Archives

Magnet Fun and Irresistible Grace

First, the original intent of the video, to show science. Here is the original poster’s comment:

Nice slow-motion footage of smaller magnets engulfing larger magnets. The self-organization is beautiful to watch…

I love magnets. Don’t you love magnets? I remember in grade school, science lessons where they gave you magnets to experiment with. It was fun and absorbing.

As is this video is absorbing, mesmerizing, actually!

And now for the spiritual twist. As I was watching the little magnets be drawn to the Master Magnet, I was reminded of the verse from John 12:32,

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

Salvation is like that in the video. The little magnets were minding their own business, at enmity with God, apart from Him. And along comes Jesus, inexorably drawing the ones He has elected since before the foundation of the world, to draw unto His grace, His body, his faith.

“God’s grace is so powerful that it has the capacity to overcome our natural resistance to it.” RC Sproul

Think on that ladies. He sought us, easily overcame our formidable enmity, cleaned us with His righteousness, and is now interceding for us at the throne as we draw ever nearer to Him!

Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25).

There is nothing that will happen to us today that is stronger than that reality.

All that the Father giveth me will come to me. (John 6:37).

 

He did this … so He could do this

Satan tempted Jesus with hunger. (Matthew 4:3)

Satan tempted Jesus with suicide. (Matthew 4:6).

Satan tempted Jesus with power. (Matthew 4:9).

Satan tempted Jesus with life, to avoid the cross. (Matthew 16:23).

Jesus resisted it all, answered with the word of God. He remained sinless, never falling into any of satan’s wiles.

He went to the cross, taking all of God’s wrath, dying as a humiliated sacrifice, separated in darkness for hours, “Father why have you forsaken me?” and then He died.

He did this,

powers

Illustration by Chris Powers, fullofeyes.com

The Father resurrected Jesus. He took our wrath because God placed our sin onto Him…He gave us His righteousness, which we could never possess.. Double imputation. (2 Corinthians 5:21).

So He could do this:

robe

Robe of Righteousness, by Lars Justinen

Let us take a moment to praise, honor, and glorify our precious Savior.

Lessons from Blind Bartimaeus – Keep crying out

This first was published on The End Time in October 2011. It’s a lesson we need more than ever today, 8 years later and the world grows ever more hostile to Christianity and the name of Jesus.

It’s a tough crowd these days, isn’t it? Lots of people are hard of hearing when it comes to Jesus, sin, and things of faith. Atheists and agnostics are heart-hardened, and even more so these days. Liberal Christians are hardened to Jesus, too. They want to stop talking about hell, sin, judgment, and courts, but only speak of love, peace, joy, and freedom. They, and their mouth-pieces, the ACLU and the like, tell Christians to sit down and shut up. Others simply warn, “stop saying that!” But we won’t.

As the cursed world spirals ever downward to its prophesied end, physical illness, cataclysmic wrath events like tornadoes and floods keep happening, spiritual darkness hovers over families, we might be tempted to give up crying out to Jesus for comfort and help. Don’t cease crying out night and day. Persevere in prayer and petition.

Consider Bartimaeus—
[Blind Bartimaeus] began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” (Mark 10:47-52)

Son of David was a Messianic title. The blind man’s choice to address Jesus that way was an immediate indicator that the blind man knew who Jesus is. His very next comment was a plea for mercy. Sinners know they need mercy, and this blind man knew he was a sinner, and that Jesus could dispense mercy to him.

But the people were shouting loudly for the blind beggar to sit down and shut up. I can just hear them say, “Hush! You’re making a scene“…when the crowd and the noise and the scene around Jesus must have been unlike any other near Jerusalem, ever! And they were telling the blind man to be quiet, over all that noise…that is how inappropriate they thought he was being. But would the blind man be quiet? No. He shouted LOUDER.

Jesus stopped, and He called for them to bring the man to Him. Just as He told the disciples not to shush the children but bring them to Him instead, (Mark 10:14) He ignored the people’s warnings for the man to be quiet and said for him to be brought.

The world will call for evangelical Christians to be quiet and that is precisely the time when the world most needs to hear of sin, and the remedy for it, Jesus. Keep shouting, make a joyful noise, sing, rejoice, make a clamor! We shout redemption! We shout pardon from sin’s judgment! We shout the cross and Him crucified! Told to be quiet, we shout louder! We have the Good News, we see Jesus coming, we call out, take courage, stand up!

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech 9:9)

“O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy.” (Psalm 47:1)

“They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the LORD’s majesty” (Isaiah 24:14)

Recognize the Messiah, son of David, and shout to Him for your own salvation! Your faith will save you.

An encouragement

We see the collapse of denominations and the fluidity of gender, the perverted homosexual agenda and the perverted Christian agenda, the child nappings and the teen drownings, volcanoes exploding and lava flowing, deaths and suicides…and more. The news of the world and the news inside the Christian bubble are both troubling and saddening.

Yet we have hope.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

It is good news that He loves us and is waiting to call us, His bride, home to Him soon. He is preparing the place in which we will dwell for all eternity, untainted by sin at last. We will gaze at one another through the spotless lens of the Holy One who redeemed us to Himself, and we will love Him and each other perfectly. His light will shine upon us untainted by clouds, pure as the blazing Light that shines supreme, transcendent, unmatched, our eyes shining as the reflection of His matchless glory. Angels will sing praises to Him and we will join in, love glowing out among all creation in glory, as only He can be! Why He chooses to share Himself with us, I will never know, but that knowledge and fact only makes me love Him all the more. He saved a wretch like me, and changed me from creature to daughter of God!

I sincerely hope you all are well. If you are not, then I hope that good news of what awaits us revives you, that we have the perfect assurance of the incomparable riches of His grace.

Beloved, these things are true, these things are noble, these things are just, these things are pure, these things are lovely, these things are of good report, there is virtue and they is praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Phil 4:8-9 paraphrased)

God will judge the unrighteous. But we love Jesus and love casts out all fear. Whoever is in Jesus has no fear, because He is GOOD! His promises are true. His mercy endures forever.

  • The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;” Lamentations 3:25
  • Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
  • In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9

Are you glad in His salvation? We wait, and we love, and we endure, but are we glad? He saved us! The most important person in the universe who was and is and is to come came down from his Holy Mountain to serve us, teach us and save us. He left glory to give us His righteousness. Be glad in it. Even as we wait, we have more days to rejoice in the hope in us, and to be the light to others in that hope.

It’s summer. Hold your loved ones close. Have picnics, catch fireflies, dip toes in the sand, go on a road trip, read a summer book. Unplug, unwind, let go a bit if you can.

Here is something lighthearted to end what I hope is encouraging to you.

busy bee and ant

I deserved this

I spent 42 years striding the earth, self-satisfied with my smartness and artful living. I was at enmity with Jesus, hating Him and loving self. I sinned, sinned some more, and sinned again. I deserved a meteoric projectile to the head. Like this guy:

cnn pompeii

CNN has the story:

A man managed to escape the first eruptive fury of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, only to be crushed beneath a block of stone hurled by an explosive volcanic cloud, new excavations at the site suggest. Archeologists working at the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, Italy, found the man’s remains almost 2,000 years after he died.

Stunning pictures from the scene show a skeleton pinned beneath the stone. The impact crushed the top of the man’s body. His head might still be buried beneath the block of stone.

Instead, what I received was patience for over four decades, and protection from death (which I deserved, Romans 6:23). At the moment of appointed time for Jesus to come into my life, I was given grace, the Spirit of repentance, salvation, justification, adoption, eternity in glory, co-heirship with God, righteousness imputed, spiritual blindness lifted, the indwelling Spirit…and so much more.

As a craven wretched sinner, I deserved a meteor to the head. Instead, I received loving tender reconciliation.

Let the image above, which is dramatic enough as it really happened to an unfortunate citizen of Pompeii in 79AD, sink in. Don’t let a day go by without praying in thankfulness to Jesus for salvation, and not getting what we really deserved.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— (Ephesians 2:8)

The Sweetest Frame

You know the song, The Solid Rock,

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
What is the frame? Did you ever wonder? It makes sense in the song without having to explain it. Like, intuitive sense. But if one is going to explain it, how would one?

The word is used in Psalm 103:14,
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

I looked up the word frame in Hebrew. The word is yetser. It means-

a form, framing, purpose…
of what is framed in the mind …
is common in sense of impulse: of good and bad tendency in man.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible says of the Psalm above,

For he knoweth our frame – Our formation; of what we are made; how we are made. That is, he knows that we are made of dust; that we are frail; that we are subject to decay; that we soon sink under a heavy load. This is given as a reason why he pities us – that we are so frail and feeble, and that we are so easily broken down by a pressure of trial.

He remembereth that we are dust – Made of the earth. Genesis 2:7; Genesis 3:19. In his dealings with us he does not forget of what frail materials he made us, and how little our frames can bear. He tempers his dealings to the weakness and frailty of our nature, and his compassion interposes when the weight of sorrows would crush us. Remembering, too, our weakness, he interposes by his power to sustain us, and to enable us to bear what our frame could not otherwise endure. Compare the notes at Isaiah 57:16.

So in the song, frame could mean frame of mind, or our frame like our infrastructure. It could mean our nature, the good and bad tendencies in man.

I dare not trust my sweetest tendency
I dare not trust my frame of mind
I dare not trust my own self

Like I said, makes intuitive sense!

Trust only Jesus…nothing else

frame

Justified and made righteous

Here, in 90 seconds Pastor Gabe explains what justification is. When he explained that it is the legal declaration of God as to the pardon of all our sins AND the credit to our account the righteousness of Christ, it made me think of the verse from Luke regarding the return of an unclean spirit. But first, take a listen to Pastor Gabe’s explanation:

When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26).

Without the imputation of righteousness to our account and the indwelling and sealing of the Holy Spirit, we would be damned and punished forever. We can stave off obvious sin and project a certain morality in keeping our ‘house’ empty for a while, but sin soon creeps back in to take over again. (Genesis 4:7), We can’t help it, our sin-nature demands it.

An empty house is ripe for possession again. And as we see in the verse, the unholy spirits return. But they return in force and the state of the person is worse than before.

We always remember how great and wonderful it is that not only are we forgiven of our sins, but our Lord gave us HIS righteousness, without which, we would simply be either a suppurating cauldron of putrid sin, or a temporarily swept house waiting to become the cauldron of sin once again. His purity and righteousness is fresh, clean, and given in grace to His people. Thank you Lord for justifying Your chosen sinners!

glory