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Showing posts with label Presence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Presence. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Silent Mornings Can Make Us Appreciate the Silent Night- Purity 608


 Silent Mornings Can Make Us Appreciate the Silent Night- Purity 608

Purity 608 12/22/2021  Purity 608 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a blue sky and blazing sun over a glistening ice frosted forest comes to us from a friend who was gracious enough to share this view that they captured while they were presumably hiking on Hogsback Mountain near Marlboro Vermont on Monday.  To be honest the pickings of cool views from my friends has been scarce lately and I was thrilled to see my friend’s beautiful photo. So if you should be out and about and see something worthwhile, take a quick pic and share it, for your friends would love to see it.   

Today is the hump day before Christmas and all through the house not a creature is stirring because I get up before the crack of dawn to connect with my heavenly Father through prayer and meditation to thank Him for the life that He has given me and to remind myself of just how amazingly blessed I have been to discover who I am in Christ.  

Over the last few days, I had been slacking in my quiet time with the Lord as I felt the urge to prepare for a discipleship counseling session I had on Monday evening and decided to unpack quite the personal testimony yesterday to commemorate the birth and life of my beloved son, Brennan.

When you walk in the spirit on a continuous basis, sometimes you feel led to abandon your regular routine to attend to other matters. In my experience, following these leadings has always led to me being prepared for the Lord’s service or gives Him glory in some way.  If you are going to follow the “Mighty Rushing Wind” of the Holy Spirit, you will discover that there can be quite a bit of spontaneity in your life as you answer His call to be used by God to grow and encourage and serve others.   

However, after the wind blows you all about, you will feel the joy that comes from your daily spiritual practice when it isn’t circumvented by other matters that the Spirit draws you to.  In the aftermath of serving and taking care of things that pop up, you can find rest and comfort in just another “normal” day in the Lord’s quiet still presence where your reflection on things past, present, and future just gives you peace.    

In one of my discipleship relationships, a brother in Christ always asks me about my “quiet time with the Lord” and sometimes the question really convicts and annoys me because I realize that I have neglected the study of God’s word or have been short in my times of prayer and meditation.   He asks the question because he knows it is important to spend time connecting with the Lord personally and just how easy it is to neglect it. 

When I am questioned and feel I have been lacking in seeking the quiet time of the Lord, I will get annoyed and start to think of a response in which I will defend myself by saying something like : “I’ve got important things to do!” or “You don’t know all I’m doing for the Lord already!” or even worse will have a temptation to point the question back at my friend as an accusation:  “What about you?  What are you doing for the kingdom?”  

When those responses come up in my head, I know that I have strayed from what I should be doing and realize that my pride has been activated.  When your pride rises up, you should stop and remind yourself of John 15:4-5, where Jesus tells his disciples:

John 15:4-5 (NKJV)
4  Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

So as we are on a collision course with that Silent Night of Christmas Eve, in just two days, and maybe scrambling to make everything “just right”, try to stop and take some time to connect with the Lord through reading His word, by just taking a few moments to rest and reflect on Him in prayer, or by having an impromptu conversation with God. 

Walking in the Spirit is just a matter of living in God’s presence from moment to moment where we take our lives and put them in His hands and listen for His wisdom to guide us in the way we should go.  

Once you establish a habit of “walking and talking with God”, you will realize that you have entered into a spiritual dimension of life that few of those who surround you are experiencing.  You will come to see the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, and peace grow in your life and you will realize that without Him we can do nothing.  

So draw close to God, abide in His presence, and share the love that God pours into you with the people that He has brought into your life.  The Christmas Spirit isn’t about running around like a mad man being obnoxious and boastful about the magnificent decorations that you have put on display to scream Merry Christmas, it is about reminding others of the reason for the season that began when God came to earth in the flesh and the heavens were invaded by angelic heavenly hosts on a silent night to proclaim the peace that only comes through Jesus Christ.        


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT2)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
6  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Today’s verses should be memorized and held in your heart because you will be able to stand on these verses every day a

I am more familiar with the NKJV version of these verses that says:

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

I mean, this is our prescription. In all our ways we are to acknowledge Him by saying in effect that His ways are better than our ways and that we not only recognize that intellectually, but we also truly acknowledge it by trying to conform to His ways of thinking and by changing our behaviors to align with His word, experientially.  

The Christian life is to be lived out every day. The benefits of our faith are not just for eternity. They are for here and now. Our lives are transformed when we trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our worldly understanding and instead endeavor to allow Him to direct our paths.   

Our walk, our relationship, with God is supposed to be interactive.  We acknowledge His ways and examine our ways and try to adjust our thoughts and behaviors to be more like His.   Because this is a spiritual relationship, it is not just about following a list of rules it is about thinking about our experience and communicating with God to receive His feedback and blessings that flow as a consequence of stepping onto His path for living.  

So keep walking and talking with God. Memorize these verses and use them to remind you who God is, who you are, and which way you are going in this life.  His ways are higher than our ways and when we walk with Him we invariably rise up out of the darkness and confusion of this world and find a life where we can say with assurance: it is well with my soul.

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  for Day 26 as this current resource series will lead us to Christmas Eve.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Tozer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

DAY 26

LIFE AND LIGHT TO ALL HE BRINGS

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

JOHN 8:12

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

1 JOHN 1:5

Here is the wonder of the nature of God: God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. This is the wonder of life and light: the Scriptures mix up and do not try to keep separated light and life. “Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings.” When that was written, theology was written, for life and light are one. This means that eternal life is also the light, the light of every man that cometh into the world. And I suppose that there is something deeper than morals here.

A great German theologian a generation ago wrote a book that has become very famous in learned circles. And in that book he declares that the idea of holiness goes back to personality. That you think of the holiness of God as a strange thing before you think of the person of God. I think he is right. I am quite sure he is right, and he says that the idea of purity is not the first idea of holiness. The first idea that comes to the mind, or that came to the mind, when the word holy was suggested was not the thought of being pure, but the idea of being greater than, higher than, other than, beyond, different from—in its self-sufficiency, uncreated substance of life. It is that without a pronoun, that without a personal pronoun, that—and then we attribute purity and holiness to God.

So when God says, “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1: 16 NIV), He’s talking about moral purity, He’s talking about spiritual cleanness. But beyond that, in the back of that, and prior to that is the solemn, indescribable something that cannot be put into words: that there exists a nature, a substance in the universe that is life and light, and it is a thing, and it is that. But it also has personality and, that personality is God. And the wonder of this passage in John is the nature of God. God is light. God is life. And in Him is no darkness at all.

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Gifts without Wrappings - Christmas Songs and Christmas Presence - Purity 602


Gifts without Wrappings - Christmas Songs and Christmas Presence -  Purity 602

Purity 602 12/15/2021 Purity 602 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a pink “summery” sunset sky looking east over O’Halloran Hill from Cove Road in Hallet Cove in South Australia comes to us from Dave Baun Photography as Dave continues to capture God’s creation in all its glory with his Olympus EM1 MKII.  Dave is a transplant from Pennsylvania so it may seem odd to experience the three hottest months of the year in December, January, and February in his Australian home but with views like this Dave is clear when he proclaims: “Man, do I love where I live!”  

It may be “summertime” in Dave’s neck of the woods, but that terrain, pink sky, and that “manger like” structure in this photo could easily remind us of the Christmas story and how Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem to find there was no room at the inn and had to make the best of a bad situation when Christ was born.

Christmas is 10 days away and rather than resisting the holiday and trying in vain to stop Christmas from coming like the Grinch, I am actively finishing up my preparations for the day we celebrate the coming of our Savior.  

Last night, I actually decided not to wrap up the few gifts I will be giving out this year and instead decided to build a playlist of Christmas music to enjoy on the first Christmas that I will enjoy in the company of my fiancĂ©. 

TammyLyn and I have discovered the peace, joy, and intimacy that comes from just being in each other’s presence early on in our relationship and I often joke how we are perfectly at peace just staring at one another. 

As two divorcees who have found new love that is centered in Christ and will be under a marriage covenant a week after Christmas, we have lots of experience in making the best of a bad situations from our past and now are basking in the love that we have found that resulted from deciding to live our lives according to God’s way.    

So last night I compiled a Christmas play list that will consist of some old classics, some newer Christmas songs from Christian’s artists, and others that focus on Jesus Christ’s Christmas story rather than that of Jolly Old St. Nick, Frosty the Snowman, or traipsing through a winter wonderland or sliding along in a one horse open sleigh.  Neither TammyLyn and I are children anymore and we know that Christ is the reason for the season and we will give glory to God this Christmas for all He has blessed us with and for bringing us together.  

After coming to faith in Christ in 2010, Christmas for me has been less and less about Santa, Jingle Bells, and Holly and more and more about the loving Creator of all things who loved us enough to send His Son to save us.   

So as we are gliding along in our regular work schedules, getting ready for Christmas, and trying to deal with life’s problems and tragedies that know no season, let’s make sure that we prepare our hearts for the silent night that comes, oh my, next Friday and somewhere in the midst of all the holiday hoopla make plans to find a few moments of peace with the people who are near and dear to us that God has put in our lives, next Saturday!     

Toys and presents are said to satisfy for a few days but the moments where we can love one another and be in each other’s presence become another chapter in the love story of our lives.  So keep walking and talking with God, He will take your heart of stone and make it a heart of flesh and the love that He pours into you can make you feel as if you will burst with joy and can flow into the dear ones in your life in this holiday season and all the days of our lives.


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

 

Isaiah 59:21 (NLT2)
21  “And this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the LORD, have spoken!

 Today’s verse reminds us of the new covenant that God promised would come and how His Spirit would never depart from us.

 Context is very important in the study of God’s word and I feel we can benefit greatly from just looking at the previous verse in this passage of scripture.  

 Isaiah 59:20 (NLT2)

20  “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins,” says the LORD.

 You can see from this previous verse that the “covenant” that the Lord is speaking about in today’s verse is that of the Redeemer who will come to Jerusalem and buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins.   

 

You don’t have to be an advanced bible scholar to see that verse 20 seems to predict the coming of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem and how His death on the cross pays for the sins of all those who turn from their sins and make Him their Lord and Savior.  

 Christ is said to have fulfilled at least 48 Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah.

 “Scientist Peter Stoner estimated that the probability of fulfilling 48 prophecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! Our minds can’t comprehend a number that big.” (https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/the-case-for-christ/the-case-for-christ-week-of-dec-6.html )

 Jesus is the Messiah that was prophesied about in the Old Testament and He brings the New Covenant that is spoken about in today’s verse.  And as today’s verse indicates, people who place their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior receive the Holy Spirit, who will never leave them. 

 

The new life in Christ makes us spiritually alive. It gives us a meaning and purpose to our lives.  When we experience our “second birth” by placing our faith in Jesus, we are transformed and  if we properly understand the magnificence of the gift we have received we will be motivated to share the words of the gospel of Jesus Christ as today’s verse predicts. 

The words of the gospel of the Kingdom of God, grace, and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ will never leave us and will be on our lips and our children’s lips forever and ever.  

 We can believe the Bible is true because of the fulfilled prophecies it contains, and we can share the good news of Jesus Christ because it has made us alive and set us free.  

 So rejoice in your salvation and pass along the good news that delivers the dead to life and gives them the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that will never leave them. 

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 Today we continue sharing from A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  for Day 19 as this current resource series will lead us to Christmas Eve.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Tozer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

DAY 19

THE REASONS HE CAME

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

JOHN 3:17

Let us think and imagine ourselves back to the condition of paganism. Let us imagine that we have no Bible and no hymn book and that these 2,000 years of Christian teaching and tradition had never taken place. We are on our own, humanly speaking.

Suddenly, someone arrives with a proclamation: “God is sending His Son into the human race. He is coming!”

What would be the first thing that we would think of? What would our hearts and consciences tell us immediately? We would run for the trees and rocks and hide like Adam among the trees of the garden.

What would be the logical mission upon which God would send His Son into the world? We know what our nature is and we know that God knows all about us and He is sending His Son to face us.

Why would the Son of God come to our race?

Our own hearts—sin and darkness and deception and moral disease—tell us what His mission should be. The sin we cannot deny tells us that He might have come to judge the world!

Why did the Holy Ghost bring this proclamation and word from God that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world” (John 3:17)?

Men and women are condemned in their own hearts because they know that if the Righteous One is coming, then we ought to be sentenced.

But God had a greater and far more gracious purpose—He came that sinful men might be saved. The loving mission of our Lord Jesus Christ was not to condemn but to forgive and reclaim.

Why did He come to men and not to fallen angels? Well, I have said this before in this pulpit, and I could be right, although many seem to think that because others are not saying it I must be wrong: I believe He came to men and not to angels because man at the first was created in the image of God and angels were not. I believe He came to fallen Adam’s brood and not to fallen devils because the fallen brood of Adam had once borne the very image of God.

Thus, I believe it was a morally logical decision that when Jesus Christ became incarnate it was in the flesh and body of a man because God had made man in His image.

I believe that although man was fallen and lost and on his way to hell, he still had a capacity and potential that made the incarnation possible, so that God Almighty could pull up the blankets of human flesh around His ears and become a Man to walk among men.

There was nothing of like kind among angels and fallen creatures—so He came not to condemn but to reclaim and to restore and to regenerate

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Monday, December 13, 2021

Fully Engaged Life of Presence – Walking in the Spirit = Purity 600

Fully Engaged Life of Presence – Walking in the Spirit =  Purity 600

Purity 600 12/13/2021 Purity 600 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo a roadside shot of Old Glory on the outskirts of the village of Castleton-on- the Hudson NY comes to us from yours truly as the Spirit led me to pull over and to grab a quick pic of what was a stunning sunset view on the way home Friday.  What isn’t clear in this picture is the fact that NY State Thruway Bridge that goes over the Hudson was perfectly silhouetted in the distance and is barely discernable on the horizon here.  

Sometimes in life you just have to be there and no matter how we try to convey to others the beauty or the significance of our experiences, our best efforts to share them pale in comparison what they were.   

As someone who attempts to encourage others to seek the Lord and to live in the mystery of His presence on a continual basis, I often try to convince others of the subtle but significant difference that a life of faith and walking in the Spirit can make.  

Ironically, even though I try to live my life in the Lord’s presence and make a habit of “walking and talking with God” on a daily basis, I sometimes forget just how magnificent life can be as I approach situations with an open heart and an open mind and just go where the Spirit leads me.  

When you are walking in the Spirit you will just stop and look around to see where the Lord has brought you, you will stop on a roadside to appreciate the beauty of the moment, and you will surrender to the moment to enjoy the company of friends or family where you will discuss the things of God or just to express your care, concern, or appreciation for their presence in your life.  

This idea and realization of the “fully engaged life” of presence really was highlighted yesterday as I went from one interaction to another just enjoying being alive, appreciating the Lord for who He is, and loving the people in my life.   

I start the days early, like insanely early, but I don’t drag myself out of bed because my risings are full of purpose as I use the first part of each day to thank the Lord for my life and all I have and then to reflect on and share my experience with others via the blog and podcast.  

This rich and dynamic life in the Spirit never fails to provide me with something to say about the goodness of God or to point to how our Christian faith can be utilized to help us to connect with the Lord and guide us through life.

Yesterday, on Sundays, I don’t blog and just found myself listening to some pop music via Amazon Music and was struck by a few things.  I look for the good in things and was able to find a few pop songs whose lyrics weren’t profane or self-aggrandizing which spoke about love and how people need each other.  But I also found a disturbing amount of songs that lamented that the difficulties of human relationships caused the artists to come to the conclusion that they were better off alone.  

The range from desperately needing someone’s love to deciding one was better off alone painted a picture of a before and after experience of trying to meet all our needs for happiness in other people. 

While God provides us with others to love and live with, we were never intended to find our fulfillment in our human relationships.  Life is a journey from birth to death and beyond and if we consider eternity we can realize that if we are only focusing on what will make us happy from birth to death, we are missing something.  We must consider what happens after death and seek to find a fulfillment that will carry us into the days and eons beyond this life.  The only way we can do that is to come into a relationship with the Creator of all things. 

So our search for fulfillment requires that we seek meaning and purpose for our entire experience: our mental, physical, relational, and spiritual lives that go beyond the here and now.  

God has provided us a way to have peace with Him now: faith in Jesus Christ.  Our reconciliation with God through faith in Christ provides us with the forgiveness of our sins and the reception of a new spiritual life that will never perish.  When we receive the gift of a new life and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, we can live free of fear and share the love that the Lord has poured into us.  We can appreciate God’s creation and everything He provides us with: the people, places, and things He has put in our lives.  

So it was within that context that  I went from one experience to the next yesterday enjoying the conversations, the travel, the worship, the food (yes the cookies), and the relationships.  I spoke to my fiancĂ© about how awesome it was just to be in her presence and to go where ever the day led us, knowing that the Lord has brought us together and we can now take the love we have for Him and one another and just “keep going” wherever He leads us.    

I was “present” with my friends, family, and Lord yesterday and it made the day simply wonderful. 

So, I know its Monday and the stress of a new work week and a quickly approaching Christmas may be upon you, but I would like to encourage you to take a moment to draw close to your Lord in prayer today and to ask Him to help you keep Him and His wisdom, guidance, and strength at the forefront of your mind as you go about your day.   When you consider the things of God and apply His wisdom to your walk, you are empowered by the Holy Spirit to experience His presence and peace moment to moment. 

Peace on earth can begin with you drawing close to the Lord in gratitude and humility.  When your eyes are opened to all He has done and is doing in the world, you can find peace and be motivated to love your life and everyone in your path.  

So either start or keeping walking and talking with God. The word refers to Jesus Christ as our Emmanuel, God with us.  When you walk and talk with Him, you can know and experience just how true that is. God is with us.  So enjoy His presence and keep going with Him.  


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Acts 16:31 (NLT2)

31  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”


Today’s verse reminds us of the means of our salvation and the impact that our lives can have on those around us.   

Now while this verse is often used to give people assurance that God can save your entire family, and frankly is sometimes preached that God WILL save your entire family,  I feel compelled to point to the whole counsel of scripture that is replete with the concept that each individual must place their faith in Christ to be saved.  

We are not saved by familial faith associations.  I’m not saved because my grandmother believed in Jesus. I am saved because I personally believed in Jesus, meaning I put my faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ to be sufficient for the forgiveness of my sins, to make peace with God and to be brought into His kingdom as His adopted child.  

We have to remember to consider the context of scripture when we seek to stand on the word to receive the promises of God.   This verse is from the Book of Acts which is a retelling of the history of the early church. This verse is drawn from the account of the Apostle Paul being miraculously set free from prison through divine intervention as the Lord sent a massive earthquake to shake the prison’s foundations causing the prison doors to be opened and all the prisoners’ chains to fall off.

Upon seeing all the prisoners escaping, the jailer was on the verge of committing suicide, when Paul intervened to explain what had happened and to offer salvation and eternal life to the jailer, and all his family, provided that they would “believe in the Lord Jesus”.  Oh by the way, making Jesus Lord means you agree to follow Him. 

The verses that follow today’s verse tell us that Paul and Silas share a gospel message and that the jailer and all that were in his household all believed in Jesus and proved it by their care for the Apostles and through their decision to get immediately baptized.  

So yes, in this instance, the jailer and his entire family were saved because the jailer and each person in his family, heard the word of God and each decided to make Jesus the Lord of their lives. 

So if you believe and want your entire family to be saved, these scriptures should not be taken as a guarantee or some magical spell that all your family will be saved but should encourage you to provide them with the opportunity to hear the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to make the decision to make Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives.  

We can pray for our family’s salvation with this verse. We can preach to them or have them listen to or read a gospel presentation. We can encourage them to seek the Lord and see that He is good.  But our entire families must individually believe in Jesus, place their faith in Him, and make Him the Lord of their lives.  

God can save our entire families, but they are not saved though our faith.  We can hope, pray, and preach but they must decide to choose the everlasting life that comes when they make Christ the Lord of their lives.  

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 Today we continue sharing from A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  for Day 17, as this current resource series will lead us to Christmas Eve.

 As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Tozer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

DAY 17

WHAT WE HAVE RECEIVED

Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.

JOHN 1:16

The Bible teaches so clearly and so consistently what John proclaims in the first chapter of his gospel: “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16).

Out of His fullness we have received. There is no way that it can mean that any of us have received all of His fullness. It means that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, is the only medium through which God dispenses His benefits to His creation.

Because Jesus Christ is the eternal Son, because He is of the eternal generation and equal with the Father as pertaining to His substance, His eternity, His love, His power, His grace, His goodness, and all of the attributes of deity, He is the channel through which God dispenses all His blessing.

If you could ask the deer that goes quietly down to the edge of the lake for a refreshing drink, “Have you received of the fullness of the lake?” the answer would be: “Yes and no. I am full from the lake but I have not received from the fullness of the lake. I did not drink the lake. I only drank what I could hold of the lake.”

And so, of His fullness, out of the fullness of God, He has given us grace upon grace according to our need, and it is all through Jesus Christ, our Lord. When He speaks, when He provides, while He sustains, it is because it can be said that He upholds all things by the word of His power and in Him all things consist.

Now, here is a thought I had one day: it could have been very easy for God to have loved us and never told us. God could have been merciful toward us and never revealed it. We know that among humans it is possible for us to feel deeply and still tell no one. It is possible to have fine intentions and never make them known to anyone.

The Scriptures say that “no man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18).

The eternal Son came to tell us what the silence never told us.

He came to tell us what not even Moses could tell us.

He came to tell us and to show us that God loves us and that He constantly cares for us.

He came to tell us that God has a gracious plan and that He is carrying out that plan.

Before it is all finished and consummated, there will be a multitude that no man can number, redeemed, out of every tongue and tribe and nation.

That is what He has told us about the Father God. He has set Him forth. He has revealed Him—His being, His love, His mercy, His grace, His redemptive intention, His saving intention.

He has declared it all. He has given us grace upon grace. Now we have only to turn and believe and accept and take and follow. All is ours if we will receive because the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us!

 

 

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship