When the world says, “There but for the grace of God, go I“,
Christians say, “There go I.”
–that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the LORD has done. (Psalm 118:17) The living, the living–they praise You, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about Your faithfulness. (Psalm 38:19)
Posterity will serve Him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
We proclaim the coming King and the great necessity of every longing heart is only found in coming home to God in Him. The Spirit and The Bride say, “Come.”
Invitation to the Thirsty
“Come, all you who are thirsty, Come to the waters;
and you who have no money, Come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to Me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to Me; listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you, My faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for He will freely pardon.
The sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever.” For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the LORD. (Jeremiah 33:11)
Please hear our petition and pray to the LORD your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. So admit your sins to each other, and pray for each other so that you will be healed. Prayers offered by those who have God’s approval are effective. (James 5:16)
My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit. (Isaiah 65:14) I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in My people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. (Isaiah 65:19) From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained. (Jeremiah 30:19) For the LORD will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD– the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.
Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
The living, the living–they praise You, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about Your faithfulness.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1)
Freely we have received; Freely we give.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love…
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
“In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:8)
He Tore Down the Wall
It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin.
You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live.
You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience.
We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat.
It’s a wonder God didn’t lose His temper and do away with the whole lot of us.
Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, He embraced us.
He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.
He did all this on His own, with no help from us!
Then He picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.
Saving is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing!
No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving.
He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
But don’t take any of this for granted.
It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large.
Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.
The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped.
Then He started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, He created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.
Christ brought us together through His death on the cross.
The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility.
Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders.
He treated us as equals, and so made us equals.
Through Him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.
That’s plain enough, isn’t it?
You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone.
God is building a home.
He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what He is building.
He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation.
Now He’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
It is no secret what God can do.
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you.
With arms wide open, He’ll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do.
There is no night for in His light
You’ll never walk alone.
Always feel at home,
Wherever you may go.
There is no power can conquer you
While God is on your side.
Take Him at His promise,
Don’t run away and hide.
–It Is No Secret (What God Can Do), Stuart Hamblen
Lord, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, O Lord.
Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”
There is a universal need–the condition of man’s heart that need the Spirit of the Living Christ to restore them by a touch, a word. Into this human condition, Go I.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News of the Ministry of Jesus Christ. Its preaching the very power of God convicts men of their need of a Savior who has gone ahead to prepare a place for us so that where He is, we may be also.
The lost, get found.
Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding;
Those who complain will accept instruction.
For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God prepared long ago to be our way of life. (Ephesians 2:10) For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love.
(Ephesians 1:4) Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:14)
Freely we have received; Freely we give.
We are convicted of our great need and His great love that releases us to walk in
newness of life with Christ Jesus.
“In those days, at that time,” declares the LORD, “search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare.” (Jeremiah 50:20) “Listen to Me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.” (Isaiah 46:3)
God is Able to make All grace Abound toward you, that you, Always having All sufficiency in All things, may Abound to every good work.
(2 Corinthians 9:8)
In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people
There will be a highway for the remnant of His people that is left.
Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. This is what the LORD says: “As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and people say, ‘Don’t destroy it, there is still a blessing in it,’ so will I do in behalf of my servants; I will not destroy them all.”
(Isaiah 37:31; Isaiah 65:8)
Messages of Comfort
Prepare for God’s Arrival
“Comfort, oh comfort My people,” says your God.
“Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem, but also make it very clear
That she has served her sentence, that her sin is taken care of—forgiven!
She’s been punished enough and more than enough,
and now it’s over and done with.”
Thunder in the desert! “Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road straight and smooth, a highway fit for our God.
Fill in the valleys, level off the hills, Smooth out the ruts, clear out the rocks.
Then God’s bright glory will shine and everyone will see it.
Yes. Just as God has said.”
A voice says, “Shout!”
I said, “What shall I shout?”
“These people are nothing but grass, their love fragile as wildflowers.
The grass withers, the wildflowers fade, if God so much as puffs on them.
Aren’t these people just so much grass?
True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade,
but our God’s Word stands firm and forever.”
Climb a high mountain, Zion. You’re the preacher of good news.
Raise your voice. Make it good and loud, Jerusalem.
You’re the preacher of good news.
Speak loud and clear. Don’t be timid!
Tell the cities of Judah,
“Look! Your God!”
Look at Him! God, the Master, comes in power,
ready to go into action.
He is going to pay back His enemies and reward those who have loved Him.
Like a shepherd, He will care for His flock, gathering the lambs in His arms,
Hugging them as He carries them, leading the nursing ewes to good pasture.
Let each generation tell its children of Your mighty acts; let them proclaim Your power. (Psalm 145:4) They will proclaim His righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it! (Psalm 22:31) In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 10:20)
Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isaiah 51:11)
Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these–where have they come from?'” (Isaiah 49:21) Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. (Isaiah 61:7)
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘He will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'” (Revelation 7:17) He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4)