Intimacy with the Lord
“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28–29
The Lord does not want you to simply claim His promises of protection found in Psalm 91. He wants you to come close to Him. Running to Him and coming under His feathers speak of closeness. It’s not about how many times you have recited Psalm 91; it’s about having an intimate relationship with Him. As a child, if it was thundering at night and I was afraid, I would run into my parents’ room, jump into their bed, and hide in my mother’s arms. After a while, I would fall into a deep sleep even if the storm was still raging outside. You see, you don’t have to learn the seven steps of overcoming fear. Having the presence of a loving parent right with you is enough to drive out fear. Our Lord Jesus who loves you wants you to come close to Him and to take shelter in His love. Will you do that today?
I heard the story of a farmer whose farmhouse got burned down. As he walked around the smoldering wreckage, he saw the burned carcasses of his chickens. He happened to move the blackened body of one of the hens with his foot, and to his astonishment, little chicks came running out from under the body. What happened? They had taken refuge under the wings of their mother, who had given her life to save her little ones.
That’s a picture of what our Lord Jesus did when He took upon His own body the full punishment for our sins. The fire of God’s judgment fell, not upon the scribes and Pharisees who had rejected the Messiah, and not upon the Roman soldiers who nailed Him to the cross, but upon His own beloved Son—for the nation of Israel, for the Gentile nations, for you, for me, so that whosoever believes in Him would be saved.
But here’s something I want you to see: when Jesus was offered on the cross, He absorbed the judgment of God in His own body, and, as the sacrifice, He was greater than the fires of judgment. The Offering was greater than the judgment because the Offering was not consumed. On that cross, our Lord declared, “It is finished!” before He gave up His Spirit (John 19:30). The Offering remained after all of God’s judgment was exhausted. Hallelujah! That is why we can come boldly to His throne of grace today!
Stay Blessed 😊
Jesus took time to instruct His disciples, before He went on to teach and preach in their towns, vs 1.
May we see it as our responsibility too, to teach our immediate family members or those whom God has given us a responsibility over, before we go out to teach the world!
While in prison, John asks a question. Is Jesus really the Messiah or should they look for another, vs 2,3? Even among the greatest prophets, a doubt arose in their minds concerning their faith, when undergoing a terrible time of testing! We find Elijah facing a similar situation in 1 Kings 19! However, we don’t see Jesus condemning John, but simply conveying to him through his disciples to tell John what they actually saw and heard with regards to the things that Jesus was doing, vs 4,5.
He then encouraged John not to take offense at him on account of his present condition, vs 6. That is a good word of encouragement for each of us too who are going through a hard time of testing inspite of standing true to the Lord. Jesus then revealed some of the characteristics of a true prophet, while speaking in reference to John, vs 7. A king may wear fancy clothes to keep up with the fashion of the day, however a prophet would not, vs 8! Nor would he be one to be shaken like a reed, as far as his message was concerned, in order to please people, vs 7!
In John’s case Jesus said that John was more than just a prophet, for infact he was a messenger chosen by God to prepare people’s hearts to receive the Messiah through repentance, vs 9,10. And although among those born of women, no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is, vs 11. This is because those born of God are not born of God because they are born of women, but rather because they are born of the Holy Spirit!
However, even today, it is only the violent who will be able to take the Kingdom by force, vs 12! And John was indeed the one who came in the spirit and power of Elijah, as prophesied in the fourth chapter of Malachi, vs 13-15, Malachi 4:5,6! However, many in that generation had failed to recognise him, just as they failed to recognise the Messiah too, for they had their own way of watering the truth down, on account of their unrepentant hearts! However, if one truly wants to know the difference between a true prophet and a false one, then all they need to do is to take a look at their character and deeds as seen in the daily course of their lives, vs 16-19.
It was indeed sad for the Lord to see that inspite of the many miracles that Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum witnessed, they still refused to repent. On account of which Tyre and Sidon and Sodom were better off and so would suffer less judgment in comparison with them, vs 20-24! This was because they were wise and intelligent in their own eyes and refused to humble themselves and repent on hearing the prophetic Word and seeing the miraculous sign too, and so, God hid these truths from their eyes as to who Jesus and John the Baptist really were, vs 25-27.
Yes, in order to get such revelations, we need to honestly come to Jesus with our burden of sin, be yoked under His commandments, which are not burdensome, and through them learn obedience , humility and gentleness of heart, vs 28-30!
So, let us determine to be honest about our sin, walk in repentance and faith, be overcomers, receive revelations from God, and so recognise God’s true prophets and be supporters of God’s work in our generation even at the cost of losing our lives! Amen.