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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Father's Love for The Son and by Extension for You and Me

Introduction:
Four facts you should be aware of by the end of this discourse:
1.      The Father could not love The Son more.
2.      The Father loves you and me no less that He loves The       
         Son.
3.      The Father could not love you and me more.
4.      The Father loves you and me with the same love He loves 
 The Son.

                               Image result for images of God's love
The Manifest Love of The Father
1.      The Manifest Love of the Father for The Son
Joh 3:35  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. (John the Baptist’s Exaltation of Christ)

Joh 5:20  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. (The Authority of the Son)

2.      The Manifest Reason for The Father’s Love for The Son

Joh 10:17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (Jesus as the Good Shepherd)

3.      The Manifest Extent of the Father’s Love for the Son

Joh 17:24  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer)


4.      The Manifest Love of the Father reflected in The Son

Joh 15:9  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
Joh 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (Jesus as the True Vine)

Joh 17:20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (That’s you and me)
Joh 17:21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Joh 17:22  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: (Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer)

5.      The Manifest Revelation of the Father’s Love to the World

Joh 17:23  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Joh 17:24  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
Joh 17:25  O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

6.      The Manifest Mystery of the Declaration of the Father’s Love

Joh 17:26  And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

7.      The Manifest Declaration of The Father’s Love for The Son
Mat 3:17  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Jesus’ baptism)

Mat 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. (Jesus’ transfiguration)

Mar 1:11  And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Jesus’ baptism)

2Pe 1:17  For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Jesus’ transfiguration)

Now here's the conclusion of the matter:

Mat 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. (Jesus’ transfiguration)

Hear ye Him!

That was the message to all within earshot at the time and it’s the message to us, straight from the word of God.  We did not merit God’s love but certainly He merits our love and our obedience.  We have a way of saying that Hallelujah is the highest praise.  I beg to differ.  The highest praise and acknowledgement to God for His benevolent and unspeakable love is humble, constant and willing obedience to His Word.

Jesus implores us to continue in his love.  I call to your attention once again the following scripture reference.

Joh 15:9  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 

I hear you ask, “How may we continue in his love?”

The next verse supplies the very straightforward answer.

Joh 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (Jesus as the True Vine)

In my estimation it certainly cannot be any clearer.  Perhaps like the lawyer who came to Christ and tempted him asking which was the great commandment of the law, you would also like to know the same.

I will let Jesus answer for himself.

Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Some focus on loving God but make little of loving their brother.  While there might not be any such persons here, I still believe that this following scripture reference is still applicable to all of us as we continue in the love of Christ.  The real test is where the rubber hits the road and here is where that happens.

Gal 6:2  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Herein lies the further extension of the manifest love of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

8.      The Manifest Reciprocation of the Love of Christ by you and me

1Jn 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn 4:9  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Amen!

Stewart Russell © 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pride Goes Before A Fall


Image result for Images for pride goes before a fall She had always felt that she was better than anyone else.  She made it quite clear that she could get whatever she wanted.  She wore the most expensive clothes, the latest shoes and brought to school the most appetizing lunches.  Scarcely a day would pass without her overworked remark, “I do not need any of you.”

Roslyn was a bright lass from a well-to-do family but she was a very lonely girl.  With all she claimed to have she was still not happy.  There was not one pupil in our class whom she could call her friend.  Most of us looked forward to the day when her pride and haughty spirit would be broken.  It was not long in coming.

It happened suddenly.  She had just passed on the corridor.  She had said not a single word to any of us.  Then suddenly we heard the thud followed by a loud scream.  There she was prostrate on the corridor, her uniform in a mess.  Some children walked right by her while others just laughed.  Still others gazed on her with disdain savouring this moment which many had longed for.

I walked right up to Roslyn and offered her my hand.  In amazement she took it.  That day I made a friend for life.

Stewart Russell © 1999

I Am A Teacher


Image result for images of a teacherI am a teacher.  I have selected my vocation with pensive care, not so much for what I receive from it, but rather, for the contribution I am able to make.  I contribute to so many lives.  I produce doctors, lawyers, other teachers, artisans, engineers, pilots, presidents and even prime ministers.  Without my input, ours would be a world of lawlessness, aimlessness and utter chaos.

I build families, societies, churches and nations.  My resources are wide and varied, unlimited even.  Can you really begin to imagine a world without me?  There are those times when I am a doctor, lawyer, police, father, mother, nurse and without doubt a counsellor.  I am all of these and more to those placed in my charge.  And believe it, I receive only one salary.  But I do not mind, for without me, no one would even get a salary.

You see, I am not so much concerned about what I get, but what I can give.  If sometime during your life, you have benefitted from a teacher, remember me.  I only do it because I care.  After all, I am a teacher!      

Stewart Russell © 1999 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Poor Example


“Why are you standing outside my office, boy?” asked the stern principal.

“He put me here,” responded Mitchum, with his bottom lip trying to touch his chin.

“He who?” asked the principal.

“Ivor, the prefect, Sir” replied Mitchum.

“Why did he bring you to me?” asked the principal.

“I don’t know, Sir.  I feel he does not like me because he is always picking on me.”

“Look, stop wasting my time and tell me what you were doing that you know was not right.”

The principal was becoming angrier by the moment.  He was getting so angry that Mitchum was afraid to say another word so he kept his mouth shut tightly. 

“Well, Ivor,” said the principal, “you tell me why you brought him to me.  ‘Cause little Mitchum here has lost his tongue.  He is not at all like the Mitchum of whom teachers say he just can’t shut his mouth.  Oh no, he is not that Mitchum, unless he has gone dumb.”

Image result for images of climbing the tamarind tree“Sir, you say every morning that it is against the school rules to climb trees on the school property.  I saw him up in the tamarind tree and told him to get down.  And Sir, he told me that I cannot tell him what to do.  I asked him if he knows that I am a prefect and even showed him my badge.  Sir and you know what he told me?  He told me that he doesn’t care about me, the prefect or the badge.  So I brought him here to you.”

“Well, well, well,” exclaimed Mr. Franklin, “this boy has to be a madman.  He does whatever he likes and just doesn’t care.  Well Mitchum, old boy, you are going to have a little chat with my strap.  Hard ears you won’t hear, well own way you will feel.”

Mr. Franklin raised his strap to bring it down on Mitchum.  At that very moment, Mitchum lost his dumbness and shouted, “Sir he was in the tree, too!
                                    
“What are you saying, boy?  Who was in the tree too?”

“He, Sir,” he said pointing to Ivor. 

“Boy I know that you are crazy but you are crazier than I thought.  You dare to stand in front of me and tell a big lie on this prefect.  And what is more, you expect me to believe it.”

“But Sir he was in the tree with me and just because I won’t give him one of my special tamarinds, he told me to get down.  Sir you could even ask Jeffrey because he was up in the tree with us too.”

“No, I won’t have to ask Jeffrey.  I can do better than that.  I will ask Ivor, himself.  Ivor, were you up in the tree too?”

Ivor hung his head in shame and muttered, “Yes Sir.”

“I do not believe this,” said the principal.

 
Stewart Russell © 1999