barrel to less than $60 per barrel. The Russian Ruble collapsed, the Russian economy went into a tailspin, and Russia was suddenly facing the prospects of a recession or possibly a depression.

The looming economic disaster and the likelihood that the Russian people might eventually rebel got Mr. Putin’s attention. He now appears to be looking for a way to save face, turn around and leave Crimea. But he has promised the Russian people that he will retaliate against those who have imposed sanctions on Russia and he has promised that he will solve Russia’s economic problems in the next two years.

The Russian bear’s actions made me think of the battle of Gog and Magog. Gog will try to expand his kingdom in the latter days and latter years. But God said, “I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth” (Ezek. 38:4).

Is Mr. Putin Gog? Is God turning Gog around? How will Gog retaliate? I don’t think anyone knows. We can only say that Russia must turn away from one target before God pulls her toward a second target (Israel).

God also said, “It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought” (Ezek. 38:10).

What is this evil thought? The Bible doesn’t say but it appears to be:

“To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land” (Ezek. 38:12).

And some would add, “To satisfy the ancient Islamic hatred for Israel.”

I don’t know what Mr. Putin was thinking when he told the Russian people he will solve Russia’s economic problems in the next two years, but China and India have offered to help Russia so it will take a little time for Russia’s recession to reach full bloom.

Israel has acquired phenomenal wealth with minerals from the Dead Sea, oil and natural gas, agricultural success, cattle and goods; and Mr. Putin has not been reluctant to steal from other countries. We don’t know when it will happen, but many would not be surprised to see the battle of Gog and Magog in the next two years.

A wounded bear is dangerous and this wounded bear may not be ready to go away. He may turn around and seek a different prey. But regardless of anything I have written, what he has been trying to do to Israel will be done to him. He will become the prey and God will be known in the eyes of many nations (Obad. 1:15; Ezek. 38:23; 39:17-20).

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck

Obama’s Bad Harvest

One of the most remarkable verses in the Bible reads: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).
Do not let people mislead you about this immutable (unchangeable) law of God. Our God cannot be misled, treated with contempt or treated like He doesn’t exist; the things we do in life will produce a harvest.
It is interesting to note that Jacob deceived his father into thinking he was Esau (Gen. 27:6-29) and later, Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah instead of Rachel (Gen. 29:9-30).
Pharaoh ordered the death of all of the male Hebrew babies in Egypt (Ex. 1:16) and later, God ordered the death of all of the first-born Egyptian babies in Egypt (Ex. 11:4-6; 12:29-30).
David committed adultery with Bathsheba, got her pregnant and was directly responsible for the death of her husband Uriah (II Sam. 11:2-27), and later, others committed adultery with David’s wives and his child with Bathsheba got sick and died (II Sam. 12:11-19).
Jezebel had Naboth killed so Ahab could get his vineyard (I Kings 21:1-16) and later, Ahab died at the exact same place where Naboth died (I Kings 21:17-22:39). Saul (later called Paul) consented to Stephen being stoned to death (Acts 7:57-8:1). And later, Paul was stoned to death (Acts 14:19).
Repentance and confession can change things, but I want to move on to something else. Another one of God’s immutable laws says:
“For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head” (Obad. 1:18).
When the Tribulation period is about to fall upon the enemies of Israel (not upon the saved because of the Pre-Trib Rapture), those who mistreat Israel will reap what they sow. Every attempt to harm Israel will backfire.
God’s guiding principle will be to do to Israel’s enemies what they try to do to Israel. In essence, they will decide their own judgment and it will fall upon their head like a bolder from heaven.
Look at how the Obama Administration has treated Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel: Pres. Obama snubbed and insulted Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House. Members of the Obama Administration met with an Israeli politician behind closed doors to discuss an effort to topple the Netanyahu government.
Members of the Obama Administration refused to meet with members of the Netanyahu cabinet. A senior official in the Obama Administration called Prime Minister Netanyahu chicken***t (chicken manure).
Members of the Obama Administration reportedly held meetings to discuss sanctions on Israel because the Netanyahu government continues to issue building permits in Jewish neighborhoods on the West Bank.
Terrorists have attacked women and children in Israel and the Obama Administration blamed it on Israel. Palestinians have been paid to riot on the Temple Mount and the Obama Administration blamed their violence on Israel.
The Islamic State has recruited thousands of killers and the Obama Administration has blamed their recruiting success on Israel. In the eyes of Mr. Obama and his staff—Israel can do no good, and all of the terrorism, violence and war—is Israel’s fault.
Pres. Obama’s disdain for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu have not gone unnoticed. Mr. Netanyahu’s political rivals should have laid the blame at the feet of America’s pro-Muslim, anti-Semitic president.
But they chose to use the Obama Administration’s snubs, insults, name-calling, lies and false accusations to belittle Mr. Netanyahu for the purpose of furthering their own political careers.
According to them, every rift between the U.S. and Israel has been Mr. Netanyahu’s fault. Every Netanyahu decision that Pres. Obama didn’t like was Mr. Netanyahu’s fault. (It worked the way Pres. Obama wanted it to work.) The internal strife hog-tied the government. Mr. Netanyahu dissolved his coalition and scheduled new elections.
Only God knows the future. But it seems unwise to me for the Obama Administration to be causing political strife in Israel. God’s immutable laws still apply. As we approach a new year, I hope I am wrong and it is just my opinion.
But I must admit that I won’t be surprised if the political division that Pres. Obama has sown in Israel produces a bad harvest of political division in America. It will be just one more sign that the Tribulation period is near.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck

Christ Manifest

Excerpted from “God’s Last Word To Man” – G. Campbell Morgan (1936)

The Eternal had in Jesus temporal manifestation. The Infinite logos came to the level where it was possible for finite eyes to behold, and by such beholding to be introduced to the infinite things themselves.

We will look at Him then in the midst of that period of manifestation, the days of His flesh. This necessarily means we must consult the records. Going back, then, to the Gospel narratives we inquire, How do we see Him? This is an easy question to ask, but an impossible one to answer with adequacy. Nevertheless there are certain outstanding facts which are full of value.

As we behold Him there, we see One Whose appeal was ever made to essential humanity, quite apart from any racial position, or privilege, or limitation. or disadvantage. An illustration of what I mean is an old and familiar one, but nevertheless pertinent. Many years ago there was an exhibition in London of Tissot’s pictures, about 270 of them, illustrative of the earthly life of Jesus. There is much in them that does not appeal, but there is one outstanding fact, and it is that, while the artist depicts with accuracy the setting of the story, and the customs of the time, so that we can racially place the Roman patrician or plebeian, the cultured Greek, the barbarian, and the Jew, he never painted the face of Jesus so that it could be thus placed. Now literally he may have been wrong. It is possible that our Lord had the distinct face of the Jew, though we have no means of proving it. But it is certainly spiritually correct. Paul understood the great truth when he wrote:

“There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male or female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

All the things by which we place individuals so as to mark their separation from others, are absent. It was in this way He  made His constant appeal to men, and attracted them to Him. It was not the teaching of Jesus that appealed to men. They refused it. They knew it was true, and that was why they objected to it, because the truth condemned them. As long as Savonarola said to Florence, “Be free,” they applauded him; but when he said, “Be pure,” they refused him. Jesus said, Be pure from first to last. Therefore His teaching did not appeal. But His humanity did. He was irresistible.

Words of Grace for Strength

Nowhere in the bible does one see a description of the face of our Lord. Tissot was right in not painting Christ’s face if he wanted to be biblically accurate. Morgan may well be right in saying that Jesus may well have had the distinctive look of a middle eastern Jew, but he is also correct in stating we can offer no biblical proof to that assumption, no matter how reasonable and logical it sounds. The fact of the matter is that westernized artist conceptions of the face of Jesus are certainly not middle eastern in visage, and are most likely, highly inaccurate.

Which leads to one probable (and probably glaring) conclusion. What Christ looked like is not important for us to know, or God would have seen to it that a detailed description was recorded in His Word given to men through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God in His wisdom kept that fact from us:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

We need to look with our hearts at the heart of Jesus, outward appearance means nothing in His plan of salvation; neither how we look or what we say. It is what we mean that counts, a sincere confession of our faith and trust in Christ alone. Imagine what would go on, even within the Church, if we were to focus on how much we resemble Christ physically or facially instead of how much we need to resemble Him spiritually or faithfully, how much we need to model our obedience to the Lord based upon His obedience to the will of the Father.

The things we need to know the Bible makes plain if we would just read it after praying to God for wisdom and discernment, that He open our eyes to the Truth. We can learn the things we need to know, not necessarily the things we want to know. We are old enough to know (even if we are not wise enough) that needing and wanting are two totally different concepts. Jesus will manifest Himself for us through the Word of God in our faith walk as we need to know Him as we seek to go about our Father’s business. If we cannot figure it out from the Word, we are probably looking for answers to the wrong questions.  Answers to questions like what did Jesus look like.

We will one day gaze upon the face of Jesus and will be able to do so forever. But only as He determines we are ready for it.

Submission to the Now and Future King

Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? – Psalm 2:1

The world rages continually against the thought of our coming King, who will rule with His rod of iron, but with justice and love. The world will never accept Christ as King until His Second Coming, at which time it will be too late for those who have not trusted in Him alone as Savior. The world will never accept, but will never vanquish His Kingdom either. For He rules in Heaven now, and will one day rule upon the earth as well.

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. – Psalm 2:4

I find this verse to be both exhilarating and sad at the same time. Exhilarating, because no matter how bad I think things are going, the Lord in Heaven looks upon His enemies on earth and…chuckles. Well, maybe more like a derisive snort, but I really do not think the Lord snorts. It is a dismissive laugh, or maybe a benign one like a parent uses with a child that futilely tries to do something beyond their grasp, their understanding, their ability or power. For He is a God of love who would have none be lost. But He laughs in derision at those who angrily shake their fist at Him and defy Him openly with hearts growing harder by the day. Possibly hardened permanently as the Lord may have given them over to their lusts and sinful passions.

And that is where the sadness comes in. Their defiance is all so futile. Hopeless. A pointless waste of a life that could have been redeemed for eternity with a repentant turn to the Lord who loves and will welcome all that call out to Him and place their faith and trust in Him. Sad, because if you think of what might have been from the eternal perspective, it is a mercy and a blessing that the Lord will wipe away all tears in Heaven (Revelation 21:4) and we will remember the bad things, the evil things no more.

“I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.  Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. – Psalm 2:7-8

The Kingship of Jesus Christ is assured, certain and eternal. It is the eternal will of the Father and is His decree for all things for all time. What will be the possession of the Son given by the Father cannot be pried from the grasp of either, and they clasp every one of us in eternal security and peace, everlasting safety and unity with the Triune Godhead.

Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. – Psalm 2:12

A warning and a promise. A warning of judgment, just and true, unforgiving of disobedience but gracious of repentance and submission in obedience. A promise of blessings too encompassing and majestic for us to truly understand with our earthly intelligence but accepted and believed in our faith and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We know the blessing to come with full assurance although we cannot really explain it to those who do not have that same relationship with Jesus as we do.

It takes not much to receive the gift freely offered, nothing more than faith and trust. Blessed are we who have received it by the grace of God. Pray for those who have not, before it is too late for every one of them. For always remember…

Jesus is coming soon!


Who Are You Significant To?

Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. – Matthew 6:2-4

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. – Matthew 6:5-6

Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. – Matthew 6:16-18

Who are you seeking to be significant with? God or people? If you look at the three separate instances above from Matthew 6 you see a very clear pattern. Those who seek the approval of others, those who do things to be noticed by others and thereby gain approval or accolades get their reward once the approval is given. And what of it? How long does it last? The praise of men grows faint indeed as it echoes down the halls of eternity.

It is only in Christ and with Christ can we achieve anything significant that has lasting value. Because it is only in Christ and with Christ that we can build for the Kingdom. Our lives built in a way, on the solid foundation of Christ, that our deeds and actions survive the fire because they have significance to God. In the sharing of the Gospel, a work of significance because it pleases God, the Apostle Paul summed it up in a few pithy words:

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10

But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. – 1 Thessalonians 2:4

This is only a dilemma if you put pleasing others on the same level as pleasing God. For often doing the things of significance will not be pleasing to others. But fear not, this does not worry God, nor should it worry you. As believers, it is God alone we should seek to please, for it is God alone to whom we will one day answer:

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. – 2 Corinthians 5:9-10

It is in Christ alone that we can have any lasting significance by being pleasing in the eyes of God. The prideful seeking of rewards based on our own merit needs be cast aside, as the praise of men will one day be cast aside as we await a judgment of rewards for faithful service in obedience to God:

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

You want to live your life to hear a well done, good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21;23) and not smell the smoke and ash of a wasted life in the body of Christ as you stand before your Lord. Your salvation is assured upon your trust in Christ alone for your salvation; but do you want to come to the bema seat judgment via the fire escape?

Love Is God’s Sovereign Law

Excerpted  from “The Eleven Commandment” – Lehman Strauss (1946)

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you. that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).

A man who is about to leave this life will doubtless express the deepest feelings of his soul. One may not realize that death is near, and die in silence. But when our Lord knew that His hour had come, He gathered His disciples about Him and spoke to them concerning the deep things of God. There were statements uttered by Christ in the Passover Chamber that the disciples had never heard before. It was in the Upper Room of fellowship where he spoke about “The love of Christ which passeth knowledge” (Eph. 3:19). In issuing this New Commandment, “That ye love one another,” He was setting forth the Sovereign of Christian Love. Whatever authority of divine approval accompanied the Mosaic Law, we may be sure that this Sovereign Law carries the same authority plus the Personal testimony of the living Christ.

The New Commandment that the Lord enjoined upon His friends and He had faithfully demonstrated before them by His life. And now it is to cost Him that life to utter the words: “As I have loved you.” Indeed, Christ alone was the perfect Pattern of Love. He alone could interpret the word in its fullest meaning. If we are to learn the Law of Love we must look at God’s Son, for in Him is the love of God perfected. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

In ages past God had been speaking through His prophets at different times and in various ways, revealing Himself as the God of holiness, might, truth, and mercy. But not until Jesus Christ came into the world had man fully known the love of God. In more ways than one the angels are superior to men, and for centuries they too were God’s messengers to reveal Himself to the world. But when prophets or angels stand beside the Son of God it is evident that He holds the position of incomparable majesty and glory. God “hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son” (Heb. 1:2). The heart of the Father was never fully revealed in His infinite love until His only begotten Son left Heaven to dwell among men. Jesus is the highest revelation of God. God is love and, “No man hath seen  God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared (or fully revealed) Him” (John 1:18).

We can see in Christ the Pattern of Love in His submission. Only love could draw the Eternal One from the Ivory Palaces into a world of woe.

Words of Grace for Strength

If you want something done right, do it yourself. Not meaning to be flip nor disrespectful, but in essence, this is what God purposed to do when the Father sent His only begotten Son into the world as the means of our salvation. As the only means of our salvation, for there is none in any other but Jesus. Nothing and no one, angels and prophets notwithstanding, can convey the message and majesty of God like Jesus can.

It doesn’t get any better than this. Again, in all seriousness. We have been given the Son’s death on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins and our eternal salvation. We have His words, His message, His promises. There is no where else to go, there is no better deal, there can be nothing better than the gift of salvation divinely promised and guaranteed.

All you need is love. Not kidding here either. The Sovereign Love of God, to which we are commanded to engage in, is able to overcome all the problems of the world, all that ails us and bogs us down. His love lifts us above all earthly cares and concerns, makes the urgent and important fade if it is not centered in and focused on Him. He is our Rock and our Redeemer, He is our Lord and Savior.

Love is God’s Sovereign Law and in many respects, an Eleventh Commandment. What more powerful way for Him to show His love, what clearer and more impactful way for us to see, understand and grasp hold of that love, than to realize He sent His Son to die for us so that we could live with Him.