THE ONLY TREASURE OF THE LIFE THAT COUNTS IS JESUS

A great sermon from David Platt – “to be a Christ follower, we discover that Jesus Christ is a treasure chest of Holy Joy and we take everything else and write above it LOSS.”

Don’t miss the gravity of the message given by Paul in Philippians 3:4-9. Everything else in life must pale into nothing in comparison to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus.

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ” Philippians 1:21

SPECIFICITY – THE MIRACLE OF THE INCARNATION

The God who created the universe became a helpless baby inside the universe He created…the Almighty become the weakest of beings … the hands that stretched out the heavens now too weak to even grasp the hand of His mother…the eyes that see all things now can barely focus…the mouth that spoke the universe into existence now can only offer up the cry of a helpless baby. How amazing is that? It is the miracle of love … the humility of love … and the miracle of specificity.”

Image result for pictures of the Incarnation of Jesus

SPECIFICITY?

“God is omnipresent, everywhere at once. But in the Incarnation, He becomes specific to time and space, to only one point of space and to only one moment of time. God is universal, the light of the world, the spring of all existence. Yet now He becomes specific to one culture, one people, one tribe, one house, one genealogy, one family, one life. The universal God of all existence becomes a Jewish baby, a Jewish boy, then a Jewish rabbi, walking in sandals on the ground and dust of first-century Judea.

Everything He does is now contained in one specific place and one specific moment of time. He forgives specific sinners, embraces specific outcasts, multiplies specific loaves of bread and touches specific people, heals them of their infirmities and raises them from the dead.”

“How does one apply that?” I asked.”

In order to know the power of God’s love, you have to receive it in its specificity, as specifically from Him and specifically to you. His sacrifice as specifically given for you, His Word specifically to your life, His blood and forgiveness poured out specifically for your specific sins.

And so too, you must live your life in God in specificity. Your love must manifest in specificity…in specific actions to the specific people who are here and now in your life…You must love and bless and live out your faith on earth …in specificity.”

Your mission is to manifest the love of God in specificity. Bless specific people with specific actions of love—specifically today.

Another great insight from Jonathan – adapted from The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn, copyright 2016

Death and Suffering – only credible HOPE

Twin Towers attack

The only truly satisfying answer to the existence of death and suffering is found in God’s word. Pain, suffering and death are intruders into God’s creation and He has already provided a way out with the promise of eternal life.

The BIBLE tells of the creation of a once-good world, in which death and suffering are not “natural” at all, but are intruders. They occur because of humanity’s rebellion against its maker (Genesis 3).  But if fossils formed over millions of years, which so many Christians just blithely accept as “fact”, then that wipes out The Fall as an answer to evil, especially “natural evil”. The fossils show the existence of things like death, bloodshed and suffering. So if these were there millions of years ago, they must have been there before man and hence before sin. This is the rock against which old-age compromises inevitably founder. This is also the reason why the age of things is not some obscure academic debate that Christians can put in the “too-hard-for-now” basket. Because it strikes to the heart of the hugest questions of all in relation to the nature of God, sin, evil, death; questions at the very core of Christian belief (or reasons given for no belief, for that matter).

When we try, however inadequately, to see things from God’s viewpoint rather than our own, things become quite different. There is suddenly nothing unfair about the deaths of any one of us, no matter what the circumstances.

God is the sovereign Judge who is totally holy (1 John 1:5). It is impossible to overstate His utter abhorrence of even the slightest sin. He is our Creator, He establishes the rules for our existence. Just as He destroyed almost all of mankind with Noah’s Flood which incidentally buried the myriad of dead things found in rocks all over the world (fossils); we know from His Word that He will eventually wind up the history of this fallen world and there will be a new heaven and new earth.

“and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Thank goodness God is merciful and loving (2 Peter 3:9), and long-suffering. In the most profound display of mercy and grace imaginable, He stepped into our shoes as a man, JESUS CHRIST, God the Son. He came to suffer and die so that God’s righteous anger against sin could be appeased and the penalty paid for those who place their trust in Him and receive His free gift—forgiveness of their sin and admission into God’s family—by faith.

There are daily reminders of His Curse on all creation all around us. When they are punctuated by horrifically sad concentrated bursts such as recent disasters, we are doubly reminded of the awfulness of sin. Does knowing the answers to the “big picture” make us callous to suffering? Far from it: we are moved even more by compassion, just as the Lord Jesus was when He lived among us. Because of Jesus, Christians—those who take the Bible as the Word of God, and know Jesus Christ as the Creator incarnate—are at the forefront of digging into their pockets to help alleviate suffering.

“If (since) Christ is God and died for me, then nothing I can do in obedience to Him can ever be too much”.  paraphrase C.T.Studd.

For more information check out article by Dr Jonathan Sarfati, “Why would a loving God allow death and suffering?” on http://www.creation.com.