Sunday, April 27, 2014

Read With Me: John, Conclusion

I want to thank everyone who joined me in April to read the gospel of John! I'd love to hear about your experience! There are still a few days remaining in the month, so keep on reading if you're a bit behind!!!

This week's top ten:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) (NASB)
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) (NASB)
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:12-16) (NKJV)
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28) (ESV)
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:19-23) (ESV)
But although he made the world, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. Even in his own land and among his own people, the Jews, he was not accepted. Only a few would welcome and receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them. (John 1:10-12) (Living)
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1) (NIV)
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:7-16) (NIV)
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4) (NIV)
Our blessed Lord made intercession for transgressors in so many words while He was being crucified, for He was heard to say, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." It is generally thought that He uttered this prayer at the moment when the nails were piercing His hands and feet and the Roman soldiers were roughly performing their duty as executioners. At the very commencement of His passion He begins to bless His enemies with His prayers. As soon as the Rock of our salvation was smitten, there flowed forth from Him a blessed stream of intercession. Our Lord fixed His eyes upon that point in the character of His persecutors which was most favorable to them, namely, that they knew not what they did. ~ Charles Spurgeon, "Jesus Interceding For Transgressors," 1877
The Prophet, however, does not, I suppose, intend to confine our thoughts to the one incident which is recorded by the Evangelists, for the intercession of Christ was an essential part of His entire lifework. The mountain's side often heard Him, beneath the chilly night, pouring out His heart in supplications. He might as fitly be called the Man of Prayers as, "the Man of Sorrows."
He was always praying, even when His lips moved not. While He was teaching and working miracles by day, He was silently communing with God and making supplication for men. And His nights, instead of being spent in seeking restoration from His exhausting labors, were frequently occupied with intercession. Indeed, our Lord's whole life is a prayer! His career on earth was intercession worked out in actions. Since "He prays best who loves best," He was a mass of prayer, for He is altogether Love. He is not only the channel and the example of prayer, but He is the life and force of prayer. ~ Charles Spurgeon, "Jesus Interceding for Transgressors," 1877
To me it is marvelous that He, being pure, should plead for transgressors at all! For you and for me among them—let the wonder begin there. Sinners by nature, sinners by practice, willful sinners, sinners who cling to sin with a terrible tenacity, sinners who come back to sin after we have smarted for it—and yet the Just One has espoused our cause and has become a suitor for our pardon! We are sinners who omit duties when they are pleasures and who follow after sins which are known to involve sorrow. We are sinners, therefore, of the most foolish kind—wanton, willful sinners— and yet He who hates all sin has deigned to take our part and plead the causes of our souls! Our Lord's hatred of sin is as great as His love to sinners. His indignation against everything impure is as great as that of the thrice holy God who revenges and is furious when He comes into contact with evil. And yet this Divine Prince, of whom we sing, "You love righteousness and hate wickedness," espouses the cause of transgressors and pleads for them! Oh, matchless Grace! Surely angels wonder at this stretch of condescending love! Brothers and Sisters, words fail me to speak of it. I ask you to adore! ~ Charles Spurgeon, "Jesus Interceding for Transgressors," 1877
Whenever a soul comes to Christ it need have no hesitancy, seeing Christ has already prayed for it that it might be saved. I tell you transgressors, Christ prays for you when you do not pray for yourselves! Did He not say of His believing people, "Neither pray I for these, alone, but for them, also, which shall believe on Me through their word"? Before His elect become Believers they have a place in His supplications! Before you know yourselves to be transgressors and have any desire for pardon—while as yet you are lying dead in sin—His intercession has gone up even for such as you! "Father, forgive them," was a prayer for those who had never sought forgiveness for themselves! And when you dare not pray for yourselves, He is still praying for you! When, under a sense of sin, you dare not lift so much as your eyes toward Heaven. When you think, "Surely it would be in vain for me to seek my heavenly Father's face," He is pleading for you!
Yes, and when you cannot plead. When, through deep distress of mind you feel choked in the very attempt to pray. When the language of supplication seems to blister your lips because you feel yourself to be so unworthy. When you cannot force, even, a holy groan from your despairing heart—He still pleads for you! Oh, what encouragement this ought to give you! If you cannot pray, He can! And if you feel as if your prayers must be shut out, yet His intercession cannot be denied! Come and trust Him! Come and trust Him! He who pleads for you will not reject you—do not entertain so unkind a thought—but come and cast yourself upon Him. Has He not said, "Him that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out"? Venture upon the assured truth of that Word and you will be received into the abode of His love. ~ Charles Spurgeon, "Jesus Interceding for Transgressors," 1877
From the day in which Christ forgives you, rise to that nobility of character which finds pleasure in forgiving all offenses fully and frankly for Christ's sake. Surely, the Atonement which He offered, if it satisfied God, may well satisfy you and make amends for the sin of your brother against you as well as against the Lord! Jesus took upon Himself the transgressions of the second table of the Law, as well as of the first—and will you bring a suit against your brother for the sin which Jesus bore? Brothers and Sisters, you must forgive, for the blood has blotted out the record! Let these words of Scripture drop upon your hearts like gentle dew from Heaven—"Be you kind, one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you." ~ Charles Spurgeon, "Jesus Interceding for Transgressors," 1877

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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