For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Mather

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

God's "Dulcinea" To Us

Greg Bahnsen wrote:
Up in Los Angeles there is a kind of a redoing of an old musical that is one of my favorites, the Man of La Mancha. You may remember this as the musical and light opera rendition of Cervantes' Don Quixote. Don Quixote was the idealistic Spaniard who went about, as his enemies would remind you, tilting at windmills - the man who didn't seem to have a lot of common sense - who didn't live in a down to earth way. And a musical was made about the story of Don Quixote, and it does include the story of Dulcinea in it.

Dulcinea was a common whore. There's not a nice way to put it. She was not just a fallen woman, she was an absolutely polluted woman. And somehow this naive, idealistic, head in the clouds guy, Don Quixote, came across her and considered her his lady. And Don Quixote wished to serve her as his lady.

Toward the end of the musical, when Don Quixote has fallen and is about to die, Dulcinea, who has been treated and honored as a lady by him and she cannot understand why, says:
Can you not see me for what I am? You honor me and care for me despite my spotted record, that I had nothing pure to offer you.
And she comes to him as he is dying and there she is bowed down and as he awakens from his coma and sees her there and says:
What, you my lady, bow down to me? How inappropriate.
And we all sit there with tears in our eyes thinking what's wrong with you, Don Quixote; she doesn't deserve this kind of love. She doesn't deserve this kind of honoring. Because, you see, Don Quixote could only see her as his lady, as a pure, honorable woman.

The doctrine of justification is God's "Dulcinea" to us. I don't understand why God would give His Son for me, I'm not worth it. And I don't see how He can declare my record to be innocent, how He can declare me to be righteous because I'm not. But it is as though He sings the Dulcinea to me, but He says:
I only see you as righteous for the sake of My Son.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Greater Than Moses Is Here!

James Dennison writes:
Israel drank water out of the rock; Jesus is the fountain of living water [Jn 4.10].

Israel received bread from heaven; Jesus is the living bread [Jn 6.51].

Israel was led by a pillar of fire in the darkness; Jesus is the light of this dark world [Jn 8.12].

Israel came to the mountain where representatives of the twelve tribes went up with Moses to receive the law; Jesus goes up into a mountain with the twelve who receive the fulfilment of the law [Matt 5.1ff; it is in the sense of finality and fulfilment that the law of Christ is a 'new commandment'].

The tabernacle temple finds its embodiment in Christ — God's true Son takes human flesh, identifies with man, and pitches his tent in the midst of his people [Jn l.14; cf. 2.20-22].

The old covenant was given through the hands of a mediator; Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant [Heb 8].

The old covenant ratification at Sinai is accompanied with darkness, quaking of the earth and the loud 'voice' of the trumpet [Ex 19.16-18]; the new covenant ratification at Calvary is accompanied by darkness [Matt 27.45], quaking of the earth [Matt 27.51, 54] and the 'loud voice' of Jesus who bears the curse of the law as and for the Israel of God [Matt 27.50; cf. Gal 3.13].

The covenant at Sinai was sealed by a fellowship meal; the new covenant is sealed by a fellowship Supper [Matt 26.26-28].

Finally, notice that as the old Israel under the leadership of Joshua went up into Canaan by way of Jericho, so Jesus [Joshua] goes up to Jerusalem and the cross by way of Jericho [Lk 19.1].

Truly, a greater than Moses is here!
James Dennison, "The Exodus And The People Of God"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Beloved Son!

And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." Mark 1:11

Commenting on this verse, James Edwards writes:
In the sublime declaration to Jesus at the baptism we encounter Fatherly love and filial obedience, kingship, and suffering service. Each is a facet of what it means to be the Son of God.

To no prophet had words been spoken such as the words to Jesus at the baptism.

Abraham was a friend of God (Isa 41:8)

Moses a servant of God (Deut 34:5)

Aaron a chosen one of God (Ps 105:26)

David a man after God's own heart (1 Sam 13:14)

and Paul an apostle (Rom 1:1)

Only Israel (Exod 4:23) and the king as Israel's leader (Ps 2:7) had been called God's Son before.

But where Israel failed [and all Isreal's kings failed!], Jesus takes [their] place.
James Edwards, The Gospel According To Mark (Pillar New Testament Commentary)

Jesus is the new and better Israel! Jesus is the new and better King of Kings of Israel!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Beautiful Legs Of Jesus Christ!

Psalm 147:10: His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man . . .

But you see, there was one Man in whose legs God took ultimate pleasure and delight! And His name is Jesus Christ – the God Man!

Psalm 1:1: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners . . .

Jesus is the only One who ever lived who never walked in the counsel of the wicked, and who never stood in the way of sinners! Oh the beautiful legs of Jesus!! . . . the perfect fear of Jesus! . . the perfect hope of Jesus! In these legs, God the Father was well pleased!

And yet, it was these beautiful legs – this perfect, fearing God alone; hoping in God alone Man – the one Man Who did not deserve to die – the one Man Who needed no mercy – it was this Man Who was shown no mercy on that cross as the Father counted Him to be sin and crushed Him in our place so that if we repent and believe in Him, we might be forgiven of all our sins and become the righteousness of God in Him!

Hear these wonderful words from the hymn writer:

Thy mercy is Jesus exempts me from hell;
Its glories I'll sing, and its wonders I'll tell;
'Twas Jesus my all, as He hung on the tree,
Who opened the channel of mercy for me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Christ: All I Have Or Want!

Charles Spurgeon wrote:
It is so sweet to look at the Crucified One again, and say, "I have nothing but Thee, my Lord, no confidence but Thee. If You are not accepted as my substitute then I must perish. If God's appointed Saviour is not enough then I have no other. But I know You are the Father's well-beloved, and I am accepted in Thee. You are all I have or want."
Charles Spurgeon, Pictures From Pilgrim's Progress (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1992), 81.

HT: Tolle Lege

In Desperate Need Of Jesus!

Joni Eareckson Tada, who has been paralyzed since she was a teenager, said this in an interview with Table Talk Magazine recently:
Psalm 79:8 says: "May your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need."

Basically, I wake up almost every morning in desperate need of Jesus — from those early days when I first got out of the hospital, to over four decades in a wheelchair, it's still the same. The morning dawns and I realize: "Lord, I don't have the strength to go on. I have no resources. I can't 'do' another day of quadriplegia, but I can do all things through You who strengthen me. So please give me Your smile for the day; I need You urgently."

This, I have found, is the secret to my joy and contentment. Every morning, my disability — and, most recently, my battle with cancer — forces me to come to the Lord Jesus in empty-handed spiritual poverty. But that's a good place to be because Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Christ, Only Christ, My All In All To Be!

Not I, but Christ be honored, loved, exalted,
Not I, but Christ be seen, be known and heard;
Not I, but Christ in every look and action,
Not I, but Christ in every thought and word.

Not I, but Christ to gently soothe in sorrow,
Not I, but Christ to wipe the falling tear;
Not I, but Christ to lift the weary burden,
Not I, but Christ to hush away all fear.

Christ, only Christ, no idle word e'er falling,
Christ, only Christ, no needless bustling sound;
Christ, only Christ, no self-important bearing,
Christ, only Christ, no trace of "I" be found.

Not I, but Christ my every need supplying,
Not I, but Christ my strength and health to be;
Christ, only Christ, for spirit, soul, and body,
Christ, only Christ, live then Thy life in me.

Christ, only Christ, ere long will fill my vision,
Glory excelling soon, full soon I'll see;
Christ, only Christ, my every wish fulfilling,
Christ, only Christ, my all in all to be.

Hymn by Mrs. A. A. Whiddington, 19th Century

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jesus: The Christ, The Messiah, The Anointed One, The King Of Kings, And The Lord of Lords!

SOME PROPHECIES FORETOLD ABOUT JESUS CHRIST (PREDICTED; FULFILLED)

1. Born of the seed of woman (Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4)

2. Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 24-25)

3. Son of God (Psalm 2:7; Matthew 3:17)

4. Seed descended from Abraham (Genesis 22:18; Mathew 1:1)

5. Son of Isaac (Genesis 21:12; Luke 3:34)

6. Son of Jacob (Numbers 24:17; Luke 3:34)

7. From the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:30)

8. From the family line of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1; Luke 3:23, 32)

9. From the house of David (Jeremiah 23:5; Luke 3:23, 31)

10. Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1)

11. Presented with gifts (Psalm 72:10; Matthew 2:1-11)

12. Shall be called Lord (Psalm 110:1; Luke 2:11)

13. Shall be Immanuel (God with us!) (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

14. Shall be Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:18; Mathew 21:11)

15. Shall be Priest (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 3:1)

16. Shall be Judge (Isaiah 33:22; John 5:30)

17. Shall be King (Psalm 2:6; Matthew 27:37)

18. Has a special anointing of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Mark 1:10)

19. Has zeal for God (Psalm 69:9; John 2:15-16)

20. Preceded by a messenger (Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:1-3)

21. Ministry will begin in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1; Matthew 4:12-17)

22. Has a ministry of miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6; Matthew 9:35, Mark 7:33)

23. A Teacher of parables (Psalm 78:2; Matthew 13:34)

24. He was to enter the temple (Malachi 3:1; Matthew 21:12)

25. He was to enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9; Luke 19:35-37)

26. He was a stumbling stone to Jews (Psalm 118:22; 1 Peter 2:7)

27. He was the Light to Gentiles (Isaiah 60:3; Acts 13:47-48)

28. His resurrection (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:31)

29. His ascension (Psalm 68:18; Acts 1:9)

30. Seated at the right hand of God (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 1:3)

31. Betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9; Matthew 10:4)

32. Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15)

33. Forsaken by His disciples (Zechariah 13:7; Mark 14:50)

34. Accused by false witnesses (Psalm 35:11; Matthew 26:59-60)

35. Silent before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12)

36. Wounded and bruised (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 27:26)

37. Smitten and spit upon (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67)

38. Mocked (Psalm 22:7-8; Matthew 27:29)

39. Hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16, Zechariah 12:10; Luke 23:33)

40. Crucified with thieves (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38)

41. Rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:3; John 7:5, 48)

42. Friends stood afar off (Psalm 38:11; Luke 23:49)

43. Garments were parted and lots were cast (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23-34)

44. He would suffer thirst (Psalm 69:21; John 19:28)

45. Gall and vinegar would be offered to Him (Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:34)

46. His forsaken cry (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46)

47. His bones were not broken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:33)

48. His side was pierced (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34)

49. Buried in a rich man's tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60

Information from Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), 168-192.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Christ: The Bible's All Absorbing Theme!

Octavius Winslow wrote:
The Bible is, from its commencement to its close, a record of the Lord Jesus.

Around Him the divine and glorious Word centers; all its wondrous types, prophecies, and facts gather.

His Promise and Foreshadowing, His holy Incarnation, Nativity, and Baptism, His Obedience and Passion, His Death, Burial, and Resurrection, His Ascension to heaven, His Second Coming to judge the world, are the grand and touching, the sublime and tender, the priceless and precious truths interwoven with the whole texture of the Bible, to which the Two Witnesses of Revelation, the Old and the New Testaments bear their harmonious and solemn testimony.

Beloved, let this be the one and chief object in your study of the Bible - the knowledge of Jesus.

The Bible is not a history, a book of science, or a poem; it is a record of Christ.

Study it to know more of Him, His nature, His love, His work. With the magnanimous Paul, "count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord."

Then will God's Word become increasingly precious to your soul, and its truths unfold.

In every page you will trace the history of Jesus, see the glory of Jesus, admire the work of Jesus, learn the love of Jesus, and hear the voice of Jesus.

The whole volume will be redolent of His name, and luminous with His beauty.

Oh, what is the Bible to us apart from its revelation of a Savior! . . .

In a word, do we search the Scriptures humbly, prayerfully, depending upon the guidance of the Spirit, to find Jesus in them?

Of these Scriptures He is the Alpha and the Omega, the substance, the sweetness, the glory, the one, precious, all absorbing theme.
Octavius Winslow, The Precious Things of God

HT: Christ . . . Altogether Lovely

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Every Good Longing You've Ever Had - Satisfied In Him!

John Piper said:
Consider Isaiah 28:5: "In the day of the LORD of hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, for his remnant."

What will it mean that he will be a crown of glory? Whose head will it be on? He's the crown. He is not the head. It's going to be on your head.

Take a deep breath.

He will be a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty.

In other words, he will satisfy every longing for glory and beauty. Everything good that you ever longed for will be satisfied in him.

Therefore, it is loving for him to lift himself up and say, Here I am, world! Admire!

If you did that, you would be unloving, because you are not all-satisfying. He is.

You should simply go all over the world, pointing to him.

Say: World, look! Look at Christ especially, because there, when Christ died, the glory of the grace of God was magnified, which is the apex of all his glory, which is why Christ is the center of everything.
John Piper, "A Holy Ambition: To Preach Where Christ Has Not Been Named," Romans 15:18-24, August 27, 2006.

HT: Christ . . . Altogether Lovely

May We Attract People To Jesus!

Robert Murray M'Cheyne wrote:
Since Tuesday have been laid up with illness. Set by once more for a season to feel my unprofitableness and cure my pride.

When shall this self-choosing temper be healed? "Lord, I will preach, run, visit, wrestle," said I. "No, thou shalt lie in thy bed and suffer," said the Lord.

Today missed some fine opportunities of speaking a word for Christ. The Lord saw I would have spoken as much for my own honor as His, and therefore shut my mouth.

I see a man cannot be a faithful minister, until he preaches Christ for Christ's sake – until he gives up striving to attract people to himself, and seeks only to attract them to Christ.

Lord, give me this!
Robert Murray M'Cheyne in Andrew Bonar, Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M'Cheyne (Banner of Truth: 1844/2004), 45.

HT: Tony Reinke

Yes Lord, please grant us all this, for Jesus' sake!