The Audio Gospel – Hide it Under a Bush – Oh No!

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– Bloody God – and – Undeserved Grace-

1 Peter 2:24,25

 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

How lost we must have been, that to God Himself, it seemed necessary to clothe himself in His own creation that we might be bought back; redeemed. Purchased by Gods blood! God bled. He subjected Himself to pain. “For you were straying like sheep…” I love the gentleness of Gods mercy displayed here in this verse. He equates us, His children to sheep. Gentle and frail. Unable to fend for themselves in the face of their adversaries; ours being sin and its eternal reward. Scattered we were, unable to defend, vindicate, or rescue ourselves. All we could do is run lost in vain. We were in need of a Shepherd. One who would sacrifice His time, energies, sleep, sweat, blood, and I must say, even His life to protect that which belonges to His Master: you and me. And a shepherd we have. We got the best. The Master Himself became our Shepherd. No one cares more about His sheep than the Master. The sheep are His posession and prize. They are of great value in His eyes. But must i say, they are dumb and ever so needy. They would perish without His care. Certain death is inevitable without the Shepherds care.

We are His sheep and we had gone astray, and death had become inevitable. We are those spoken of here: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” And what a horrific way! The end of our way is death, and that eternal. We are those about whom God has spoken: “[There is] none who does good, No, not one.” “They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” “There is none righteous, no, not one.” If this is us, than “God! Who can stand before you!?” Who can dwell in your presence!?” “Who will You welcome into your glory!?” and as if heaven stands still awaiting His perfection-answer…. God Speaks in His great justice: “There are none… no… Not ONE!”
We are the none, the no-ones. And to the no-ones God in His great mercy and grace has sent to us Someone; namely, Jesus Christ. And just as was spoken of us, to this one it is spoken: “and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” This is the one who will be ushered into the throne room of God. This is the one who will sit on the throne of God forever, judging grace-saved-sinners as perfected and holy by His blood. This is the one who has taken the punishment that was for man because God became man that man might come near to God. So near that God would dwell in man. Making man His temple. And just as the sacrifice (Jesus Christ) was raised to the throne in Gods presence, so must we, in Christ, become raised with Him, sharing in His risen glory. This is possible only through God’s grace. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” Receive His healing afresh today and become drowned in His awesome grace, “For you were straying like sheep, but now returned to the shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Amen

The Rise and Fall of Men of God – Part 2

“And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.
And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.”

1 Kings 13:1-3
Imagine if you will, the King, before his pagan alter. He has been entrusted by God with the house of Israel and all the people therein. And he is in complete rebellion and sin, and not only himself but his sin is leading a nation into sin.
Oh that we might understand the consequences and effects of our sinful actions upon others. Like a killer plague and virus does our sin spread to others and through the body of Christ if it is not repented of and severed from our body’s quick as day. And in King Jeroboams rebellion, right before the alter, ready to burn incense before all of Israel and a multitude of false priests, prophets and misled Israelites comes the word of the Lord, once again, out of the mouth of His prophet.
It will not be long in your rebellion before the Lord brings a word to you, straight from heaven, sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel to pierce your heart and bring you to your senses. For God loves His people and He is always willing to set you aright, that you may continue on the blessed path of knowing Him. But not all will heed the word of the prophet. Many choose to walk on their own continually, reaping what they sow in rebellion, only to the destruction of their own flesh and sadly others. Jeroboam would not repent and in his rebellion would bring upon himself a withered hand (healed by the grace of God), a humiliated wife and the death of his son and the death of all of his family. There is a great lesson to be learned from the life of Jeroboam. It is a lesson leading to life and peace should we heed its warning. I find in this story an exhortation to fall in love with the Lord, putting Him first in all our lives. He must be allowed access and full reign into all our being. Allow Christ to guard not only your body but allow Him your mind as well. There is rest in Christ for the believer today. Rest from fear and doubt and the works of the flesh. And rescue from ourselves should we choose to submit to the Lord and accept all of His amazing benefits and glory. For in a life, submitted to Him, His plan, and for His glory alone, we will find and be filled with perfect peace and be able to say along with good king David:
“…The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence.
I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised…”
2 Samuel 22:1-4