Reading Time: 15 minutesPower To Become Sons And Daughters
“Present Truth 2”
“He came to his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons [and daughters] of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:11-12)
Father in heaven, I thank you and praise you today, because we are sons and daughters of God. (2 Cor 6:17,18). We are your children. We choose now to not be afraid, not to be bitter or divided, because we know our name can be clear before you; for your Word says: “They that do hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.” (Mat 5:6) Grace finds us hungry. Grace fills us. Grace is new every morning. Grace calls us beautiful. Praise God from Whom all blessings and grace flows!” – Amen…
This message could actually be entitled: “Jesus Ignored The Nails.” But it is also very fittingly called “Present Truth.” or The Power To Become The Sons And Daughters Of God. This is a message for all people of all times. (Today, I am “determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1 Cor 2:2)
Problem: Why would you need “Christ and Him crucified,” if you always walked around thinking that no one need really share Jesus with you…because you think you already know enough, or that you have special discernment? Or because you are an Elder, or a Pastor? Surely, if you already know enough…then maybe, you don’t need Jesus, because you already “know enough!”
If you already do know enough, then all you would need is a place to run and hide like Adam did in the Garden of Eden because he knew enough too!
Where are your hiding places? How do you hide from Jesus?
Could the answer lie in who you have decided not to love “as He has loved us?” (Eph 5:25, John 13:34). Is there someone in your life, that you will not, love, “as He has loved us?”
I know that I haven’t always had peace like a river, nor set a good example, until I broke through the clouds, and discovered how bondage to wrong thoughts and actions about other people in my life, and how to be really free of this slavery to false notions. Now, it is only because of Jesus that I can joyfully and truthfully sing:
“It Is Well With My Soul…”
“My sin – O the joy of this glorious thought!
My sin – not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! O my soul!
It is well
with my soul
It is well
It is well
– with my soul!”
Imagine with me now, for a moment, the scene of Mat.27:46: “And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: ‘Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?’ That is, to say, ‘My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken me?’” Wow! God…by God…Forsaken! Who can grasp it? Whose heart would not be overwhelmed by this soul-piercing cry of our dying Lord? We can only gaze from afar at this mystery of mysteries: God’s own, Incarnate Son! Forsaken for three long hours…By God Himself! Who can grasp it? The sudden, terrifying gloom that overcast the earth at full mid-day – when the very sun seemed blotted out by the heavens, was it all a reflection of the fearsome and impenetrable darkness that now filled our dying Savior’s soul? His Heavenly Father, the central Sun of His life, now hid His gracious face from Jesus…
The Father now beheld His Son cast off…and Jesus now beheld nothing, but the forbidding countenance of the angry, sin-hating, holy Judge…God had now become cruel to Jesus, as Job 30:21 puts it: “Thou art become cruel to me: With Thy strong hand, Thou opposeth Thyself against Me.”
I wonder. How do you feel about God today? Have you really looked to Calvary recently and received the position and power as His son or daughter? (John 1:12, 2 Cor 6:18)
Lets have a closer look now. Calvary. Where God made Jesus to be sin for us, and permitted Him to pay the very last, and the most extreme penalty of sin: Sin is, separation from God – the divine Source of all our life and happiness…And yet, as evidenced by our Lord’s heart-felt cry of anguish, Jesus still keeps His trust in His Heavenly Father! Even though God, in His just anger, on account of our sin, forsakes Jesus, His only Son, Jesus does not forsake God! Jesus clings to the Father with the trusting cry: “My God!”
In Jesus’ agony, our sin was judged and condemned! (see Isa 53). By His cry of faith: “My God!” we are saved! THAT cry was an expression of trust, because look who Jesus was talking to there! Likewise: Faith! Living faith! In the Person of Jesus Christ, is also, for us today, the one and only way to God’s fatherly heart during our own darkest night of woe…We need to think about this a lot more. What is the cost of your sin? What is the cost of my sin? Look to Christ on the cross for the answer! MY SIN cost Jesus everything!
That we can actually believe in Jesus, and through Him, find a merciful God, and kind Father in heaven, we owe to this amazing victory of faith on the cross of Jesus Christ. Now, we can together, put our faith in Jesus, and Heb 13:25 tells us that we will never be forsaken by God…We now have the privilege, and we need to make a special point of flying or running to Jesus in our bitterest grief, during our darkest midnight, with the same, trustful prayer: “My God! My God!” (Psalms 22:1, Mat 27:36).
In a sense, Jesus ignored the nails. When He was dying on the cross, He was more concerned about you; He was concerned about His Mother, and He showed His ultimate TRUST during His ultimate trial, that we might have the same experience, according to His example, and under His Power. Under the weight of His darkest hour, Jesus was totally preoccupied with praying for the forgiveness of our sins…When Jesus died, it was not to pay some sort of debt to Satan. Jesus doesn’t owe the enemy of our souls anything! Jesus died to pay our debt to the Father…It is simply the way we were made…to survive by God’s wonderful laws…”We are debtors to do the whole law,” as Paul puts it in Gal.
We are debtors to love others as Christ has loved us! Jesus did keep the whole law! When Jesus died, it wasn’t just so that we could receive grace and pardon; but so that we could also receive position and power! “To them that received Him gave He power (there’s the power), to become the sons and daughters of God. John 1:12 There’s the position…there is our identity in Christ! Jesus ignored the nails!! Jesus had other priorities. Jesus was more concerned for your eternal life as He prayed: “My God! My God!” Likewise, Gal 2:20 says that “Christ liveth in me…” We all have a nail or two that is very painful and destructive to the life of Christ in us. What are the nails that have pierced His life in you? What nails do you need to ignore? Who do you need to love, as Christ has loved you? But the Bible says that we can have a proper place in this world, and in the plan of salvation:
“And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house.” (Isa 22:3)
To get an idea of what our “sure place” looks like in work clothes, let’s read Eph 3:14-19 together…(I’ll be reading from the NIV version).
“For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named…That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might, by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth and length, and depth and height: and to know the love of Christ…, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
This is Present Truth! This is the very sure place where Christians must stand today. This is where we “stand in our lot” (Dan 12:13) today! This alone, is what is causing, and will cause the shaking in God’s Remnant Church, before Jesus comes. This is the Present Truth that repulses those who have never died to self, and become “crucified with Christ.” (1 Cor 2:2). Do you here the hyper-religious shrieking in your church? “I refuse to have “power together” with so and so…” “I have a right to my opinion.” “Look at what they did to me…I have a right to be like this…” “You don’t get to tell me anything! I’ll know God my way , (by myself), thank you!” People who pride themselves in “obeying every commandment; but refusing to “love” many in their own church with whom they do not agree or approve of.
The unconverted soul cannot, will not love “as He has loved us…” True love, in the sense Christ has proposed to His church today, is “the everlasting gospel!” (Rev 14:6-12). Why not try it out? See how the people will flock to The Church, and come to Jesus when they see Him as He really Is right here in YOUR Church! When the world sees Jesus, through His people, as He really is,(John 17:23) THAT is the means that will move the world!
Christ declares, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” If the cross does not find an influence in its favour, it creates an influence. Through generation succeeding generation, the truth for this time is revealed as present truth. Christ on the cross was the medium whereby mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissed each other. This is the means that is to move the world
When the sons and daughters of God “manifest the Truth,” “in the world but not of the world,” When God’s people in ____________ see Jesus as He really is, we can expect to hear in the church:
Woman! Thou art loosed! (Luke 13:12)
Man! Thy sins are forgiven thee! (Luke 5:20)
Suffer the little children to come unto Me! (Luke 18:16)
This is Jesus as He really is…and this should be His people…reflecting who He is in their daily lives, and especially in His Church! We are all children of a wise and gracious heavenly Father. He invites us to bring all of our perplexities and cares to Him: “Cast all your cares upon the Lord; for He cares for you.” (1 Pet.5:7). Don’t try to impress God by bringing great, flowing apologies to Him; don’t waste your time trying to appease God with all sorts of “good deeds;” and special techniques of repentance or obedience. Just bring Him your “cares!” The other stuff will come later. (Mat 6:33). When you bring God your cares, you simply pray, and talk to God as you would a close, personal friend. Bring an honest heart to the help of the Lord your God! That’s all there is to it. God’s Word says “Submit yourself to God…In this way resist the devil and he will have to flee from you…”
One writer says: :
“At the sound of fervent prayer, Satan’s whole host trembles…”
Prayer is our first line of defence in resisting the devil, and in giving a Christ-like Witness to the world around us. I have a friend who has told me “when I pray, I pray as if Jesus was right there beside me.” What would happen to our witness in the world if most of the church started to do this?
“Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend.” (S.C.92). Prayer enables us to “receive Him.” “To them that received Him, [meaning what He did on the cross] gave He power to become the sons [and daughters] of God.” (John 1:12). And the results will see you loving one another as God has loved you.
In closing, my friend Ruth told me an amazing story, that really brought home the fact that God and His love can conquer whatever we may face, in our homes, or in our Church, or anywhere else. You think we have a lot to worry about now with “covid” and its associated horrors, well consider the following story. A true story, but with names and places changed for privacy.
The story I am about to share will shed more light on how much we are really worth in God’s eyes, and how to love those who are unlovable, “as Christ loved us,” and because of this testimony, when I read the verse in the Bible that says, “God is love,” (1 John 4:8), and how “Love never fails,” (1 Cor 13:8), I have a surer, and brighter picture in my mind of God, and the value that He places upon my life; and how I can love, as He has loved me – even in the worst situation I can think of that I am in now. THAT kind of witness is our “sure place,” THAT kind of witness is where God’s people “stand in their lot,” in last-day events. The witness of loving and lovable Christians is the means that will move the world and prepare those who seek to always honour Jesus no matter what, to be more than prepared for Rev 3:10. The world’s final crises.
My story starts in the heat of the Second World War. Hitler was imposing his death machine onto the people of Poland. My friend Ruth’s Mom, with her parents, and four brothers and sisters, cowered in fear one night, in their little village home of poverty. Ruth’s Mom was about 12 years old at the time. Ruth’s Grandfather was swayed by Hitler’s mentality, after the Germans came into their village and cruelly butchered eighty Polish men right in front of their families. A short time later, when a law was passed that no one who was Polish was allowed to buy food from the regular sources – which was the black market – Ruth’s Grandfather actually turned in a man to the German authorities just for buying a bag of flour for his wife and five little children. This poor man had to go to a miserable work camp, where no one usually returned from.
After spending six years there for buying that flour to feed his family, the tables had turned. The Germans were being routed from Poland. The Polish people were returning to anyone who was German, double for what they got. Now the Germans were being killed and tortured. Now the Germans were starving. When this man came back to the little village, and saw how hungry the family of the man that had turned him in was, he repaid them with Christ-like kindness by giving them what little food he could muster up. Ruth’s Grandfather was not yet home from the battle front and POW camp.
But, about this same time, the Polish authorities decided to gather up eighty of the German women from this little village. They were taken to a central place in the town, and forced at gunpoint to start digging a mass grave, for themselves, with nothing but their bare hands. When the soldiers came and took Ruth’s Grandmother away, to join these 80 women, she was very brave and tried to encourage her screaming little ones by saying: “I will see you again.” “I will see you again.” While these poor ladies were still digging their own graves with bare hands, this man who had spent the six years in a death camp, came to Ruth’s Grandma’s 5 children – which included Ruth’s Mom, and again, he repaid them with kindness. He gave them a little more food, and spoke what must have been the strangest words one could ever hear at such a time such as this:
“Don’t worry…I think the Lord is going to help you…you will see your Mom again…I’m sure of it.”
About one thirty in the morning, Ruth’s Grandma arrived exhausted and blackened from head to toe, at the home of her precious little ones. A miraculous intervention by a Roman Catholic priest in the town, whom everyone really looked up to, had saved these eighty women. The priest had pleaded with those Polish people to “Love your enemies.” People think they have to store up food and guns and all manner of survival stuff to “be ready” for Rev 3:10, yet all we need to do is have our hearts in the same place as Jesus had His heart, on Calvary, and to love our worst enemy! If we can do THAT then we are ready for the end times events. Jesus once said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect,” (Mat.5:48), and in Luke 6:37 He explained it in another way: “Be ye therefore merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” Jesus, apparently has equated perfection, with being merciful!
You may not be like those women, digging your own grave, but you are like them, in the sense that to all appearances, things will sometimes look, rather final, and hopeless. You can be like Ruth’s Grandmother in the midst of your uncertainties and tragedies, and echo the words of the Psalmist who said,
“I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.” (Psalms 116:1,2).
Its a sad fact of life, but when someone dies, people usually ask: “How much money and property did they leave behind?” And who gets all that money and property? But when God’s mighty angels lean over the dying person, they only ask : “how has this person lived, and why?” “How have they loved as Christ has loved them personally?” This assures us that the future can be our friend, because God has a hatred of sin that is as strong as death but He has a love for the sinner that is stronger than death through the gift of His very own precious Child.
“For the wages of sin is death [which Jesus has received] but the gift of God is eternal life [which we are to receive] through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom.6:23). That’s how much we’re really worth to God! Nothing you do or don’t do can change that. Romans 8:38,39 tells us that [nothing can] “separate us from the love of God.” “The love of God is “Christ and Him crucified!”
“He came to draw all people unto Himself.” (DA 480).
Won’t you answer His call from the cross today? Read your Bible and start to pray regularly, and do whatever Jesus says to you personally. (John 7:17). His Word will tell you how to love as He has loved and it will give you the power you need to do it. “To them that received Him, gave He power…” (Jo.1:12). But many times, we as a Church, or as individuals, we lack this Holy Spirit power…“The kingdom [of God] suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force, (Mat 11:12), Yes there are a few things that the devil wants to take from you…He is stealing your possessions, your joy, your family, your peace, your relationships, your children, your parents, and many other things, and they have locked them all up in Satan’s house! Satan and his demons think – or hope, that you’ll just sit around and be depressed or angry or feel sorry for yourself, and have a pity party, and put on mourning clothes, and maybe throw ashes in the air, and wear sackcloth on your head…But, we belong to the Church of the living God! (1 Tim 3:15). The hosts of hell are sadly mistaken…if they think they can take the Church of Christ easily.
Personal salvation is meaningless, unless it has a strong emphasis on faith and works in oneness with the whole people of God…in many cases, we cannot be saved alone…Our problems and hurts happen with other people, and so healing can only happen with other people too. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit…” (1 Cor 12:13).
One of the most destructive theological traps that Satan has seduced the people of God into various sins with(that we see in the Church right now) is the modern-day, over-individualistic, self-oriented approach to our Christian faith, and life. Pastors, leaders, and laypeople alike are guilty of over-stressing personal salvation, and we are producing a generation of self-seeking, self-fulfilling, selfish Christians, who can barely get along with one another, and whose track record for “successful marriages” is no better than the world’s. Right now thats sitting at around just 50%. Because of this over emphasis on personal salvation, we are more and more viewing God as a cosmic bell-boy to give us blessings, and our salvation goes sour, when God don’t produce! And we become unloving, unlovable Christians, who cannot restrain themselves from stabbing one another in the back and criticizing one another!
Maybe its time for us to ignore those “nails” that fasten us to all such unrighteousness, And to literally stand on the promises of God?
For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature. (2 Pet 1:4).
Just tell it to Jesus: ”Give me my joy! Give me my peace! Give me my anointing back! Give me my children back! Give me my Mom, my Dad, my Grandma, my Grandpa…Give me my son back! Give me my daughter back! Give me my wife back! Give me my husband back! Give me my health back…Give me my job back! Give me my integrity back! No matter what my lot…” restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation…” “Make it well with my soul!”
Let us go together, into the enemy’s camp with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and with Jesus, declare: “I’m going to take back, what you stole from me…”
Rev.12:15 says: “And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the [Church] that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood…” but we can take back what he has stolen! And “So shall [we] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up [the] standard against Him…” (Isa 59:19). THAT standard, like a nail in a sure place, is loving and lovable Christians!
“A unified Church will resist Satanic attacks. Indeed, the powers of darkness are helpless against the Church whose members ‘love one another,’ as Christ has loved them!”
We can choose to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might, (Eph 6:10), and we must declare ourselves dependant only on Jesus Christ, and “abide in Christ,” (John 15:7) in order to bear much fruit and glorify the Lord. (John 15:8) THAT is our witness! We believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, who came to earth as one of us, and lived as one of us, and died as one of us, for our sins, and now lives for us in eternal intercession, (Heb 7:25),and who is coming soon to take us home. And we choose to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and His Word says we will not only receive pardon, but position and power. Jesus has promised to give us power to be His sons and daughters, (John 1:12). “When Satan comes to tell you that you are a great sinner, look up to your Redeemer, and talk of His merits. That which will help you is to look to His Light. Acknowledge your sin, but tell the enemy by going to Christ just as you are, (John 6:37) that ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,’ and that you are to be saved by His matchless love. (1 Tim 1:15).” The Bible says to “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). We resist the devil by turning to Christ!
“My God! My God!” Thank you for the privilege and power of prayer. Through prayer, my trust is there, grace and mercy found me hungry…grace and mercy filled me…Grace and mercy saw me as I really was, and they BOTH said: “Beautiful!” “You are new every morning David.” And I really want to submit to a God like that. I want THAT God to walk with me. But, I’ve got one final question…How could mercy recognize me because I have not been a very good person so many times! How does Mercy recognize me?? Because justice demanded my life., I am a debtor to do the whole law.
And yet, I keep hearing: ”Beautiful!” That’s how mercy saw me…Tho I was broken, and feeling so lost, mercy looked past all my faults to what I could be IN Christ! The justice of God saw what I had done…what I was thinking privately…But mercy and grace saw me through God’s Son…Not what I was or am…But what I could be IN Christ! That’s how mercy really saw me…“love one another,” as Christ has loved us! Remember the Word of our Lord: “Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom.8:38). Therefore, if we are “in Christ,” nothing can stop us from loving one another, as Christ has loved us. (2 Cor 5:17). And “the world” will notice that!
“May God keep you, and bless you, and make His face to shine upon you…” (Psalms 67:1)
Nailed To The Cross