Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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The Reproach of Christ

Foxes have holes

And birds have nests

But the Son of Man

Hath Nowhere

For His head to rest

 

What is the cost

To follow Him?

That that too

Will be my lot.

 

I may be lonely

What is that to Him?

I may be sad

Oh that I may enter into

His suffering

With Him

 

I see it

My laying down

Of my life

My Self

Meant letting go

Of the things others have

And seek after

 

Sometimes they come to taunt me

In the dark of night

Sometimes they batter on my head

And remind me of what I don’t have

Anymore

 

And it’s true

Social: rejection

Career: outside the camp

 

But I have Him: I have Jesus

Not just in word

Or in some banal religious way

But I have Him

I know Him

I join with Him

I follow Him

I love Him

 

And the Son of Man hath nowhere to lay His head

 

 

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“But God…”

You’ve been heading one way…”But God…”

You’ve received a diagnosis… “But God…”

You have nowhere to live… “But God…”

Your marriage is struggling… “But God…”

You don’t know how you will get through this…”But God….”

 

But God…

But God

 

These words are like a great signpost in the middle of the path of your life.

Sept '15. Pastel, pencil, conte crayon

Sept ’15. Pastel, pencil, conte crayon

They signal God’s intervention in our lives.  They signal God’s mercy in caring enough to reach down and move in our circumstances.

 

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” Ephesians 2:4

 

“But God…” there it stands, two words that are full of promise. These two words can change the course of your future.

But God… that is all it takes to raise the dead to life.

But God… is all that is needed to change your direction

But God… lifts us up from the ash-heap to the heavenly places in Christ

 

But God… don’t walk past the signpost. Don’t accept that this is how it just is. Don’t give in. Don’t believe the words of man.

 

Stop. Look up.

There is God’s Word “But God….”

Take hold of a promise of God.

 

Know that if God can take you, who was dead in trespass and sin, and intervene to make you alive together with Christ, then God can certainly intervene in your situation now.

There is a way, and it’s God’s way. He has an answer, He has an outcome.

Take hold of “But God…”

 

🙂

 

Related posts:

God’s Victories Look Like Defeats

Suffering: According to the Pattern

The Place of Enlargement

 

 


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God’s Victories Look Like Defeats

In Suffering: According to the Pattern, we saw that Calvary is the pattern. And if we are God’s child He will deal with us according to the pattern.

“That is the strange lesson we all have to learn, and Calvary is the pattern of it from beginning to end. God’s victories look like defeats. It is victory in the unseen realm while one is apparently, absolutely down and out in the visible.” Prayer and Evangelism, Jessie Penn-Lewis (emphasis mine).

Therefore if Calvary is the pattern, then we know that the pattern is of suffering because we know that Christ our Lord and

sacredsharingsforthesoul.blogspot.com

sacredsharingsforthesoul.blogspot.com

Saviour suffered.  Conversely we also know that if the pattern is of Calvary, then the pattern is also of victory because we know that through suffering our Lord was greatly victorious.

If we are the disciples of Jesus Christ, then we will too be greatly victorious in Him. However, it is through suffering that the victory will be won. This was true of Paul, of Peter and of all the apostles. And it is true of us too.

“The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” Luke 6:40

We know the story of Peter denying Christ thrice. We know that Jesus, in His mercy, sought Peter out after the resurrection and restored him. The interesting thing is that once Jesus had restored Peter, He prophesied over him. Jesus foretold to Peter the actual pinnacle of his life for God – the very event that would bring the greatest glory to God.

It is interesting to note that Jesus’ prophesy excluded the fact that Peter was to be always happy, healthy and eventually own his own private jet. Why is that? Surely that would bring God the most glory! No, rather, what Jesus told Peter was something according to the pattern:

“’Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish’. This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”” John 21:18, 19 (emphasis mine)

Peter was to glorify God by being crucified!

How could this bring glory to God? This really goes against the grain of our own thinking….

But remember: God’s victories look like defeats.

deny selfConsider for a moment this man, Peter.  He had fearfully denied Jesus over and over again in order to preserve his own life and avoid the agony and humiliation of the cross. Could it be possible that this man would one day be so given to Christ, so full of the Holy Spirit that the fear of pain and death, the fear of the loss of his reputation would be so victoriously overcome that he would eventually take up his cross and follow Christ?

Jesus knew that the one thing Peter wished to avoid the most was the very thing that would bring God the most glory!

You see, Self is always trying to preserve Self (ie. Self-preservation). Self, or the “flesh”, cries out for comfort, for ease, for safety, to be liked and accepted. Feed me! Please me! Preserve me above all else! It is only when the power of the flesh has been broken that it is able to come under the dominion of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately the flesh in man is strong. So strong that it usually takes the rod of suffering to break its strength throughout a lifetime.

The flesh was also strong in Peter. He was, of course, no different from the rest of us, and yet this man was eventually crucified for the glory of God. What happened in-between his restoration by Christ and his death that effected this transformation? The answer is : the Holy Spirit.

It is “…Christ in you the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27 (emphasis mine).

It is God’s ultimate purpose to conform us to the image of His Son. It is God’s will to work His Son in us by His Spirit. Contrary to what we may imagine, God isn’t a dispensary, dishing out to our flesh an ounce of love, a pound of patience etc in order to improve it. This would be futile. Why? Because judgment has been pronounced on the flesh and now it must die. Our only hope is God coming to live in us by the power of His Spirit. God doesn’t give us more love and more patience, but what He does is work in us His very Son. Christ’s nature is loving, truthful, patient and kind and so the more of Christ that has been worked in us, the more His nature will naturally shine through us. In order for this to be able to happen the flesh will have to be crucified. And that’s always going to be painful.

God’s victories look like defeats.

We think of victory as our lives always being smooth and easy. We believe when we are happy and healthy we are being blessed and when we are sad or sick, we are not so blessed. Perhaps we have done something wrong? But God’s perspective is totally different. His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher than our thoughts.

Key Point: If God’s purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son, then whatever happens in our lives to achieve that end is victory.

Be encouraged that God has a much greater purpose than we can see at this time. What you and I are currently facing is intended to bring death to Self in order to allow the Spirit of life to work in us. If we yield to His hand He will bring forth a great victory in us and through us. And God will be glorified.

Next post ….. From Confinement to Enlargement


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Jesus and the Outer Court of the Tabernacle

The Outer Court (or Court of the Tabernacle) points to Jesus

source: ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com

source: ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com

Christ, just as does every part of the Tabernacle of Moses.  In this post we will see the beautiful picture of the holiness and the redemption of Jesus Christ in the walls and gate of the Outer Court.

Exodus 27:9-18

You shall also make the court of the tabernacle. For the south side there shall be hangings for the court made of fine woven linen, one hundred cubits long for one side. 10 And its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets shall be bronze. The hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be silver. 11 Likewise along the length of the north side there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, with its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of bronze, and the hooks of the pillars and their bands of silver.

12 “And along the width of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits, with their ten pillars and their ten sockets. 13 The width of the court on the east side shall be fifty cubits. 14 The hangings on one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets. 15 And on the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets.

16 “For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. It shall have four pillars and four sockets. 17 All the pillars around the court shall have bands of silver; their hooks shall be of silver and their sockets of bronze. 18 The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, the width fifty throughout, and the height five cubits, made of fine woven linen, and its sockets of bronze.

The Materials of the Outer Court

As we saw in Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials every item used in the construction of the Tabernacle had a divine purpose and meaning:

  • The walls of the Outer Court were made from hangings of fine woven linen = the Righteousness of Christ
  • Its 20 pillars and 20 sockets for the pillars were made of bronze = judgment against sin
  • The hooks and bands of the pillars were made of silver = redemption

The Outer Court is a picture of Christ. Christ came in His righteousness as our redemption. He took our place, as a substitutionary atonement in God’s judgment against sin.

The Outer Court and the Law of God.

source: signature9.com

source: signature9.com

The Outer Court is also a picture of the Law of God. The Tabernacle was surrounded by a wall of fine linen hangings. This wall kept the Holy of Holies, where God’s Shekinah Glory dwelt, separate from the outside world. Each person upon approaching God’s dwelling place, the Tabernacle, was confronted by this huge 7.5 foot-high wall of fine linen.

As we know, fine linen speaks to us of righteousness. At the front of the Tabernacle an individual was confronted with the wall of the holy standard of God’s righteousness upon their approach to Him. How could they enter this holy and righteous place? How could they scale this wall of righteousness? How could they get to a holy God?

The Bible says “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” Isaiah 59:2

The sinner is separated from the holiness of God because of the defilement of his sin. The fact is, the sinner cannot approach a holy God in his own righteousness. The Bible says that:

“…we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;” Isaiah 64:6

Just as each person was confronted with the wall of God’s righteousness at the Tabernacle, so this is true of today as well. Each sinner needs to be confronted with God’s holy bible-cover-pagerighteousness – His Law, the 10 commandments, to see that he cannot measure up to God’s standards of holiness. God is perfectly good, perfectly Holy, perfectly righteous. But we are not.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Once we are confronted with His righteousness we see that there is no way to scale the wall into His righteousness. There is no way we can get in on our own.

We are lost, without hope.

But…the Outer Court had a Gate.

The GATE

source: poliges.com

source: poliges.com

“For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver…”

God, in His marvelous grace, has of course made a way into His presence.

But…. there is only ONE way. And that is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

An individual could only enter the Outer Court through one gate on the east side of the Tabernacle.

The walls were so high that anyone trying to climb over them could have plunged to their death. This speaks of the sinner trying to work his way, or climb his way, up to God. It doesn’t work, for we will never be good or holy enough to meet God’s standards. The way of the flesh only leads to death.

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1

But there was this gate and it was the way, the only way, into the presence of God, into Life. The gate had a screen woven of blue, purple and scarlet thread as well as fine linen.

Jesus Himself said: “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved…” John 10:9 (NIV)

The gate, of course, speaks to us of Christ:

  • The fine linen= His righteousness,
  • The colours = His heavenly nature (blue), His royalty (purple) and His sacrifice (red).
source: catechismway.blogspot.com

source: catechismway.blogspot.com

We see that there is only one way into the presence of a Holy God, and that is through the gate, the Person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Just as none could enter the Tabernacle and approach God from any other way except through the gate, so it is the same today. No one can approach God any other way than through Jesus Christ.

We come through Him, we come through the Gate.

Going through the gate we enter through Him. We come through His righteousness (linen), His heavenly nature (blue), His Kingship (purple) and His sacrifice (scarlet).

Then when a person was in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle they too were separated from the world. This speaks of the holiness of God and the separation of man from the world unto Him.

Upon entering through the Gate, immediately the individual is met with the Brazen Altar.

Next post:   Jesus and the Brazen Altar

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