The Most Beautiful Words

 

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isa. 53:4-6)

 

Certainly these are some of the most beautiful words ever written.  The Spirit of God inspired Isaiah and revealed the depth of God’s love for man, a love so profound that it was willing to give His Son (and the Son was willing to give Himself) in order to restore us to our original place in Him.

 

Jesus understood our grief, sickness, pain and trauma.  He understood the devastating power of sin that has created darkness and suffering for humanity.  Not only did He understand, He came to walk among us and demonstrate His love and compassion for the hurting.  But He didn’t come only to see and touch man’s need,  He came to take upon Himself the curse of our separation from God and all its manifestations.  He took the iniquity of every person on earth, every person who would ever be conceived.  He took our physical pain and sicknesses.  He took our depression, sadness and fears.  He took the full weight of every curse of sin.  In fact, He became a curse and He became sin as He hung on the cross.

 

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (Mt. 11:28)

 

The invitation is for all.  Rest and peace are for all.  Healing is for all.  Deliverance from every trauma and grief is for all.  Jesus did this for you.

 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.  (Luke 4:18-19)

 

Take time to let your spirit feed on these verses.  Hear Him speaking.  See Him healing you.  Let Him restore you and give you life, peace and joy.  That is the gospel.

 

Barry Bennett

Choices

 

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like had you made different choices in the past?  How does our present reflect the choices we made in the past?  What if you had skipped that event, answered that phone call, studied harder or reached out to that hurting person?  It is amazing how seemingly insignificant events can literally change the course of one’s life.

 

Like us, Paul was continually making choices.  In Acts 22, Paul recounts one particular moment in which a choice saved his life.

 

Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’ (Acts 22:17-18)

 

Paul chose to go to the temple to pray.  He could have chosen to go to the local coffee shop or work out at the gym.  But, he chose prayer.  That choice gave God the opportunity to warn him to flee Jerusalem.  What if Paul had not chosen to pray that day?  That small choice may have changed Paul’s future forever.

 

Our lives are constructed of choices.  There is nothing wrong with coffee shops and gyms, but can you see that every choice you make has the potential to change the direction of your life?

 

To be led by the Spirit means listening to the Spirit as you make choices.  Being sensitive to the voice of God is the path of victorious life.  Many of our struggles are the result of choosing to do our own thing and not allowing Him to lead us.

 

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. (Isa. 30:21)

Barry Bennett

God is kinder than you think

 

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:32)

 

What if our lives are mostly a reflection of how we see God?  If you see God as easily angered, condemning, stingy, unwilling to let go of His blessings, or always wanting to test you, you will live like the slave of a temperamental master.  You will never know if you are good enough.

 

What if God is kinder than you think?  What if His reputation has been ruined by men who didn’t really know Him?  Let’s look at some verses that paint a different picture.

 

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. (John 4:10)

 

– The gift of living water.

 

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

 

– The gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.  (Rom. 5:17)

 

– The gift of grace and righteousness.

 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  (Eph. 2:8)

 

– The gift of salvation by faith.

 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

 

–  Every good gift.

 

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  (Luke 12:32)

 

– The gift of the Kingdom.

 

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you  (John 14:27)

 

– The gift of His peace.

 

“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” (John 16:23)

 

– Whatever we ask in His Name.

 

as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:3-4)

 

– The gift of His promises and all things that pertain to life.

 

Do you have enough faith to believe in his goodness?  Faith begins when God’s extravagant goodness is embraced.  All you need has already been given.  He is that good!

Barry Bennett

Legalism is not……

 

…Faithfulness.  If it is, then God is a legalist:  “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

 

…Self-control.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23)

 

…Diligence.  “And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.”  (Heb. 6:11)

 

…Good works.  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  (Eph. 2:10)

 

…Regular giving.  “For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.” (Phil. 4:16)

 

…Holiness.  “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor. 7:1)

 

Legalism IS…keeping the Law of Moses in order to be righteous.  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.  (James 2:10)

 

A sincere relationship with the Father will bear the fruit of faithfulness, self-control, diligence, good works, generosity and holiness.  These are not the traits of a legalist.  A true legalist is one who will only do what they are told.

Barry Bennett

Come and join us for our Open days on the 21st & 22nd January 2019 at the Charis Bible College, Heidelberg WC. All are welcome!