God’s Lamb

“He was the true Lamb which Abraham told Isaac at Moriah [that] God would provide.

He was the true Lamb to which every morning and evening sacrifice in the temple daily pointed.

He was the Lamb which Isaiah had prophesied, that He would be ‘brought to the slaughter.’

He was the true Lamb of which the passover lamb in Egypt had been a vivid type.

In short, He was the great propitiation for sin which God had covenanted from all eternity to send to the world.

He was God’s Lamb.

Let us serve Him as our Master. Let us obey Him loyally as our King. Let us study His teaching as our Prophet. Let us walk diligently after Him as our Example. Let us look anxiously for Him as our coming Redeemer of body as well as our soul.

But above all, let us prize Him as our sacrifice, and rest our whole weight on His death as an atonement for sin. Let His precious blood be more precious in our eyes every year we live.

Whatever else we glory in about Christ, let us glory above all things in His cross. This is the corner-stone, this is the citadel, this is the rule of true Christian theology. We know nothing about Christ, until we see Him with John the Baptist’s eyes, and can rejoice in Him as ‘the Lamb that was slain.’ ”

~J. C. Ryle from Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'”

~John 1:29 (ESV)

Why ‘Fear Not?’

There’s no doubt that our Good Shepherd knows how easily and often His sheep are frightened. His response is to urge us not to fear because He is with us.

Frances Havergal wrote several hymns including Take My Life and Let It Be. She also authored many books. In her little devotional, Royal Commandments; or, Morning Thoughts for the King’s Servants, she spent some time focusing on the issue of fear. Hopefully, you’ll find it beneficial.

“Would our King tell us again and again, ‘Fear not!’ if there were any reason at all to fear?

Would He say this kind word again and again … only to mock us, if He knew all the time that we could not possibly help fearing?

Only give half an hour to seeking out the reasons He gives why we are not to fear, and the all-inclusive circumstances in which He says we are not to fear; see how we are to fear nothing, and no one, and never, and nowhere; see how He Himself is in every case the foundation and the grand reason of His command, His presence and His power always behind it and then shall we hesitate to say, ‘I will fear no evil for Thou art with me’? Shall we even fancy there is any answer to those grand and forever unanswered questions, ‘The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’

There is a ‘fear not’ for every possible case and kind of fear; so that we have never any answer to give when He asks, ‘Why are you fearful?’ but we are ‘without excuse.’

It is part of His holy covenant that we should serve Him without fear. It is one of His precious promises that ‘thou shalt be steadfast, and shalt not fear.’ It is one of the blessed results of His reign that His flock shall fear no more.’

It is no impossible thing, but the simple natural consequence of really seeking and really trusting the Lord, that He will deliver us not from some, but from all our fears. He did this for David, will He be less kind to you and me?”

~Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)

[F]ear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

~ Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

A Greater Treasure

In his classic, The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer wrote, “The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One.

Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them,  the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight.

Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever.

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more.”   

May this new year find God working in our hearts in such a way that He becomes more and more of a treasure to us.

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.”

~ Psalm 73:25 (ESV)

Following Wise Men

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.'”

~Matthew 2:1-2 (ESV)

Charles Simeon used the Christmas story to stir the hearts of those in his flock to a more consecrated life. Here’s a small portion of his sermon that day as he spoke about “the wise men from the east.”

“Let us not regard any scoffs, difficulties, or dangers that we may have to encounter in the way of our duty. Doubtless, the [wise men] found many obstacles in their way; but they persisted to the end; and never ceased from their labor, till they had found Him whom they sought. Thus, let us resolutely seek the Lord Jesus, till we have found Him. He is pointed out to us, not by a star, but by “the more sure word of the Gospel.” …

[H]aving found Jesus, let us present to Him all that we are, and all that we have. Let our body, soul, and spirit be consecrated to Him. Let us confess Him as “King of kings, and Lord of lords;” let us devote to Him our silver and our gold; and let us glorify Him with our body and our spirit, which are His. This is our reasonable service; and if we be backward to render it unto Him, surely [the wise men] will rise up in judgment against us; for if they so honored Him, when they saw Him as a babe in swaddling clothes, much more should we, who viewed Him seated on His throne of glory.”

~Charles Simeon, 1759-1836

Charles Simeon served for 49 years as the pastor of Trinity Church in Cambridge, England. Read or listen to Dr. John Piper’s meditations on this faithful believer’s life by clicking here.

You can access Reverend Simeon’s entire sermon here.

Oh Blessed State

The New Testament talks a lot about being ‘in Christ.’ Reverend Octavius Winslow in his book, Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul, reflects on what it means for the believer to be ‘in Christ.’ I encourage you to let his thoughts settle deep down into your heart.

“To be ‘in Christ,’ is to stand accepted in His righteousness, to be justified by Him freely from all things; it is to be brought to the knowledge of our own vileness, sufficiency, and guilt; to be made to cast aside all self-dependence, that is, all works of human merit, and to come as the thief on the cross came, without any allowed confidence in anything of self, but as a poor, helpless, ruined, condemned sinner, all whose hope be ‘in Christ,’ is to be the subject of a living, holy, influential principle of faith; it is to be brought into the blessed state thus described by the apostle as his own:

‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me’ Galatians 2:20 (ESV).

To be ‘in Christ’ is to be one with Him; it is to be a member of His … body, of which He is the spiritual head, and the members are one. It is to have Christ dwelling in the heart; ‘Christ in you the hope of glory.’ … ‘Yes, it is to dwell in the heart of Christ; it is to rest there in the very pavilion of His love, to dwell there every moment, to be sheltered there from all evil, and to be soothed there under all sorrow.

Oh blessed state of being ‘in Christ!'”

~Octavius Winslow, 1808-1878

That Glorious Pursuit

We should never get over the fact that there was a day when God stirred our hearts to love Him and live for Him. A. W. Tozer helps us put things on pause for a moment to reflect on our new birth and the journey beyond.

“The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the Kingdom of God.

It is, however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead. That is where we begin, I say, but where we stop no man has yet discovered, for there is in the awful and mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end.

Shoreless Ocean, who can sound Thee? Thine own eternity is round Thee, Majesty divine! To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.”

~A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.”

~Ephesians 2:1-5 (ESV)