Nov 30, 2010 - Tuesday Meditation (He Made us Friends of GOD!) Through his death and resurrection Jesus makes us citizens of heaven and friends of God. The Lord Jesus wants us to live in joyful hope and confident expectation that he will come again to fully establish his kingdom of righteousness and peace. Memorial of St. Andrew Romans 10: 9-18 Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11 Luke 10:21-24 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22 All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." 23 Then turning to the disciples he said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it." Meditation by Don Schwager How does God bring his kingdom to us? Jesus remarked that many prophets and kings before him longed to see and understand God's plan for establishing his kingdom. When King David’s throne was overthrown and vacant for centuries, God promised, nonetheless, to raise up a new king from the stump of Jesse, the father of David. This messianic king would rule forever because the Spirit of God would rest upon him and remain with him (Isaiah 11:1). Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be equipped with the gifts of the Spirit – with wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2 – for an explanation of the gifts see this helpful article). This king would establish the kingdom of God , not by force of human will and military power, but by offering his life as the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world. Through his death on the cross, Jesus, the true Messiah King, would defeat Satan, overcome death, and win pardon and reconcilliation for sinners. God's plan of redemption included not only the Jewish people but all the nations of the earth as well. Through his death and resurrection Jesus makes us citizens of heaven and friends of God. The Lord Jesus wants us to live in joyful hope and confident expectation that he will come again to fully establish his kingdom of righteousness and peace. What does Jesus' prayer (Luke 10:21-22) tell us about God and about ourselves? First, it tells us that God is both Father and Lord of earth as well as heaven. He is both Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything and transcendent authority, and at the same time, goodness and loving care for all his children. All fatherhood and motherhood are derived from him (Ephesians 3:14-15). Jesus' prayer also contains a warning that pride can keep us from the love and knowledge of God. Pride closes the mind to God's truth and wisdom for our lives. Jesus contrasts pride with child-like simplicity and humility. The simple of heart are like "babes" in the sense that they see purely without pretense and acknowledge their dependence and trust in God who is the source of all wisdom and strength. They seek one thing – the "summum bonum" or "greatest good" which is God himself. Simplicity of heart is wedded with humility, the queen of virtues, because humility inclines the heart towards grace and truth. Just as pride is the root of every sin and evil we can conceive, so humility is the only soil in which the grace of God can take root. It alone takes the right attitude before God and allows him as God to do all. "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (Prov. 3:34, James 4:6). The grace of Christ-like humility inclines us towards God and disposes us to receive God's wisdom, grace, and help. Nothing can give us greater joy than the knowledge that we are God's beloved and that our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). Do you seek God's wisdom and grace with humility and trust? Jesus makes a claim which no one would have dared to make: He is the perfect revelation of God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about God – who he is and what he is like. We can know God personally and be united with him in a relationship of love, trust, and friendship. Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God – a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the cross. Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his love and care for you? "Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission." He Holds the Keys Supplementary Reading He Holds the Keys “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18, NIV) Have you ever been locked out of your car or house? It can be very frustrating and inconvenient. Not having your keys can keep you stuck and unproductive. It steals your time and can steal your peace and joy if you let it. In the same way, we need spiritual keys to access what God has for us — eternal life, peace, freedom and blessing here on earth. But we don’t have to stand on the outside and be frustrated because Jesus holds the keys, and He has opened the way for us to walk through the door of eternal life. Eternal life begins the moment you make Him your Lord and Savior. You don’t have to live in defeat, mediocrity, sickness, sin or any kind of bondage any longer; you have access to the a bun dant life Jesus came to give!
Today, if you feel stuck, locked out or defeated, remember, Jesus is the one who holds the keys. All you have to do is call on His name and He will answer. He promises to hear you and will deliver you. He wants to be the hero of your story, so call on Him today and receive the victory He has prepared for you! Father God, I boldly come to You thanking You for giving me access to eternal life through Your Son, Jesus. I surrender every area of my heart to You and invite You to make me whole and complete. Set me free from every bondage so I can live free in You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. — Joel & Victoria Osteen