by David Brenneman
It's interesting the reading that I'm having going through the Bible this year in two different plans at the same time. Catching things that I haven't seen before.
One such was this morning...the part of Matthew where Lazarus was raised from the dead, and then in the other of Jesus on the cross crying out. Those who read it also know that after the crucifixion that the command was given to go therefore to all the world. To make disciples and teach others all that Jesus commanded. But that cry that Jesus made.
One of the gospels it says that even the soldier's who were there exclaimed that surely this was the Son of God...by that cry. By the way He had died on the cross.
Think about His standing before the tomb and the people having moved the stone out of the way. Which, by the way, was no easy task. That stone was large, round and it rolled into a dip in the ground to keep it from being removed easily by anyone. Jesus cried out for Lazarus to come out. As at least one preacher has said, if He hadn't been specific to that tomb, to that particular Lazarus, everyone would have come back from the dead in that moment.
Jesus spoke the world into existence. Go all the way back to Genesis. He spoke out every single thing that created from atoms, subatomic particles, to fish, to cattle, to the land, the elements, to people. He spoke and there they were.
In His voice is the power of creation and in His voice is the power to eternally condemn.
In His voice is the power to save the lost through the voices of those who have come to Him themselves to be saved.
Our mission, isn't to be saved then find some safe corner of the world and wait it out until our time on Earth is done.
Our mission, regardless of location, is to follow the Great Commission. It's not to get saved then only look for blessings and only pray that Satan leaves us alone.
Our calling in Christ Jesus, is to whether in word or deed, to preach the Word. The Bible says in Timothy in season and out of season, when people want to hear it and when they don't. That cry of Jesus rings out through everyone who's a Doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
That cry. It really really struck me this morning...that Jesus's cry rang out so unbelieveably loud and probably long that the world shook. Animals nearby probably ran for it. I would imagine some people fell down. Had Jesus not directed that cry ONLY towards sin and death, the universe could have easily vanished. Sin and death were defeated at the cross. Sin and death were what was the target. My sin, your sin, the sins of all mankind were the target. The sting of death was done away with.
We don't like conflict of any kind. Nobody really does. Some may say they do but inevitably it can catch up to even those in ways they don't like.
But we are not to be silent. Do you realize that our silence in regards to reaching out to others about Jesus PROLONGS the return of Christ? Jesus isn't willing that any would perish but that all would come to Him to be saved. There IS going to be a day when that last person who is to be saved is going to find that salvation in Christ and THAT person is the other book end to that thief on the cross. The Father set a day that by now I imagine Jesus knows that day since He wa reunited with now His Father and Ours after He returned to Heaven as to when He would return. There indeed will be people saved during the 7 year Tribulation but in this time period from the moment of the resurrection of Jesus until that particular last person...is on the Church to find, it's on us who are Believers to reach out to.
We are not to be silent. Whether it's crying out on a street corner or just lifting our voices in prayer for those whom the Spirit crosses paths with us, we have a voice to use. We should be about the Father's business just as Jesus was in His Earthly ministry.
When we look at the Gospels of the ministry of Jesus, He indeed made the most of His time here. Sometimes the Disciples had thoughts on doing what appeared to be good things...Jesus took them another direction...to teach them to stay on task.
To be truthful many many decades ago I had thought of how I could just wait out life until Jesus returned. I had been the subject of being bullied because of my physical issues while in public schools. I really wanted to avoid people as much as possible. Yet you cannot be in Christ and be silent. So God wasn't having any of that. It would indeed be the easy way out to find some comfortable job and not have conflict and confrontations. But that's not what the Bible says is in store for those who are in Christ. Those who have the light of Christ are going to have those in this world hate them. Just as Jesus was hated.
People want to blame this or that on the state of this nation or that nation as to why they are going through what they are...truth is...go back to the Bible. Nations have troubles because of where those people in those nations are in regards to their standing in Christ Jesus. It's not politics. It's not anything for any human being other than their standing before Jesus. Whether or not they accept or reject Jesus. Whether or not they hear His voice and are His sheep or they are not.
Whether they are the wheat or the tares (false wheat) as the Bible describes.
Everyone who comes to Christ is to be an active worker in His fields. Jesus said to pray that there would be more workers in the fields that were white for harvest. Being ingrown, being consumed with taking care of self rather than pursuing the Great Commission, regardless of reasons, isn't being an active worker in those fields. To a certain extent yes we should take care of ourselves, but not to the extent that we aren't doer's of the Word.
That cry...could have wiped out all of this universe had it not been focused on the sins of humanity. It was a focused cry. Had it not, considering what all was spoken into existence...it would have been devistation on a scale nobody every remotely could ever consider.
That cry is now beckoning for us to come to Him for salvation...for those who have not yet.
That cry is now pleading for the world to come to Him to be set free from our sins that have so easily entangled us all.
That cry is now a gentle voice tapping on the hearts of mankind asking to come in.
We know not what time, what day, Jesus will return, but we are assured that He WILL return.
Will we be embarrassed at His return because we were self absorbed rather than out doing what the Spirit called us to be doing?
Indeed I was hurt considerably emotionally growing up but that's not to keep me from what it is God's plan for me was to be. The same goes for everyone.
Nobody experienced conflict, distress, stress, like Jesus did in preparing to go to the cross to pay the price for our sins that we cannot pay ourselves.
We're going to get knocked down. Get back up again.
Oh that cry. The power to raise the dead in that cry had it been any kind of spoken word would have changed the universe in any of a countless way.
Jesus said that He's at the door knocking. Will you open it?
If you have opened it, is He invited in?
If He's in, are you going and doing as He's directing or are you doing your own thing THINKING you are paying service to God when in reality you are not?
Think of another passage that just came to mind as well...in the Old Testament we read of how Jesus spoke and Satan was cast from Heaven like lightening. That's another example of that voice, the power in that voice.
In the book of Revelation...at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ...the world will gather in battle against Jesus...and all He will do is speak a word and it's over. No shots fired...other than the word from Jesus and it's done.
That cry is for you and for me in regards to living life the way that He intended for us to live it. Not for us to hide away not for us to be overly zealous either. But to be in the center of God's will. We who are in Christ are placed in the body as He sees fit...and if we believe that...then we ought to be doing our level best to be found by Him doing what we were called to be doing.
Oh that cry...when you consider it ought to give you goosebumps.
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