Sovereign With Love

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 27, 2015

“Not a drop of rain can fall outside the orb of Jesus’ sovereignty. All our days—our health, our illnesses, our joys, our victories, our tears, our prayers, and the answers to our prayers—fall within the sweep of the sovereignty of one who wears a human face, a thorn-shadowed face. All of God’s sovereignty is mediated through one who was crucified on my behalf. For Christians, that means God’s sovereignty can no longer be viewed as a merely creedal point, still less as the source of endless mystery. There is more than enough material for creedal confession here, and not a little mystery; but these mysteries revolve around one who died in my place. The mysteries of prayer remain, but they dissolve in worship and gratitude. It is far easier to accept the mysteries of divine sovereignty when the divine love is as great as the divine sovereignty.”

D. A. Carson

A Call To Spiritual Reformation, 179-180

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As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.

John 15:9 (ESV)

~~~

Would the Heavenly Father love His only Son and not watch over every detail of His life? Possessing all authority, power, and wisdom would the Father allow His Son to go through any unnecessary trial or difficulty? Could Jesus of Nazareth live with even the slightest uncertainty about whether His Heavenly Father was in sovereign control of all His circumstances and relationships and was carefully guiding His steps? Could the Lord Jesus doubt for a second that His Father was hearing His prayers any time and especially in dark and turbulent times? When our Savior says that He loves us just like His Father has loved Him will I doubt Him? Will you? This love can never be measured or plumbed to its depth. It is pure, infinite, eternal and unchangeable. Do I believe that He watches over every detail of my life? Can I live with the certainty that He is in sovereign control of all my circumstances and relationships and is indeed guiding my steps, even when I don’t understand? Do I doubt for a moment that He hears my prayers when I am in a dark and troubling place? His divine sovereignty blends perfectly with His infinite love, and with His Father’s tender heart He shepherds you and listens to you when you pray. You can trust Him!

JRW

A Disciple’s Notebook, 38-39




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When God Acts

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 20, 2015

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Psalm 115:3 (ESV)
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“We are moved by the act of God. Omniscience holds no conference. Infinite authority leaves no room for compromise. Eternal love offers no explanations. The Lord expects to be trusted. He disturbs us at will. Human arrangements are disregarded, family ties ignored, business claims put aside. We are never asked if it is convenient.” (Samuel Chadwick, quoted by J. Oswald Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy With God, 97)
She was a teenage girl. He was the town carpenter. Mary was legally pledged to be married to Joseph, but she was still a single virgin when God miraculously impregnated her by His Spirit. What would this do to her reputation among the townsfolk, even family? What about the whispers and the smirky glances cast her way? Would Joseph even believe her, and what would her betrothed do? “The Lord expects to be trusted.”
Joseph was a righteous and just man (Matthew 1:19). He considered what he should do. Divorce her quietly? But an angel of the Lord spoke to him through a dream. “Take Mary as your wife.” This is “the act of God.” She bears God’s Son by God’s Spirit. “The Lord expects to be trusted.”
Because of a decree from Caesar Augustus that everyone should be registered, Joseph must leave his work, take Mary in her last week of pregnancy, and travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a journey of seventy plus miles through dangerous mountainous terrain. God Himself arranged these difficult circumstances. He would fulfill His promise that the Messiah, His only Son, would be born in Bethlehem. “He disturbs us at will.” “Human arrangements are disregarded.”
After a long three day journey there was no place for these peasants to stay in the inn. Surely sovereign God could have reserved a place for His Son to be born indoors. Instead, these chosen earthly parents for the Savior were directed to an animal shelter with all its unsanitary conditions.
These poor parents endured very difficult circumstances for God’s only Son to enter our world without any recorded complaint. “Eternal love offers no explanations.” “We are never asked if it is convenient.” “He does all He pleases.” “He expects to be trusted.”

JRW




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An Artist’s Witness

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 14, 2015

“I want to live in the beauty of holiness. I want the sweet scent of Jesus Christ to be breathed into someone’s life…a beckoning brightness to shine from Your heart, through me, into someone’s darkness….as we pass by together today.” (David Hazard, Early Will I Seek You, 78)
I walked into a gift store recently owned by a well-known, internationally award winning artist. It was also his gallery that displayed his outstanding paintings, both originals and prints of many different subjects, especially wildlife. Hanging on the wall in the front room was a very large Biblical scene in oils. It captured my attention, and I stood gazing at it deeply aware of the glory of God. No other painting has affected me this way.
Later I met the artist named Tom, and we began to share together. Quickly it became more than usual light conversation, but instead we entered into a oneness of heart focused on the wonder of who God is. We both became aware that this was a Divine appointment.
Tom shared his testimony of a remarkable conversion to Christ as a grown man and successful artist. He also told how he came to paint the Biblical scene that captured my gaze. Then he showed me another painting of a Biblical scene he had done. As we looked at it, he told about a Sunday the painting was on display in the front window of his store. A biker, covered with tattoos, was walking by and saw it. Stopping to look at it the Spirit drew him to Christ at that moment. The next day he came back with his family to see Tom, and with tears told him, “That painting changed my life.” Three months later the biker came back again with a radiant countenance to ask Tom how he could tell his biker friends about Jesus.
As Tom and I continued sharing together during my several visits to his store, it became quite evident that his heart was focused on the wonder of who God is. Several times in his quiet humble manner he said, “It’s Him.” “We know it’s Him.” God’s Spirit was a river flowing from him. All his awards adorning the walls paled in comparison to his desire to glorify his Lord.
As we parted I knew I had been touched by a beckoning brightness shining from Tom’s heart into my own, both through his love for Jesus and through his paint brush painting for God’s glory.
Yes, I did purchase prints of the two Biblical scenes.

JRW
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Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (I Corinthians 19:31).




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God’s Oath Fulfilled

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 7, 2015

The oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. Luke 1:73-75 (ESV)
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Jesus Christ is God’s promise fulfilled.
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19)
The long awaited Messiah came, not in the pomp of a dynamic earthly king, but instead as a helpless baby with peasant parents. Who can predict how God will do what He promised to do?
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).
Why did the Savior come? What was in the mind of God when He promised the Messiah?
He planned to deliver us from the hand of our enemies.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
(Luke 4:18-19)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
Why does Jesus set us free from our enemies?
So that in freedom we might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
God wants a holy people.
For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. (Leviticus 11:44)
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)

JRW




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