Jesus Is The Ultimate Hero Of All That Are Being Saved
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Being saved and seeing Jesus are not the same thing. Many people who have never seen Jesus have received and share in God’s grace. But once you have seen Him, you can never be the same. Other things will not have the appeal they did before.
You should always recognize the difference between what you see Jesus to be and what He has done for you. If you see only what He has done for you, your God is not big enough. But if you have had a vision, seeing Jesus as He really is, experiences can come and go, yet you will endure “as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). The man who was blind from birth did not know who Jesus was until Christ appeared and revealed Himself to him (see John 9). Jesus appears to those for whom He has done something, but we cannot order or predict when He will come. He may appear suddenly, at any turn. Then you can exclaim, “Now I see Him!” (see John 9:25).
Jesus must appear to you and to your friend individually; no one can see Jesus with your eyes. And division takes place when one has seen Him and the other has not. You cannot bring your friend to the point of seeing; God must do it. Have you seen Jesus? If so, you will want others to see Him too. “And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either” (Mark 16:13). When you see Him, you must tell, even if they don’t believe.
O could I tell, you surely would believe it!
O could I only say what I have seen!
How should I tell or how can you receive it,
How, till He bringeth you where I have been?
“I heard the voice of many angels, numbering . . . ten thousand times ten thousand . . . “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’” Revelation 5:11-12
Chicago Cubs fans are the most optimistic people in baseball. It’s been over a century since their last World Series victory, yet we still pack Wrigley Field hoping that our boys in blue will pull through for us.
One of our past heroes, first baseman Derrek Lee, was placed on the disabled list early one season—a disappointment for me as I settled into my seat for a home game against the crosstown rival White Sox. The game was tied in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs and the bases loaded with Cubs. You could feel the tension as the crowd waited to see if their Cubbies could capitalize on the moment. Then, unexpectedly, out of the dugout came none other than “D-Lee” to pinch hit. The crowd went wild, and best of all, he didn’t disappoint. He connected with a 3-1 pitch for a grand-slam, and the place erupted in cheers as Lee circled the bases. In the stadium that day were people from all walks of life—celebrities, corporate tycoons, cabdrivers—but distinctions disappeared as they hailed their hero.
That picture of celebration, multiplied by thousands, helps us understand the scene in Revelation 5:1-14. Circling the throne of Jesus are people from “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). But their differences are eclipsed in their united celebration of the One who is their focus—the Lamb of God. What a picture of worship! We were utterly without hope, lost in our sins, and unable to rescue ourselves. In that moment, Jesus came out of the dugout of our despair and, by His own blood, ensured victory over sin and death forever. No wonder the eternal song in heaven focuses on the worthiness of the Lamb who was slain. He is the ultimate hero and our eyes should be fixed on Him!
Ironically, in His own hometown Jesus was largely ignored by the crowd. I don’t want to be counted among them! For those of us focused on His ultimate work on the cross, our victory is sweet and the celebration is heartfelt.
There’s no comparison between Derek Lee emerging from the dugout and our champion Jesus who 2,000 years ago vacated an empty tomb to give you a part in His eternal victory over sin and death and hell!
Live to celebrate Jesus—our ultimate hometown hero!
All These Things
From: Streams in the Desert
All these things are against me (Gen. 42:36).
All things work together for good to them that love God (Rom. 8:28).
Many people are wanting power. Now how is power produced? The other day we passed the great works where the trolley engines are supplied with electricity. We heard the hum and roar of the countless wheels, and we asked our friend, “How do they make the power?”
“Why,” he said, “just by the revolution of those wheels and the friction they produce. The rubbing creates the electric current.”
And so, when God wants to bring more power into your life, He brings more pressure. He is generating spiritual force by hard rubbing. Some do not like it and try to run away from the pressure, instead of getting the power and using it to rise above the painful causes.
Opposition is essential to a true equilibrium of forces. The centripetal and centrifugal forces acting in opposition to each other keep our planet in her orbit. The one propelling, and the other repelling, so act and re-act, that instead of sweeping off into space in a pathway of desolation, she pursues her even orbit around her solar centre.
So God guides our lives. It is not enough to have an impelling force–we need just as much a repelling force, and so He holds us back by the testing ordeals of life, by the pressure of temptation and trial, by the things that seem against us, but really are furthering our way and establishing our goings.
Let us thank Him for both, let us take the weights as well as the wings, and thus divinely impelled, let us press on with faith and patience in our high and heavenly calling.
–A. B. Simpson
In a factory building there are wheels and gearings,
There are cranks and pulleys, beltings tight or slack–
Some are whirling swiftly, some are turning slowly,
Some are thrusting forward, some are pulling back;
Some are smooth and silent, some are rough and noisy,
Pounding, rattling, clanking, moving with a jerk;
In a wild confusion in a seeming chaos,
Lifting, pushing, driving–but they do their work.
From the mightiest lever to the tiniest pinion,
All things move together for the purpose planned;
And behind the working is a mind controlling,
And a force directing, and a guiding hand.
So all things are working for the Lord’s beloved;
Some things might be hurtful if alone they stood;
Some might seem to hinder; some might draw us backward;
But they work together, and they work for good,
All the thwarted longings, all the stern denials,
All the contradictions, hard to understand.
And the force that holds them, speeds them and retards them,
Stops and starts and guides them–is our Father’s hand.
–Annie Johnson Flint
From: Through the Bible
Deuteronomy 17:18-20a (NIV) 18When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. 19It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left.
God did not intend for the people to choose a king, but He knew they would. That is why He gave them guidelines for this king to follow. The first was that the LORD pick the man, not the people. There were other guidelines for the king, but the one quoted above stands out. The king was to have a personal copy of the Law. In other words, he needs to have his own copy of the Bible. It is suppose to be with him, not just somewhere in the palace. It is suppose to be read every day by the king.
The reason God asks for this to be done is spelled out for us. It is so the king will revere God. When we read of God’s instruction, of His character, of His awesome works, we should respond with reverence for God. How was the king to lead His people in the ways of God if he did not read them himself? He was not to consider himself above the law, but subject to it like everyone else.
In Christ, God has made us kings and priests to Himself according to Revelation 1:6. Since God calls us kings, we need to do the same as the kings of old. Keep a copy of the Word. Read it daily. Revere God and follow carefully the words written there. Don’t think the word does not apply to you as well.
Remember: If you apply it to others, it applies to you.
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 2, Paul explained why Jesus was given all authority. He was obedient to the Father, even to the death of the cross. The authority that Satan took from Adam has been taken back by the second Adam, Christ Jesus. Not only does He have authority here upon earth, but in the heavenlies too. Jesus is Lord! That was the creed of the early church. He is Master over all. God gave Him that position because His humility and obedience showed that He was able to handle that authority. Omnipotence backs that authority. What He has declared will all come to pass in His perfect time.
With that authority, He gave His disciples a command that is referred to as the Great Commission. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. A disciple is a learner. He sent them out to teach others what He commanded them. He commanded them to love God with their all and to love their neighbor as themselves. He commanded them to believe on the One that God sent, Jesus. He also commanded them to remain in Him and bear much fruit. Those are the basics of the simple things we are to do and teach. As we attempt to do that we find that is easier said than done. What do we need?
We need His presence in and through us! That is why this gospel ends with the promise that He will always be with us. We need His power, wisdom, strength and courage to live and teach what He taught. We need Him to be Lord over us as He lives in us. We have a precious promise in these words. We will be tempted to doubt them, but they are the unfailing words of the One who has been given all authority. Trust those words! Rely on them! He is with you!
Meditation: With God, nothing is impossible.