Come and hear

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The purity of love we exchange for fame
Listening to every sound but His name
Clutching every gift as if our own
Taking glory from His royal throne
Every heart needs a resurrection change
To switch the point of view so strange
That human wit and wisdom can comprehend
A sacrifice given for sins to somehow mend
The fracture between God and creation
Bringing women and men to eternal salvation.

To see the truth of loves vast estate
Breaks down the bonds of our human hate
Which we think is love but pales away
Beside the cruel cross on the hill faraway
Could we but see the love of a Saviour given
The gates of heaven would for us open
For faith has eyes to see into eternal glory
And walk there in the steps of a Saviour worthy
Grasp the hand that is held out for you
Blot our the voices of a worldly view
Place your trust in His loving heart
And His Spirit will never depart.

Dark space

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Death is a certainty. It has a 100% success rate. Wether we die young or old, we still all die. Death cannot be robbed of its prey and every human soul feels its clutches around them. Death is for everyone. It does not discriminate and is totally inclusive. 

Our human bodies wear out, get sick and die. There is no escape. There are a few who experienced death and were raised again by the Prince of Life. Yet they were held fast again by death another time. No one lives who was alive at the beginning. The generations come to pass and then pass on. The sum of human endeavour cannot be measured, since every age must learn its lessons again and again. 

One only has conquered this rampant foe. Only one lived and died and lived again, and still lives forever. Only He lived a perfect life, so death had no hold on Him and could not detain Him behind bars. He by His total power and holiness, was able to break the bonds and walk freely out of the grave. Death at last was finished. It had no more power to terrify and imprison the human body or soul. 

All those who believe in the risen Christ, share in His deliverance. The Christian faces death like all others, but delighted in the victory once won for them on the cross of Calvary- the cross of death. Their Lord once succumbed, but on the third day, raised Himself to life forever. All those who believe have the same victory that He won. There is a glorious resurrection morning for all who repent and believe in the Lord Jesus and trust in His redeeming death on that cruel cross. 

Death is not the end for the Christian, it is the gateway into eternal life and the freedom from death forever. This is the sure and certain hope of the believer. The step across the threshold of eternity is just one more step along the upward way with Jesus their Saviour. 

Death is not the end for the unbeliever also. But there is no hope as they face the cold hand of death. Those who refuse Christ will get the death that they choose. Death beyond the grave is the second death. There is no hope and no resurrection to life from that place. Those who settle for the things of this life, surrender to the god of this world and acquiesce all freedom. They are forever imprisoned in the land of darkness and death. Who would choose such a destination? 

Death – the last enemy.

Faith changes death into the final portal to enter the heavenly kingdom. We taste death only for a moment and then into the eternal kingdom. This is because Jesus came and tasted death for our sakes, so that we would not be overcome in the deep, dark waters. May we trust Him and walk in His light. 

Normal

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The normal human being..

A mixture of neurosis, psychosis, paranoia, phobia, predisposition to illness and moral failure, psychological nuances and weakness, intellectual limitations, emotional fragility, life-long physical deterioration, spiritual insensitivity, self-centred motivations, prejudice, negative attitudes, and unknown future…

The redeemed human being..

All these aspects listed above are now subject to the Lord of Life. All are in His care as the life is laid down at the feet of Christ… all difficulties are overcome by the power of His Spirit in the life of the one who believes. Some are not normal…

Scars

incredulity-of-saint-thomas-1602Painting sited…. Sancoussi, Potsdam: Prussian Royal Collection

One day the Christian will see Him who is loved so completely by those who believe. The Christian will be able to see and touch the one who died for them and has brought them safely to heaven forever. What a day that will be…

The Eternal Son of God, the second person in the Godhead, took a body to Himself and is now forever identified with His beloved people. Jesus the Saviour is forever man and we will ever see God as we look on Him.

The body of Christ will bear the scars of the torture and bloody death that He endured on the cross for the sake of His own people. We can never tell the extent of what He endured, but we shall see the marks of love on that glorified and glorious body. They are not there to blame or cause guilt, but are the medals of His fight with sin, death and hell. The Saviour wears them with joy, as they are the marks of His triumph in the fight. He alone has purchased salvation for those who come and repent and believe. He has paid for sin, reversed the certainty of death, and blocked the way to an eternal hell for all who believe.

The holy God, in the person of Jesus Christ, is forever disfigured by deep and comprehensive scars. How can this be? Heaven is a perfect place. How can there be any tokens of suffering and pain? The Lord Jesus is the Lamb that was slain, before the foundation of the world. He is forever the conquering Saviour and all His people will see and know that. Those scars are not unsightly to the people of God. They are the glorious representations of a fight fought, the blood that was shed and the life laid down bringing them eternal life.

Those scars represent peace, peace with God. They are love, the marks of love laying down its life for the unworthy. They sing out songs of joy, because the song will be the Lamb, once slain but now forever glorified with the people He redeemed.

Paul speaks of his scars, which he has gathered in service to his master Christ.

From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.”  Galatians 6:17

The scars we bear for the sake of Christ are very precious to Him and He looks on us with pity and regard for all we suffer for His sake. These scars need no treatment or disguising. They are worthy and represent the sacrifice of a life given over to God.

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5

Christ suffered every kind of wound. The marks remain and will ever remain. They are the subject of the songs of the Redeemed. The everlasting song that only the Redeemed people of God can sing. Angels cannot sing it, nor cherubim or seraphim. Only those in the eternal city who have human bodies, like the King Himself – Jesus our Redeemer, Saviour, Master and Altogether lovely one….

May we regard Him and love Him with everything we are. May our words reflect our love for Him who took on the form of a Servant and was obedient to death, even death on a cross…

Fruit

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Psalm 71:20-21 WEB   “You, who have shown us many and bitter troubles,you will let me live.You will bring us up again from the depths of the earth.  Increase my honour,and comfort me again.”

This is the personal testimony of a person who knows and loves God, but has greatly suffered in their lives. The purposes of God for them have been very testing and have brought sorrow, questioning and fear.

This sufferer has a soft heart towards God, and has come through the suffering clinging to their Saviour. The troubles are many and often. The sufferer realizes that God’s purposes often lead through the dark valley and this is the way strength of faith is built.

This person has learned the futility of life and the inability of people to help, and the unreliability of anything outside the Word of God. Their mind and soul cling to Christ, the eternal Word. They have become strong because of it. As they fight against sin, they are given the power to overcome and get the victory over that sin and the troubles of life that come along with it.

The comfort of God is worth having and has overpowered all hurts and disappointments. This is the purpose of suffering. It is not about us, or the people around us, but about proving the power of the living Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is about faith and finding Him able in all circumstances to bring His people through. He may cast us down for a time, but will raise his people up to find comfort and a pace of honour in his kingdom. The fruit of faith is what pleases God.

Psalm 31:19-20 WEB   “Oh how great is your goodness,which you have laid up for those who fear you,which you have worked for those who take refuge in you, before the sons of men!
In the shelter of your presence you will hide them from the plotting of man.
You will keep them secretly in a dwelling away from the strife of tongues.”

The troubles pass and we find our refuge in Christ alone. The shelter of Christ is the only place to find succour and healing from the hurts of other people, and the consequences of our own sin. When others plot against the Christian to bring them down and show them up, the refuge of the cross is a sure retreat. The Christian can find the refuge from such negative things, as they call on the Words of God. To think of all that is laid up for those who fear God is supreme encouragement to the Christian believer.

The way of the world cannot prevail in the life of the Christian. As we further taste the fruit of the Spirit, the attractions of life become less and the desire to serve and influence others for Christ becomes stronger.

Let us be bold and strong, looking only to Christ. Then all our troubles and conflicts with sin, will be beaten in the power of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit will then dwell in us richly and bear even more fruit in our lives. The Christian is safe, with Christ their everlasting stronghold and protection against the carping of other tongues.

 “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 

Therefore will we not be afraid, though the earth changes, Though the mountains are shaken into the heart of the seas;

Though the waters of it roar and are troubled, though the mountains tremble with the swelling of it. 

God is in the midst of her. She shall not be moved.”    Psalm 46

There is no firmer promise than this and such assurance should give us mighty boldness to produce fruit to God.

Women who glorify God