Relevant Scriptures Selected:
“Whoever receives you receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. Matthew 10:40
From Gill we gather: As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord,…. Receiving Christ is believing in him: faith is the eye of the soul, that sees the beauty, glory, fulness, and suitableness of Christ; the foot that goes to him, and the hand that takes hold on him, and the arm that receives and embraces him; so that this is not a receiving him into the head by notion, but into the heart by faith; and not in part only, but in whole: faith receives a whole Christ, his person as God and man; him in all his offices, as prophet, priest, and King; particularly as a Saviour and Redeemer,
Henry writes: All Christians have, in profession at least, received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken him for theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him, unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Being established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in it more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from those who do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for his mercies is justly required by God.
My pondering: It is football season again. One analogy I see is playing toss and catch; like being a wide receiver. When the Gospel ball is passed our way, the receiver’s primary job is to catch it. By keeping his eye on the ball and squeezing it at the proper time a reception is complete.
Once the reception is complete, the next step is to run to glory, God’s glory, without fumbling. That’s a great feat.
The next step is to become a quarterback back and make the next critical pass. Be assured coach Jesus is pulling for us, the Owner wants us to score and we have all star Spirit on the field doing the impossible. Yes, our opponent is formidable but greater is He that is own our side than the other. Thanks be to our great leader, we win because of His greatness.
The question is what team are you on and are you even out on the field?
My prayer: Jesus, thanks for all You have, are and shall do to ensure we receivers are winners. Without You impossible, with…all possible!
Before John Wayne passed away! Most of you know he as an actor.You may not know what happened to him before he died. This is that story!
Robert Schuller’s teenage daughter, Cindy, was in a motorcycle accident and had to have her leg amputated. John Wayne is a big fan of Robert Schuller. He heard Dr. Schuller say on one of his programs that his daughter had been in an accident and had to have her leg amputated.
John Wayne wrote a note to her saying: Dear Cindy, sorry to hear about your accident. Hope you will be all right. Signed, John Wayne. The note was delivered to her and she decided she wanted to write John Wayne a note in reply.
She wrote: Dear Mr. Wayne, I got your note. Thanks for writing to me. I like you very much. I am going to be all right because Jesus is going to help me. Mr. Wayne, do you know Jesus? I sure hope you know Jesus, Mr. Wayne, because I cannot imagine heaven being complete without John Wayne being there. I hope, if you don’t know Jesus, that you will give your heart to Jesus right now. See you in heaven. And she signed her name.
She had just put that letter in an envelope, sealed it, and written across the front of it “John Wayne” when a visitor came into her room to see her. He said to her: What are you doing? She said: I just wrote a letter to John Wayne, but I don’t know how to get it to him. He said: That’s funny, I am going to have dinner with John Wayne tonight at the Newport Club down at Newport Beach. Give it to me and I will give it to him. She gave him the letter and he put it in his coat pocket. There were twelve of them that night sitting around the table for dinner. They were laughing and cutting up and the guy happened to reach in his pocket and felt that letter and
John Wayne was seated at the end of the table and the guy took the letter out and said: Hey, Duke, I was in Schuller’s daughter’s room today and she wrote you a letter and wanted me to give it to you. Here it is.
They passed it down to John Wayne and he opened it. They kept on laughing and cutting up and someone happened to look down at John Wayne. He was crying. One of them said: Hey, Duke, what is the matter? He said (and can’t you hear him saying it?): I want to read you this letter. He read the letter.
Then he began to weep. He folded it, put it in his pocket, and he pointed to the man who delivered it to him and said: You go tell that little girl that right now, in this restaurant, right here, John Wayne gives his heart to Jesus Christ and I will see her in heaven.
Three weeks later he died!
The act of Salvation aka ‘being born-again’, ‘getting saved’, ‘coming to Jesus’, etc is a process which can know of but not control. We are called to seek Him and get it, not the other way around.
So don’t chase the wind, seek God and everything else will be unto you as proclaimed here:
This verse is often associated with people seeking worldly success but it also applies to salvation for it is God’s greatest gift. The point is to always seek the Giver not the gift.
Salvation is not some type of alien abduction but more of an emergency rescue of the distressed. Well, at least for some like yours truly. I came in the hard way. I was severely stressed and God orchestrated a series of events to help bring me into enlightenment. I guess I needed a break down before I was able to have a break through.
If you are NOT fully assured of your destination to Heaven, then I suggest you get your nose into the BIBLE [Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth), then get your ears upon some good gospel preaching (I really like the OnePlace app and especially good local church), and use your mouth to ask, ask God first and foremost and then other believers for guidance.
And you can always use your spirit to seek God’s Holy Spirit as described here:
God tells us to seek and we shall find:
However, many whom have be saved have come the other way. By learning from others at a younger age about God and receive Him before the age of accountability, before our hearts are severely hardened. The seed is planted in soft, fertile soil. Parents, family and teachers can help cultivate the Word. This is coming in the easier way. Hopefully by learning from OPM (Other people’s mistakes).
Even by the ideal method, we can get lost. Jesus knows His own and diligent seeks to save. As we read herein:
If you find yourself in a terrible trial, call out and look up. God loves to save. Even if you consider yourself a Christian, you may find yourself in an awful situation, know that God is ready, willing and able to respond for your best. Keep in mind that He works in strange and mysterious ways.
We see here:
So we need to be open to respond to His intentions, not necessarily our own preconceived ideas. When we study the Bible, we can learn and peak behind the curtain a bit. It’s impossible to fully comprehend or understand God, or He would be much of a God now would He?
However, He has revealed what we need to know. We simply need to trust and obey, for there is NO other way. He makes is all possible.
God created us. He knows us best. Better than we know ourselves! We simply need to cry out, “Father, Dad, Papa, Abba – Help me”.
By faith and obedience to His call, we shall overcome. Indeed:
P.S. If you are wondering IF YOU have been called, IF YOU have been invited to the great wedding, IF YOU are wondering if YOU are eligible to have YOUR NAME written in Book of Life just read and internalize and his famous passage:
Did you catch the ‘whoever’?
If YOU are reading this that includes YOU.
I believe. Do YOU?
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
He was delivered over to death for our trespasses and was raised to life for our justification.
For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.
Verse 8. – But God commendeth his own love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The emphatic “his own” is lost sight of in the Authorized Version. It is not in contrast to our love to God, but expressive of the thought that the love of God himself towards men was displayed in the death of Christ. This is important for our true conception of the light in which the mysterious doctrine of the atonement is regarded in Holy Scripture. It is not (as represented by some schools of theologians) that the Son, considered apart from the Father, offered himself to appease his wrath – as seems to be expressed in the lines, “Actus in crucem factus es Irato Deo victima” – but rather that the Divine love itself purposed from eternity and provided the atonement, all the Persons of the holy and undivided Trinity concurring to effect it (cf. Romans 3:24; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 2:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:16: John 3:16; 1 John 4:10, et al.). If it be asked how this Divine love, displayed in the atonement, and therefore previous to it, is consistent with what is elsewhere so continually said of the Divine wrath, we answer that the ideas are not irreconcilable. The wrath expresses God’s necessary antagonism to sin, and the retribution due to it, inseparable from a true conception of the Divine righteousness; and as long as men arc under the dominion of sin they are of necessity involved in it: But this is not inconsistent with ever-abiding Divine love towards the persons of sinners, or with an eternal purpose to redeem them. It may be added here that the passage Before us intimates our Lord’s essential Deity; for his sacrifice of himself is spoken of as the display of God’s own love.
What a plan! Talk about a superhero. Talk about not only saving the day but the whole of eternity of many souls who simply respond by faith to His amazing grace in amazing love.
Was sending Christ to the cross God’s first choice, as a pastor of a local church once asked me? (implying that it was) I think not. If it were the case, why send all the prophets before He? This story Jesus told must be about this very subject.
Parable of the Landowner
33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 34“When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35“The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36“Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37“But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38“But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39“They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40“Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?” 41They said to Him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.” 42Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES’?
43“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. 44“And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”
Did Adam and Eve not have a choice, a free will choice, to choose whether or not to partake from the forbidden fruit? Did God compel them to disobey His one command regarding the garden that is recorded?
No way. That would be cruel, unjust and unlike a the loving God expressed in the Bible. Did He know they would disobey Him?
Sure, if God chose to look forward in time.
Did God at that moment? I am not sure. Take a look at this analogy. As a human, we can watch life in live mode only. God has the ultimate DVR. He can watch the whole of eternity whenever and however He wants as He is omniscient. When I record a ballgame, it sure is a lot more exciting to watch the game if I don’t know the final score yet alone every play prior and move, though I could choose to find out in advance. Actually, I intentionally block out finding out when possible. I reckon God does something similar with our lives. I am persuaded that for love, life and relationship to fully reach its pinnacle there must be a choice.
Or what is it?
Where is the thrill and adventure if it all be preordained?
God the Christ chose to obey God the Father and die for us while we were dead in our inherited sin. We see His struggle bleeding precious tears of blood in the garden. What amazing redemptive love.
This is Easter!
This is love in action!
He died so we can live. If we are born twice (physical and spiritual), we die only once (physical). If we are born only once (physical), we die twice (physical and spiritual).
No, the Bible demonstrates Christ death wasn’t His God’s first choice but for our sakes, it was His best choice.
This is why the day Jesus went up on that rugged Cross is called Good Friday.
God, thank You for caring so much, even unto death of the immortal.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
II Corinthians 9:15 NKJV
ACTION / KEY WORDS
Thanks – appreciative, From chairo; graciousness, of manner or act.
Indescribable – too wonderful for words, unspeakable
Gift – A (free) gift, a gift (without repayment). From doron; a gratuity.
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many!
2 Corinthians 9:14
And their prayers for you will express their affection for you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too.
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.
Blessed be God for the unspeakable gift of his grace, whereby he enables and inclines some of his people to bestow upon others, and others to be grateful for it; and blessed be his glorious name to all eternity, for Jesus Christ, that inestimable gift of his love, through whom this and every other good thing, pertaining to life and godliness, are freely given unto us, beyond all expression, measure, or bounds.
‘Oh what a Savior, oh what a divine, that would save a soul, such as mine.’ some hymn that I sure love.
After the fall of man, we were all doomed after our physical life passes. No hope of an eternity of wonder or bliss. But then, at the right time Jesus appeared and gave us all the gift of salvation. When I right all, I am mean all you have the opportunity. Since you are reading this, that includes YOU. All is all. If you haven’t been born during this time span God has made or aren’t reading this, that may not be you. Otherwise, it is YOU.
Being that in John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” it says EVERYONE and that is a cause for celebration! Hallelujah! What a precious gift! Its value and meaning can only be partially conjured by us mere mortals. It is glorious, wonderful and divine!
But, yes, unfortunately, there is a but, not everyone realizes and accepts this gift of God. Jesus describes it The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-15)
1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat down, while all the people stood on the shore.
3And He told them many things in parables, saying, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was sowing, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.
5Some fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil. They sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun rose, the seedlings were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
7Other seeds fell among the thorns, which grew up and choked the seedlings.
8Still other seeds fell on good soil and produced a crop—a hundredfold, sixtyfold, or thirtyfold.
9He who has ears,a let him hear.”
Perhaps in this context, one could relate, ‘he that can see his gift better open it before its too late’ and then ‘he that has his gift should not ignore, trash, or waste it but rather love and cherish it because it didn’t come cheap’.
If you can’t see this gift, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Its mean that you are hindered. Check these words Christ said in Mathew 6,
The Lamp of the Body
22The eye is the lamp of the body. If your vision is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your vision is poor, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Yes, the world can be hard and dark. That isn’t our fault per se as we were born into sin but it is our predicament for sure. Thus pray for a candle, a light bright enough to see the gift. Like Christ said, ‘seek and you will find’.
I have been thinking about this analogy for a few weeks which pair nicely with this verse. Though imperfect, perhaps it will be of some benefit.
Lifetime gym fitness analogy
God has bought us a lifetime membership at the greatest gym in the world with locations all over the place. Being our goal is to be in shape and fit, this is the only place to be. Great trainers, the best equipment, free membership, etc…the ultimate!
But just knowing it’s there isn’t enough. We have to go. Go and work out. Then, and only then, we are using our gift. Now some people, just go and sit there in the gym. They don’t even break a sweat. Well, that is better than nothing. It’s a start but dare not stay relaxing too long because of it a waste.
Some go and burn it up. That’s great, they are regulars. They are taking advantage of the membership.
And some go work out and then volunteer to help others, encourage their friends and maybe even get a job at the gym. That’s fantastic!
But many, too many people, they just stay home or stay too busy and miss it. That is what the devil wants the most; for us to squander our membership.
Upon researching this topic, I came across this video series on the Gift of salvation. If you are curious, these teaching are a good to explore: https://vimeo.com/channels/gos/56764795
LORD, Your gift is simple yet too awesome for our full understanding. Help me to never take it for granted. Help me to make the most of it. Thank YOU to infinity and beyond.