True Peace

Peace

One time when Jesus was on a boat with His disciples a storm broke loose and the waves crashed into the boat and it started to flood with water. The disciples found Jesus peacefully sleeping in the stern of the boat, and fearing for the their lives they woke Him up. Jesus arose and said with boldness, “Peace, be still!” (). Then there was a calm. Continue reading True Peace

39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

The King has Come

The King

When Jesus was born, there were shepherds on the surrounding hills of this region. As they were watching over their flocks, an angel from the Lord appeared to them with a message, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (). Shortly after this a host of angels appeared in the sky saying, “glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased” (). That was an impressive scene. But why did this happen? The answer is, the King came into the world.

In simple yet profound words the apostle Paul wrote: “the saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (). I am struck by those four fascinating words concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, He: “came into the world.” This is a reference to the greatest mission to ever be accomplished in the history of the universe. Let us consider what took place as the eternal Son of God, the second member of the Holy Trinity “came into the world.

Incarnation
The word ‘incarnation‘ refers to that event in which the Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself a human nature. Jesus Christ who existed in all eternity (), “became flesh and dwelt among us” (). This event happened at the right moment of God’s prophetic timetable (). The means in which He came into the world was through the virgin conception ().

In this act, Christ Jesus (who is God), became man – and yet remained God. He had set aside the complete independent use of His Divine attributes in a way that He remained God, but it was veiled in His humanity (). Why was this done? Christ took on human flesh, so that He might take upon Himself human sin. In the words of Thomas Watson, “He took our flesh that he might take our sins, and so appease God’s wrath.” It was necessary that the Lord Jesus Christ had to become a man in-order to represent fallen mankind. If He weren’t a man He wouldn’t be able to die as a substitute for His people – the very ones He came to save. His entrance into the world was without sin (), a perfect baby who came by means of a miraculous entry.

Earthly Life
The second phase we will consider of His coming into the world is His ‘earthly life‘. At the divinely appointed time the Lord Jesus Christ commenced His public ministry at the age of thirty (). The Lord Jesus Christ experienced intense temptation from Satan ( and ), yet despite this reality, He never sinned nor was He ever inclined to (). In the four gospels we are exposed to the precious and life changing words that flowed from His lips. During His ministry He preached and taught “as one who had authority” (). In His preaching He demanded repentance
(), and offered forgiveness of sins (). He performed many signs and wonders, which served the purpose of authenticating and affirming that He was who He said He was. His miracles pointed to the reality that He is the eternal Son of God. His life was an open book for all to see who He was. There were no failings, no secret sins, no scandals, no lies, no let downs, and no pride. He lived a life where it could be said that He was “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners” (). He lived a perfect life, something that no other man has ever done. Think about it, He could enter the most sinful and tempting situation, and He would not sin. He needed to live a perfect life in-order to be a perfect sacrifice.

Death
The final phase of Christ Jesus coming in the world for us to consider is His ‘death‘. He knew that this is why He came. At the appointed time in His ministry, “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” ( NKJV). It is there where He will be tried by sinners, and will ultimately face something fiercer – the very wrath of God! The time comes when He is tried and arrested. In the process of His trial, many abused and mocked Him (). After further trial He was scourged with a whip that consisted of bones and metal that tore His very flesh from His back and was then sentenced to crucifixion
(). Yet in the midst of this horror, the Scripture says that He was not ashamed (). He is finally nailed to a wooden cross and publically ridiculed and shamed. Yet despite all of this, He maintains His commitment to His task. In the midst of ridicule He utters the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (). After He had received the full outpouring of God’s wrath and drunk from this cup of suffering to the final dreg, He declared, “it is finished!”And bowed His head and gave up His spirit”
().

What is it that took tplace on the cross? Beyond the physical sufferings from sinful man, poured on Him was the very wrath of God. Why? He was at the cross as a substitute for His people (). Though He was tried and murdered by man, Christ laid down His own life willingly in accordance with God’s will (a). He took upon Himself all the sins of His people
() as their substitute (). After His death, the Lord Jesus Christ was buried and three days later He rose from the dead () signifying the declaration of the Father that the penalty was paid and provided a pattern for the believer’s future bodily resurrection.

Do you agree that the words, “came into the world” are indeed amazing? They are amazing because the King came into the world to save sinners.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,

4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’”

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,’

11 and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

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29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.

67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”

26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.

But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.

34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

When Sorrows like Sea Billows Roll

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When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
 When sorrows like sea billows roll;
 Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, 
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

 

Sorrow is that dark feeling of distress that comes after experiencing loss or tragedy. Such an experience can be consuming and cumbersome. As the people of God, our hearts ought to be filled with a genuine sense of compassion and care for our troubled brother or sister. We ought to love them (), cry with them () and pray for them (). In this post, it is my desire to provide encouragement to the troubled person by pointing them to the provisions found exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

It is important to note that trouble does come in the lives of God’s people (). However, when trouble overwhelms the heart of the child of God, what are they to do? In we will note the cure to trouble. J. C. Ryle calls this passage “a precious remedy against an old disease”. The disease is trouble and the remedy is faith. Our Lord spoke these words,

 

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

Continue reading When Sorrows like Sea Billows Roll

10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

14:1 “Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.

14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

Certain Hope

“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my saviour, and my hope is in you all day long.”

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who has promised is faithful.”

Have you ever had times of despair? Times when the world around you seems so darkened; the fog so thick that you can’t see where you are going or what lies ahead. Fears begin to consume you as you are overrun with doubt, uncertainty and confusion. The world’s burdens seem so heavy Continue reading Certain Hope

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Why do I need Jesus?

Recently I was given the opportunity to tell people at church about how I came to be a Christian. It’s always a bit nerve-racking to stand up the front of a group of people and be vulnerable about your past. However I am a strong believer in being real about our struggles and trials in life so that we can see God’s power at work. No one is perfect. Everyone has struggles. How can we know what God is doing in our lives if we don’t talk about how He is changing us?

Growing up I thought I was going to heaven because I believed in Jesus and thought I was a pretty good person. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to hell. I thought I was a much more upright citizen then a lot of people in the world! I was fairly confidnet until one of my closest friends challenged me whether I knew I was going to heaven or not. He asked would I be declared righteous when I died and came before the judgement-seat of God? Would I be ‘good’ Continue reading Why do I need Jesus?

Christ’s Sacrifice for Us

Jesus prayed Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.

As I read this verse I was struck again by the humanity and struggles that Jesus went through for us. At this point he was nearing the end of His earthly ministry. He knew what lay ahead with his bloody and painful crucifixion. He felt the over-whelming burden of humanity’s sin weighing down on His shoulders. The spiritual, emotional and physical pain must have been unbearable. Understandably He asked God the Father to take this ‘cup’ of suffering away, asking if there were another way for humanity to be saved, that it would be taken. This cry for help reveals Jesus’ pain and suffering so vividly! Yet the amazing, incredible thing was, that despite His overwhelming struggles, He still submitted to His Father’s will. Despite Him wanting this burden to be taken Continue reading Christ’s Sacrifice for Us

42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

Fighting Our Fear

– “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious hand”

As I read this verse I couldn’t help but feel God’s peace radiating through me! How blessed are God’s children to have Jesus looking over them. This verse alone gives those who seek refuge in the Lord strength, hope, victory and no reason to be afraid any more.

Know That God is Faithful

Rom 8:31 says that if God is for us, than who can be against us? By our salvation through faith in our Jesus, God is for us. Therefore who can beagainst us! We are able to walk this life victoriously because Jesus has won the war for us. We have no need to be afraid about what’s around the corner because in all things God is working for our good according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). He will direct us on the best path to travel (Ps 32:8). Travelling God’s path for us requires us to exercise our faith in Him. A Christian’s faith in God is not based on what we see with our eyes, but trusting in the character, love and faithfulness of our Lord. If we knew Continue reading Fighting Our Fear

But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;

A Spirit of Peace, Joy, Patience and Self-Control

Psalm 16:8-9 “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is filled with joy” (NLT)

Jesus says “Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (NIV)

In giving our lives to Jesus, He promises us a peace that this world can not give. A Continue reading A Spirit of Peace, Joy, Patience and Self-Control

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.