Tuesday, April 23, 2013

CP 204 Father loves his lamb...

CP 204 Father loves his lamb…

One of my members gave me a little book to read a few weeks ago. Its title is The Birthright. The author is John Sheasby.  Powerful stuff, affirming so much insight collected over the years. Liberating truth to savour. Right near the end I read something which gave my heart and spirit a joyful jolt like I hadn’t had in years. I’ll try to share it with you.

It’s about sheep, specifically lambs, the ones that get consideration for sacrifice in the Old Testament. I need you to ponder what Moses told the Israelites about the lambs to be presented for Passover. They were to be ‘without defect’. Exodus 12:5 Other translations often have ‘without blemish’, or ‘unblemished’. Here are the general guidelines for determining the suitability of such an offering:

“…it must be without defect or blemish to be acceptable. Do not offer to the Lord the blind, the injured or the maimed, or anything with warts or festering or running sores. Leviticus 22:21-22

Just for a moment try to visualise the scene as the worshipper presents the lamb. The priest doesn’t just accept it. No, he subjects it to a rigorous examination. Is it fly-blown? Has it got footrot? Has it got cuts and bruises? Is it scabby? Are any bones broken? Are there deformities? Is it sick in any way? Apparently even a brown mark on the forehead was enough to declare it ‘unworthy’. It had to be ‘clean’ in the full Holy-Spirit-meaning of the word. It had to be ‘perfect’.

It was the priest’s task to be thorough. Now here’s the observation which so stirred my spirit. In all that inspection, “Not once did the priest examine the worshipper. Not once!

Not once in that process of checking whether the lamb was worthy did the priest check out the person who presented it. It was never the worthiness of the worshipper that was at stake. Always and only the eyes are upon the lamb. Only a proven lamb will make the difference.

Some scripture for you:
·        Behold the Lamb of God who takes
            away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

·        For you know that it was not with
            silver or gold that you were
            redeemed… but with the precious
            blood of Christ, a lamb without
            defect or blemish. 1 Peter 1:19  
·        Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
            to receive power and wealth
            and wisdom and strength
            and honour and glory and praise!
            Revelation 5:12

So… if it all depends on the worthiness of the Lamb, and not on me, then, to use the language of this day, I’m sweet! And doesn’t it make even more sense to take the advice of the person who wrote “Hebrews”! How does it go?  “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…" Hebrews 12:3 You never need to worry about the Father’s acceptance. He loves you so much that at that moment he only has eyes for the Lamb you present!!!

My friends, be blessed in HIM.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CP 203 After the facts comes the meaning...

CP 203 After the facts comes the meaning…

Jesus, my Lord,
Lord of promises fulfilled,
Lord of measureless joy and hope unending,
Lord of Fatherly-grace revealing,
you are the Lord of love beyond knowing,

In this moment I honour you in meditation.
My heart delights to dwell on the written words
of those who testified on your behalf.
Drenched in the living water of your Spirit,
they ‘saw’ the meaning of the cross-in-sacrifice.

  • Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners… (1 TIMOTHY 1:15 NIV)

  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ROMANS 6:23 NIV)

  • God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 COR 5:21 NIV)

  • He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins, and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (1 PETER 2:24 NIV)

  • For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (COLOSSIANS 1:13,14 NIV)

  • For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (COLOSSIANS 1:19,20 NIV)

  • This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1:9,10 NIV)

  • Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (HEBREWS 2:14,15 NIV)

  • The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. (1 JOHN 3:8 NIV)

I shake my head in astonishment,
and nod my head at the truth of it all.
My heart rises with a joy no words can speak,
Humbled beyond words,
my body moves to bended knee.
My soul is free. In you I am free.
Thank you, my Lord.
I am free!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CP 202 Words fit for a graveside...

CP 202 Words fit for a graveside…

There's been a few funerals lately. Many words spoken. Mostly helpful, occasionally not. It struck me how powerful are the words of scripture from the funeral rite. Profound, comforting and lasting. Thought I'd share them with you.

  • Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. (JOB 1:21 NRSV)

  • I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God. (JOB 19:25,26 NRSV)

  •  Our Lord says: I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. (JOHN 11:25,26 NRSV)
  •  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason Christ died and returned to life so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. (ROM 14:8,9 NIV)
  •  Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 PETER 1:3 NJB)
  •  Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right-hand side of God’s throne. (HEB 12:2 TEV)
  •  Jesus says: Don’t be afraid! I am the first, the last, and the living one. I died, but now I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys to death and the world of the dead. (REV 1:17,18 CEV)
  •  St Paul says: These bodies will die, but the bodies that are raised will live forever. These ugly and weak bodies will become beautiful and strong. As surely as there are physical bodies, there are spiritual bodies. The bodies we now have are weak and can die. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal. Then the scriptures will come true, ‘Death has lost the battle! Where is its victory? Where is its sting? Thanks be to God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (VARIOUS)

At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father! (PHILLIPIANS 2:10,11 NIV) 

Amen to that!