Sunday, January 2, 2011
OSCAR FOR TRUTH
The Holy Spirit tells us the TRUTH --- "It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love. The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him." JOHN 13:1-5 --- SOME LESSONS FOR TODAY: A) Jesus knows the motive of every heart, even the Judas in us. B) Jesus has all power. C) Jesus took off His outer clothing, unlike Adam in the garden of Eden, Jesus has nothing to hide from us, He has no shame, He has no pride. D) Jesus poured out His living water into the empty basin of all mankind and He washes us clean. Mary poured out all she had because she loved Jesus, He had just raised her brother Lazurus from the dead! VISUALIZE Jesus, the Holy Spirit telling us the Truth, and yet some still do NOT believe? Must we also see miracles in order to believe? "Sir they said, 'we would like to see Jesus'." John 12:21 Excitedly Andrew and Phillip raced to tell Jesus that even Greeks wished to see Him. Without restraint of their internal jubilation about their close friend Who would soon rule the world --- Jesus knew the motive of their hearts and He had already rebuked them for their pride --- Knowing all things, compassionately He said "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." John 12:23 --- In this 3 hour epic movie that does not add one word to the Gospel of John, we hear the living Word and watch Jesus gaze into the troubled faces of His disciples. He knew that they just did not get the agony He was about to suffer. In love Jesus then explains "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24 --- One life changing lesson in this scripture: ONLY when we die to our selfish desires, can our life increase the harvest of souls for His kingdom. "His heart was touched and He was deeply moved. Where have you buried him. Jesus wept." For one seed to produce more grain, it MUST fall to the ground and die. The blessing of a broken heart, a broken pride, a demolished dream --- is death to ourself, a life's meaning as the world teaches. God is attracted to weakness, NOT because weakness is noble, but because the WEAK heart has more room for God. In our moment of weakness is when we realize what Jesus is saying to us. Consider the LYRICS to Amy Grant's new hit song "More than a Halleluiah" On this side of the cross, His lesson is clear --- the TRUTH of this principle was made manifest in the death of Jesus on the cross. Like a grain of wheat, the mission of God complete, Jesus came down into the pit, into the world to be seen, that we might believe. To be put to death publicly, that His death would produce many seeds, many believers, many followers. ONLY in our weakness can He be our strenth. Jesus KNOWS our weaknes, He knew the weakness of each disciple too. He uses the weak to confound the wise. Jesus knew that He would send the Holy Spirit in His absence, and that in the future, generations of people would understand through the Counselor. So without explaining what was meant in words, Jesus said "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25 What did this mean? Disciples then and today are baffled because to choose to die to our ways---when in our education, in our world, this makes no SENSE ---the cross, the life and death of Jesus confounds the wise! Because it takes FAITH in the purpose of Jesus to crucify our desires for recognition and importance. To fully YIELD our lives to the purpose of God, is to understand what Paul said "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." The power in a single seed, a single life... is in the portion we allow the Holy Spirit to rule. It is ONLY in our full surrender that He is glorified through us. That is when one is willing to hate this life on earth, to die to it's own: will, goals, dreams, desires, wants, needs, plans, rights and personal reputation. Jesus said "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." Whose approval do we seek? Approval and blessings from the world or from Jesus, the Son of God? Who do we listen to? What voice calling out in the desert? "I am the Good Shepherd -- I know My sheep. The hired man runs away because he does not care about the sheep. I am willing to die for them. They will listen to My voice and become one flock" One church, one body united in Jesus Christ. Are we afraid of speaking about our faith in public because we will be laughed at? "Those who speak on their own authority are trying to gain glory for themselves. But He who wants glory for the One Who sent Him is honest. There is nothing false in Him." Then Jesus told the Pharisees, the highly regarded teachers of the law of Moses "Stop judging by external standards, and judge by true standards." Today, on this side of the cross, as per His promise, the Holy Spirit resides in our body which is the temple of God. As Jesus taught in the temple, He said in a loud voice "Do you really know Me, and know where I am from?" "A branch can only bear fruit if it remains in the Vine."