Tag Archives: Savior

A Seed Is Planted

IMG_4764The Parable of the Seed and the Sower Jesus taught the multitude gathered on the shore of the Sea of Galilee is familiar to many. Jesus spoke of seed that falls by the wayside where birds come and devour it. He spoke of seed falling on stony places that are unable to take root. He spoke of seed falling among thorns and being choked out. He concluded the Parable by speaking of seed that falls on good ground that is able to produce much fruit. Jesus later revealed to his disciples the seed in the Parable the sower sowed is The Word of God (Matthew 13:1-23).

When God’s Word sown into the heart of a man, woman, boy or girl takes root, a process begins to bring the Seed to full maturity. As one begins to read for themselves the Word of God, listens to the Scriptures being expounded upon by God’s appointed undershepherds, spends time in prayer with The Father, the Seed begins to break ground, grow and flourish. As one continues to draw closer to the Savior through His Word buds begin to form, announcing the Seed is maturing just as it should with daily cultivation. As the buds burst forth into blossoms the beauty of the Seed implanted in the heart is evident for all to see. The Seed continues on to maturity, bearing the anticipated fruit, “some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.”

The Psalmist David wrote of those who delight in the Law of the LORD and meditate upon His Word day and night are like a tree planted by the river that brings forth fruit in season, whose leaf withers not and whatsoever he does prospers (Psalm1:2-3). The Apostle Paul wrote of the Fruit of the Spirit showing forth love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in those where the Seed has taken root and matured (Galatians 5:22-23). The abundant Christian Life abounds and flourishes when the Seed is planted deep in the heart of man, nurtured, watered and cultivated to produce much fruit for the Glory of God.

Turn from Darkness

As the Apostle Paul stood before King Agrippa recounting the events of his Damascus Road transformational experience, he quotes Jesus’ actual words to him that changed his life from darkness to Light. In Jesus’ own words we are given the path to forgiveness of sin and salvation unto eternal life.

The Apostle Paul had been accused of turning the world upside down (Acts 17:6) by preaching that Jesus, whom the Jews had crucified, was the Promised Messiah the Old Testament prophets had spoken of throughout the previous millennia. He spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah whom he encountered on his way to Damascus with orders from the high priest in Jerusalem to bring any believers in Christ he found back to the Holy City to be imprisoned for their faith. As a great Light brighter than the sun shone round about him on that designated road, Jesus delivered to him the way of salvation to God, the Father, for Saul who would become Paul and for all those who would follow (Acts 9).

Jesus spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus of opening the eyes to the Gospel, of which Paul wrote of in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, “I declare unto you the Gospel… how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day.” Jesus then said what follows is what Paul needed to do, turn from the darkness to the Light, turn from the power of Satan to God, which is repentance. It is not enough just to know the Gospel; one must believe the Truth of the Gospel and turn away from sin, walking in newness of life based upon the commands of Holy God found in Scripture (Romans 6:4). In so doing, Jesus told Paul man would receive forgiveness of sin and an inheritance of eternal life, “sanctified by faith that is in Me (Acts 26).

After being blinded by the great Light, three days later as soon as Paul’s sight was miraculously restored and along with his new life in Christ, he began proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sharing first with those at Damascus, then Jerusalem and Judea, and then to the Gentiles, “that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” Doing works “meet for repentance” is not working for one’s salvation, but is doing works because of one’s salvation. Paul wrote to Titus, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost: which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,” (Titus 3:5). Salvation is of God, not of sinful man. God says all our righteousness is as filthy rags; we are all an unclean thing (Isaiah 64:6). There can never be a scintilla of righteousness in us apart from God and His redeeming grace.

In Times Like These

“In times like these, we need a Savior                                                                                                              In times like these, we need an anchor                                                                                                       Be very sure, be very sure                                                                                                                                 Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock

In times like these oh be not idle                                                                                                                     In times like these we need the Bible                                                                                                           Be very sure, be very sure                                                                                                                              Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock

This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the one                                                                                                           This Rock is Jesus, The only One                                                                                                                     Be very sure, be very sure                                                                                                                              Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock”

(Ruth Caye Jones, 1944)

 

It Shall Be Done

When God determined to destroy man from off the face of the earth because of their wickedness, He appointed Noah to build the ark to the saving of his family. Those who witnessed its years of construction scoffed at Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and his sons as they labored building such a structure as had never before been seen. When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing,on a given day time finally ran out for the ungodly. God shut the door of the ark leaving those without no hope of safety or salvation (Genesis 6-7; I Peter 3:20).

The coming of a Savior had been anticipated since Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden (Genesis 3:15). All throughout the Old Testament the prophets looked forward to His Coming. No one knew the day or the hour, “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman.” Unexpectedly, at the appointed time, the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds in the field announcing the birth of Jesus (Galatians 4:4; Luke 2).

Just as those who scoffed at Noah in building the ark and also the prophets who prophesied of the Coming Messiah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem scoffed at Jeremiah as he foretold the coming destruction of their city and captivity during the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah suffered many injustices as the populace attempted to silence his words God gave him to warn them. Ezekiel records his prophesy concerning Jerusalem during Jeremiah’s imprisonment, “The word of the LORD came to me saying, “Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; There shall none of My words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God,” (Ezekiel 12:26-28). At the appointed day Jerusalem was overthrown and its people taken captive to Babylon for seventy years (Jeremiah 36-39).

There are those today who scoff at our Lord’s Return “…saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation,” (II Peter 3:3-4). Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 24 that His Coming Again would come in a day and an hour when no one would know. Suddenly, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, the trump will sound “and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air,” (Matthew 24:36; I Corinthians 15:51-53; I Thessalonians 4:13-17). The disciples were told at Jesus’ ascension back to Heaven after His Resurrection, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven,” (Acts 1:9-11).

“Therefore be ye also ready;

For in such an hour as ye think not

The Son of Man cometh.”

Matthew 24:44

As Many As Received

As Jesus walked the dusty trails of Judea, many came to Him for various reasons. There were those who came to Him for the healings He provided; others for the food He multiplied; while others came to genuinely hear what He had to say as He spoke His parables to those who were gathered around Him. But not all came to receive His free gift of salvation.

His fame spread abroad as the lame began to walk, the blind began to see, and the deaf began to hear after their one-on-one encounters with the One Who called Himself, The Son of God. Over 5,000 men, besides women and children, had been fed by a little boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fishes (Matthew 14:13-21), and another 4,000 men, besides women and children, were fed from seven loaves and a few fishes on another occasion (Matthew 15:29-39) after Jesus blessed the food and gave thanks, instructing the disciples to distribute the nourishment to those in attendance. The people were amazed and astonished at what He could do on their behalf.

But then the road grew difficult as Jesus asked the multitudes to take up their cross and follow Him as He made His way to Jerusalem (Luke 9:23). It was then the people began to leave Him and fade away from following Him. Those who had been healed returned to their families; those who had been fed found their sustenance elsewhere; those who listened to His words closed their ears to His voice. The crowd who followed Him to Calvary dwindled to only those who believed He truly was the Son of God.

John wrote in chapter one of his book, “He was in the world… and the world knew Him not. He came to His own, and His own received Him not.” The world did not receive Him as the Son of God; neither did His own people, the Jews. Isaiah tells us “He is despised and rejected of men… we hid as it were our faces from Him; we esteemed Him not” (Isaiah 53:3).

 Then John gives this Truth in the next verse, “BUT as many as RECEIVED Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name (John 1:12). Those who had not received Jesus as the Promised Messiah to come did not become His children. Only those who truly believed and received Him as the Savior were brought into the Kingdom of God.

Just as those who lived during Jesus’ time, there are those today who believe in His existence, experience His healing, eat of His bounty, but reject Him as Lord and Savior. The majority of mankind are unwilling to surrender their lives to Him, take up their cross and follow Him, just as those who walked away from Him almost 2,000 years ago. Jesus said narrow is the gate for those who follow Him; wide is the gate for all others who don’t that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). For those who receive Him, the narrow gate awaits that leads unto everlasting life. Jesus warns there are few that find it, just as there were few who found their way to the foot of the Cross on that long ago Good Friday.