Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

None but Jesus.

Posted: December 7, 2012 in Faith, Trust
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I think Charles Spurgeon said it best “None but Jesus.”   What a statement!  Yes, you all shake your head and say Amen!  I can hear it now as the congregation begins to stir.  Some say COME ON!  Some say PREACH IT PASTOR!  Ah yes, we all love our Jesus.

Lately though, I’ve been hearing something that sounds nothing like Jesus.  I recently received a revelation of pure Grace from the Holy Spirit, and now when I listen to those same sermons I hear something that I hadn’t noticed before.  The pastor is still preaching from the bible, the message still tickles the ears, and it still sounds pretty good, but there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12). 

Before this revelation, I would sit in church and hear a little bit of Law and a little bit of Grace; a little bit of Moses and a little bit of Jesus, and I didn’t mind at all (or usually even notice).  Now, with my heart so desiring to hear pure grace, the mixture of the message in this way is no longer tolerable.  These little bit o’ this, little bit o’ that-style messages come across as harsh, glaring, blatant legalism that bring nothing but the death mentioned in Proverbs and the curse Paul talks about in Galatians (Chapter 3, verse 10).

I realize that the flesh often just wants to stay in its comfort zone.  It wants to know what rules to keep.  It sometimes seems simpler to just do A and avoid B, obey the rules and God will be happy with us, than it is to rely upon the completed work of Christ.  This is exactly the sort of thinking that is “what seemeth right unto a man” and we’ve already learned where that leads.  Death.

Personally, I think following the leading of the Holy Spirit is a much better choice, as it leads to Life.  I understand that walking in faith, rather than by sight, can be challenging and even frightening at times, but when Jesus is preached it all sort of just falls into place.

Which brings me back to Spurgeon’s “None but Jesus.”

Let me explain;

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

I think we can all agree that John was speaking here of Jesus.  He is the Word of God.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Paul says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  The Word of God is Jesus Christ.  Thus, faith comes by hearing Jesus preached.  So, let’s build our faith and preach “None but Jesus.”

It’s really simple math.
Grace + Law = Law and Law = Death and Curse.
Grace + zero = Grace and Grace = Truth and Life.

In closing, I’ll leave you with the great Spurgeon quote I’ve been using:
“I sometimes wonder that you do not get tired of my preaching, because I do nothing but hammer away on this one nail. With me it is, year after year, ‘None but Jesus!’ Oh, you great saints, if you have outgrown the need of a sinner’s trust in the Lord Jesus, you have outgrown your sins, but you have also outgrown your grace, and your saintship has ruined you!”

Grace and Peace

Chad

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Three months ago I began a process of healing. I found myself with a torn ACL and meniscus. Although this could have been a terrible time, it has been one of the most interesting, exciting and illuminating in my life.

I know sitting around with your leg in a brace, not being able to do what you have been used to in the past doesn’t sound like much fun, but let me explain.

Most of my days have been spent just unraveling truth from the Word of God and spending time in His presence. The greatest thing He has shown me is TRUST. I am learning to trust more and more in the finished work of the Cross than ever before. It really all hinged on His righteousness.

I feel I should explain that while I have been recovering I have been unable to perform my regular duties at work.  Naturally, this has caused a significant loss of income. I say this not for any sympathy but to show you the goodness of my Father and His promises.

Before my surgery, the doctors told me that I would most likely be completely unable to attend work throughout most of my recovery period, but by the Grace of God I was given favor and a light duty desk job to help with the bills.  I knew in my heart that everything would work out just fine but I also knew that I would have to Trust Him like never before for finances just to get by.

I truly believe in tithing 10% of my income to my local church, and it is the first thing I do when I receive each paycheck, so it really began to bother me when the tithe money just wasn’t there.  This is not to say that I was not trusting God with my finances, so all you pastors and preachers please relax before you become short of breath or choke on your coffee.  I simply said that the money just wasn’t there.

I do get it. Tithe 10%, the first fruits. So how can I say it wasn’t there? Well something was going to have to be late or unpaid. I have discovered He is God the Father not the Godfather. So as I was on my way home and began talking to my Daddy, letting Him know that it was really bothering me that I felt like it wasn’t there to give Him the first 10%. He brought up my biggest lesson again. TRUST. He said “Can you trust me with your finances even if you don’t tithe? My response was just one of peace, of course I could. He promised if I would seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness all these things would be added to me. Mat. 6:25-34

The next morning I received a phone call letting me know I had an extra $500 waiting on me. Not because of anything I had done or not done, but just because He is good.

My question to you today, can you trust Him? Even when you’ve done right, even when you’ve done wrong, or even when you’ve done nothing at all? Can you trust that His grace is sufficient even though you don’t deserve it?

We all remember this one. The young woman pulling petals off the flower and thinking each time. “He loves me, He loves me not, till the last one was pulled. So what did the last one say?

This reminds me of the mindset of Christians today. When we do something good, we pull the flower petal that says “He loves me.” When we do something bad, we pull the other one that says “He loves me not.” At any given moment we could leave this earth. Oh no! What was the last petal we pulled? “He loves me not”. Then we have choice #2. We try so hard to do the right thing, only to fail and pull another He loves me not petal from the flower. At the end of the day or at the end of this life, did I get to pull one more of those good ones or bad ones?

Honestly this sounds like a Law- based approach to relating to God. Do something good and get blessed. Break the Law and get cursed. Does God really relate to us this way? For a long time, without even knowing it really, this was me. Until the day I threw up my hands and said “God trying to serve you and do what’s right is impossible. At least the world has pleasure attached to it.”

Yes its true, the world and sin are fun for a season and honestly more fun than all that religious stuff I was doing. You see it all goes back to having the right diet. I was eating from the wrong tree both times. For more on the right diet click here.

Welcome the Rose of Sharon, the flower of the New Covenant. As I began to pull petals from this flower, to my amazement they all said the same thing: HE LOVES ME. But today I messed up, I did something I know that I shouldn’t have done. When I go back to the Rose and grab my petal, to my surprise it always says “HE LOVES ME.”

Now, in no way, am I condoning sin, but at times in our lives we all fall, stumble and make mistakes. So our only hope is in Hope Himself. He is the one that walked out the perfect life. Jesus hung on a cross taking everything we deserved. His arms were wide open not folded with a snare. Today his arms are still wide open saying “I love you.”

We all, at times, I think try to impress God with our love for Him. Trying to compete with the lover of your soul is hard work. If you want to impress God only your faith in Jesus will do.

So next time you pull a petal from that flower make sure it’s from the Rose of Sharon. Put your faith in Him and watch as you turn the petal over. It will say “HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME.”

Grace and Peace,

Chad

I just read a great new book by Paul Ellis entitled “The Gospel in Ten Words.” What an eye-opening book of the simplicity of the Gospel! Contrary to popular belief, the Gospel really is good news. Although it has been made out to be exchanging one set of rules for another, it actually is exchanging one set of rules for life.

This book will challenge the religious and excite those looking for a relationship with Jesus and our heavenly Father. We know God is always with us, but some of us have had trouble actually obtaining that deep, close relationship. This book can change that for you, as it did for me, and open up this relationship. I could go on, but I’ll let the book speak for itself. At the end, Paul gives a summary of the entire book in ten clear statements. They are as follows:

  1. The gospel is not a solicitation to impress God with your love; it is the passionate declaration of your Father’s undying love for you.
  2. The gospel is not an appeal to engage in soul- searching and fault-finding; it is the emphatic declara- tion that you have been completely and eternally for- given through the blood of the Lamb
  3. The gospel is not merely a promise of a ticket to heaven; it is the power of God to bless you with his saving and abundant life here and now.
  4. The gospel is not an advertising brochure for the trea- sures of the kingdom; it is the thrilling revelation that the Lover of your soul desires to share his life in wed- ded union with you forever.
  5. The gospel is not an invitation to accept Jesus; it is the stunning announcement that he accepts you.
  6. The gospel is not a sign-up sheet for sanctification classes; it is the definitive announcement that in Christ you are holy indeed.
  7. The gospel is not a list of things you must do to in- herit eternal life; it is the blessed announcement that the righteousness you need to enter the kingdom of heaven comes to us as a free gift through faith.

8. The gospel is not a reform program for bad people; it is the liberating declaration of new life for those who have died.

9. The gospel is not a half-baked hope that you can extend your old, broken life indefinitely; it is the joyful announcement . that in Christ the old has gone and the new has come.

10.The gospel is not a vague notion that you get to rule and reign after you die; it is the royal announcement that the reign . of the King is within the reach of faith. The kingdom of God is at hand.

If any of these statements is not what you think the Gospel is, or they challenge your thought process, I urge you to test your belief! Grab a copy of this book and let the truth of the Gospel pour over you as you experience the love the Father has always wanted to give you.

You can find this book at Amazon at the following link: The Gospel in Ten Words.

I would also like to give you a link to his blog here: Escapetoreality.org