Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross ( by Fenny West)

Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross

seven sayings

There are seven sayings attributed to the Saviour, as He hung on the cross between heaven and earth in the last moments of His earthly mission.
He was the only one born to die. John-the – Baptist saw Him as the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) He fulfilled the various types and shadows we find in the Old Testament: the innocent ram killed by God, whose skin was used to cover Adam and Eve before they were driven out of the Garden of Eden (Gen3:21), the Passover Lamb in Egypt (Ex 12:13), the various annual sacrifices, the scapegoat on whom all the sins of the people was confessed on and let go into the wilderness. (Lev 16:21-22).The list could go on and on.
This was a grand fulfilment.
Whereas these statements cannot all be found in any of the synoptic gospels, they can be collated from the four gospels for our meditation and revelation to us today.

Let us see the lesson they offer individually:

  1. Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

What does this teach us?

 He is praying for those who were crucifying Him. He wants them forgiven because they did not know what they were doing. He saw beyond the natural. He saw through the eyes of His Father. And this is an example for us to follow. We are enjoined by Paul to be imitators of Him. (Eph5:1) John-Beloved told us to walk as He walked. (1 John 2:6)

He also said, “… as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)

Jesus also said we should pray for our enemies. (Matt 5:43-47)

So He was practising what He preached.  We have to do the same. ( Ro 12:19-21)

And later on we see Stephen, the first martyr, following His Master’s footsteps.

“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

60           … “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” (Act 7:59-60)

Praying for our enemies also demonstrates our confidence that all things work together for our good because we love God and are the called according to purpose.(Ro8:28) And so nothing will happen to us unless He allows it. Jesus Himself told the high priest, He had power to lay down His life and take it up again. He also told them His Father was capable of sending legions of angels to set Him free but it was their hour. So Jesus had a sense of destiny. (Matt 26:53, John 10:18)

And when we do we will live a victorious life, no matter what. (2Cor2:14, 1Cor15:57)
Another truth we need to glean from this statement is that He died for everyone – not just those who were crucifying Him. In fact it can be said that we were also responsible for His crucifixion. We were all compromised by the fall of Adam. “All have sinned.” We have all like sheep gone astray and the Lord had laid all our iniquity on Him (Isa 53:6, Rom 3:23). He became our scapegoat. ( Lev 16:8, 2 Cor 5:21)
So as we think of this statement at this time and at other times we should be:
1. Grateful
2. Purposeful
3. Forgiving and
4. Assured that all things are working for us.

5. we should be in no doubt that He died for every one.

2. Luke 23:43: Verily, I say unto you, today thou shalt be with me in paradise.”
As we all know, Jesus was crucified between two criminals. Isaiah foretold this about 800 years before it happened. “He was numbered amongst the transgressors.” (Isa 53:12)
One of the criminals taunted Jesus, “He saved others but He cannot save Himself. If you are the Son of God, save us and save yourself.” (Matt 27:42, Luke 23:37)
The other criminal was wise, recognising that He was innocent and He was God, with the power to forgive and restore anyone who is penitent. And so he prayed to be remembered,” “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom. ” (Luke 23:42)
Jesus replied immediately, “Today, you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
This underscores God’s forgiving power to the sinner, anytime he realises His sin and repents no matter what sin He may have committed.  This may be unfair to the natural man but sin is sin in the sight of God and abhorrent no matter what man may think of it and if it is repented of , it shall be forgiven, no matter how heinous.

However, this is not a scripture to use for delaying repentance till the last minute. No one knows the last minute. (Prov27:1, Jam4:13)

We all need to have a short account with God – repent like David, once we realise we have sinned and receive forgiveness and restoration. We can also use this you bring hope to the hopeless that no matter how far gone they may think, God is still merciful and will forgive if they call on Him in penitence.(Ps51)
Even Judas, who betrayed Jesus, would have been forgiven if he  repented.

3 John 19:26–27: Woman, behold thy son. (Says to disciple) Behold thy mother”

In this statement we can see His love and care for His mother, despite what He was going through. He looked beyond Himself. This is the God-kind of life we have been made partakers of. Regardless of what you go through, see beyond yourself. See the bigger picture. Go the extra-mile. Be selfless. Care for others and God will take care of you.
Jesus, here was making provision, giving security to his mother by entrusting her into the hands of a trusted friend. He was putting His house in order, knowing He was going away.

We too should make provision for our dependants before we leave. We should not leave them penniless- broke busted and disgusted, lamenting and grieving not only for the death but also for the debts and responsibilities left behind unattended. This is why we need to work hard and smart and provide for our family. Paul said he who does not provide for his family is worse than an infidel and has denied the faith. (1Tim5:8)

4 Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34:My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
This reveals the enormity and gross nature of sin. It is so detested, distasteful, disgusting, alienating that it even separated God – the Son from God-the Father. In this same way, we should hate sin and stay far away from it. It should also open our eyes to what Jesus saved us from.
Furthermore, it shows the dark moments we too could experience in life where it would be seem so grim and dark that we may feel abandoned by God. David foreshadowed this in Ps22. He also experience this type of dark moments. An example was when he was dethroned by his son Absalom and he wandered in the wilderness. Another occasion was when after defeating the Philistines and triumphing over Goliath and decapitating him, he found himself running from pillar to post, hiding from King Saul who wanted to kill him. again at Ziklag the men who were in debt, distressed, disgruntled, depressed, whom he had championed and recycled into business tycoons, turned against him when the Amalekites swooped on their camp , burnt it down and took captives all their sons, daughters and wives. They spoke of stoning David. He had to enquire of the Lord, receive a Word with which he pursued, overtook and recovered all. 1 Sam30:-8,18-19)

  Yes, you and I will come to this “My God, my God!” moment(s).  After all He told us to take up our cross and follow Him. (Luke9:23)

And when it happens, we need to encourage ourselves that we are in good company, identifying with Jesus. David had many moments like it and he encouraged himself in the Lord and came back up. Job was there and eventually he was restored. Naomi was there and wanted to be called, Mara, bitter water. But God was meciful to her and despite her lack of faith blessed her more than she could ask or think because of Ruth. Yes, you and I will go through the valley of the shadows of death; we will often go through the valley of Baca (Ps 84:6), the valley of weeping:, but we can, say like the David, “I will fear no evil. For You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. And my cup overflows. Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the presence of God forever.”

Yes, because you trust in Him, you will make that valley of Baca, a place of spring. You will go from strength to strength, glory to glory and from strength to strength (Ps 84:7, Hag 2:9). You will bounce back like Jesus bounced back in resurrection. ( Matt28:6)

You will bounce back like Abraham and obtain laughter – Isaac (Gen 21:1-7). You will bounce back like Job and have twice as much as you lost and even more (Job 42:10-17,). Therefore, regardless of what you go through, stagger not at the promise of God, in unbelief but rather give glory to God. (Rom 4:20-21) When your back is on the ground, you can only look up. And that is the best thing to do anytime, any day, everywhere.

5. John 19:28: I thirst.
When Jesus made this statement, His humanity shone through His divinity. He was famished, thirsty, dehydrated and and wanted water. However instead of water He was given gall. They gave Him poison instead. (Matt 24:34, Ps 69:21) It was prophecy being fulfilled. The word of God cannot be broken. Besides, it shows us that we cannot trust men in our hour of dire need. Man will disappoint us. After all it was those who just a week ago chanted in adulation, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord”, ( Matt 21:9)changed their tune so quickly to” Crucify Him! Crucify Him! ” (Luke 23:21)

6. John 19:30:It is finished.” COMPLETION, PERFECTION, ACCOMPLISHMENT

What a climax of redemption! What an assured, victorious and triumphant declaration of a done deal. He was satisfied that He had paid the price-the highest price for mankind. It was indispensable and indisputable. Nothing could be added to it and nothing could be taken away from it.  He did it once and for all. Hallelujah!
And because “It is Finished!” regardless of the depths to which you have sunk or may sink, you’re coming out of it if you trust in Him.

Because “it is finished”, you will fulfil your purpose. Because of “It is Finished!,” the good work God has begun in your life, He will continue to work at until He brings it to a glorious fruition.

7. Luke 23:46: Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

This speaks of a wonderful, glorious, joyful reunion.
Jesus ascended to heaven after the crucifixion and this statement looked forward to that. He was confident of the reunion and fellowship with the Father and the Spirit.
We too should be looking forward to the Lord’s reappearing. 16       For the LORD shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. ” Ps102:16

Paul told us in 1 Thess. 4:16,The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with shout of an arch angel and the trumpet call of God. The dead in Christ will rise first. And we who are alive and remain shall be caught up with them in the air. And so shall we be with the Lord forever.
He told us to comfort one another with these words. 1Thess4:16-18

We are also told, “He who has this hope purifies himself, even as He is pure. 1 John 3:3
John foresaw the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and wrote,” Let us Rejoice and be glad. And give the glory to Him.” For the marriage of the Lamb has come and the Bride has made herself ready.” (Rev19:7)
He’s coming soon and very soon to take His bride, who will be without spot nor wrinkles or blemish. (Eph 5:26-27)
Let’s trim our wicks and make sure we like the five wise virgins have sufficient oil in our lamps.  (Matt 25:1-13)

Let’s ensure we keep clean our white garments and run our race with patience and endurance and finish well to the glory of God. (Matt 22:11-14)

So in conclusion forgive others just as God has forgiven you. (Eph4:32)

Cherish your relationships. Good relationships are invaluable. You cannot put a price on them. Take care of our family.

Heaven is our home. We are sojourners here.( Phil3:20)

And regardless of the distress we go through here we need to remind ourselves that it is temporary. Our light affliction which is just for the moment, works for us a far more exceeding weight of eternal glory. All things are working together for our good because we love God and we are called according to His purpose. (2Cor4:16-18)

Victory is ours in everything we do and wherever we go. We should confess it and expect it because of “It is Finished!” (2Cor.2:14)

Our Final Victory

50   Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

51   Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed —

52   in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53   For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54   So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55   ” O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

56   The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.

57   But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58   Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

1Cor15:50-57

He Brought Back God’s Glory (sermon, songs & poems) (by Fenny West)

david & the ark carry the ark 1 ark bring back  the glory 1 Jesus bring back  the glory 1

He Brought Back God’s Glory

http://youtu.be/6a44rQfwCic

5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

 20        “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;

22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:John17:5,20,22

 

What is the Glory?

 Glory is God’s renown, honour.  Jesus is the Father’s glory:

‘He is the effulgence of the Father’s glory.’ Pastor Chris

; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, ( Heb1:3)

Other forms of Glory

The glory of the Sun and that of the moon differ. The moon gets its glory from the sun.

When you are born again, you get your glory from God Himself.

 God’s Son has all the brightness of God’s own glory and is like Him in every way. (Promise Bible)

He is the sole expression of the glory of God( the Light being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine, and He is the perfect imprint and very image of God’s nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. Amplified

 

 

Manifest glory of God

The glory of God was manifested to Moses:

12   Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

14   And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15   Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

17   So the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”

18   And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

19   Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”21 And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Ex33:

6 And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, Ex34:6

17 The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.18 So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights Ex24:9-17; Stephen 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

Acts7:55

 

What other pictures were painted in the bible about this glory that was lost?

The Ichabod ( Glory departed ) story allegory or anecdote- story within a story.

 

 He Brought Back the Glory

 They went to war with their implacable enemies- the Philistines. They forgot to take the Ark of covenant and they were not only defeated but 4000 soldiers were killed. They wondered, “Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? They then went for reinforcement, bringing the ark of Covenant into their camp. As the Ark arrived, there was so much joy, expectation and boldness and great shout, so loud and raucous that the earth moved. When their enemies heard the great noise, their hearts sank. And they lamented: “God has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before.8 Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.9 Be strong and conduct yourselves like men, you Philistines, that you do not become servants of the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Conduct yourselves like men, and fight!”

10   So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.11 Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

 So apart from the heavy casualty,  the Ark of Covenant was captured by the enemy.

When their father (Eli the Priest) heard the news, he fell off backward from his chair partly due to his weight and died.

The wife of Phinehas was heavily pregnant at this time and when she heard of the death of her husband and the capture of the ark, birth pangs suddenly came upon her. He baby came out prematurely and the ladies kept encouraging her to cheer up and push and pull through. However, she was silent and at the gate of death. They encouraged her to at least name her child and she spluttered, ‘Ichabod!’, meaning ‘Glory Gone!’

The ark represented God’s presence, His covering, His protection, their security. That was why she could not stand not only losing her husband and his brother and her Father- in-law but also the ark of the Covenant – all in one day.

It was a dark, grim, depressing day, unusual in the history of Israel.

The ark was too hot to handle. When brought before Dagon and left overnight they came back to discover he had fallen down with face down. When they raised it up and left it they were surprised to find that it fell again, this time, its hand and head and hands were broken. Furthermore, God ravaged them with tumors and deadly destruction in Gath and Ekron, and they cried, ‘What shall we do with the ark? They were advised to send the ark back with some trespass offering. They did and the ark remained in the house of Abinadab for decades. All through the reign of Saul, the Ark was still in limbo.

However when David became King he longed to bring the Ark back to its resting place. After an initial blunder that led to the death of Uzah, who tried to steady the cart as the cow stumbled, to prevent the ark from falling the ark was put in the house of Obed Edom.

God so blessed him that other became jealous. The price of his  stocks in the Stock Exchange rose astronomically. Everyone was buying Obed Edom stocks. He became a millionaire overnight.

King David researched and found out that the ark should be carried on the shoulders of Levites- not carried on carts.

The D-Day finally arrived and the ark was taken for its historic journey to the City of David.it was a glorious occasion with lots of euphoria, dancing, music, feasting, ecstasy, fanfare and carnival atmosphere. David danced and twirled with reckless abandon, overjoyed that at last the ark was on its way to its resting place.

You can see that truly this was a man after God’s own heart. This ark has been in limbo even before Saul became King. And Saul reigned for 40 years. all through that period we heard nothing about the ark. But David was different. He longed for the Ark of the Covenant to be given a befitting place of rest.

So the Glory that departed decades ago when Eli and his children and daughter-in-law died; the glory that was snuffed out and in temporary accommodation for so long, was finally coming home. O what a glorious day! The glory was brought back by David, with pomp and pageantry. The birds sang, the fields rejoiced, the trees clapped their hands. The mountains leapt for joy.

 See the sweet psalm David wrote for that occasion in 1Chronicles 16

1    So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God.2 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD.3 Then he distributed to everyone of Israel, both man and woman, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins.

8        Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
        Call upon His name;
        Make known His deeds among the peoples!
9        Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
        Talk of all His wondrous works!
10        Glory in His holy name;
        Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
11        Seek the LORD and His strength;
        Seek His face evermore!
12        Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
        His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,….

Do you know that this story carries in its womb the story of the fall of man and our salvation?

When God created Adam and Eve they had glory with them. They had God’s protection, security, His presence was their joy. There was no need for fear or trepidation. God would come and fellowship with them any time. They were the crowning glory of His creation. However, when they sinned from the obeying the serpent and eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, like Hophni and Phinehas did, they lost the glory. 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden. But before that God, whilst pronouncing judgement, pointed to Jesus who would bring back the glory. Gen3:15,21. When He spoke to Abraham,”… in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”, He was pointing to Jesus Who would bring back the glory. When prophet Isaiah was moved by the Holy Spirit to prophesy: 14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel., “ he was pointing to Jesus Who will bring back the glory. And later he reinforced this prophecy, “For unto us a Child is born,

       Unto us a Son is given;

       And the government will be upon His shoulder.

       And His name will be called

       Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

       Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7       Of the increase of His government and peace

       There will be no end,

       Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,

       To order it and establish it with judgment and justice

       From that time forward, even forever.

       The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

This was about 800 years before Jesus was born.

Micah also pointed to Jesus Who would bring back the glory:

2       ” But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

       Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,

       Yet out of you shall come forth to Me

       The One to be Ruler in Israel,

       Whose goings forth are from of old,

       From everlasting.” Micah5:2

In the fullness of time the angel visited Mary and she conceived a child of the Holy Spirit and Jesus was born.

Jesus, our heavenly David, longed to bring back the glory to man. When the question was asked in the council of the God-head in heaven, ‘Who will go for us?… Who will go and bring back the glory? Or who will go and restore the glory to man?  Jesus said, ‘Here I am, send me.’ Alleluia!

Paul alluded to this: 4’ But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman,…’ Gal4:4

There was joy in heaven as there was in Israel when the ark was on its way. There was joy in Bethlehem and the whole of Judea when Jesus was born. The angels rejoiced.

9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13   And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14     ” Glory to God in the highest,

Glory to God in the highest because, Jesus, the express image of the Father’s glory, was coming to bring back the glory of God to man.

 He would bridge the chasm created by Adam and Eve. He would restore the lost glory. In the fullness of time, Jesus went to the cross, paid the ultimate penalty, shed His innocent blood, like the one prefigured when God killed innocent animals and clothe Adama and Eve with their coat. Jesus broke the middle wall of partition and brought us the glory of God. Before going to the cross, Jesus looked forward to work He would do to bring back the glory and prayed:

 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. 20      “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:John17:5,22

Writing in Rhapsody recently, Pastor Chris, boldly captioned:

The Glory has Come!’

He was referring to this glory. He said, ‘Christmas means that you’re in Christ now and that you have His life and nature in you now. Christ is in you now, which means glory has come!… say, Father, I thank you. I’m your glory, and I express who I am today. Christ in me means glory in my life.’

When Jesus rose from the dead, He came back with the glory. Henceforth, those who receive Him as Lord and Saviour, would receive the glory. And because He has given us the same glory which He had with the Father, we can enter the throne of grace with boldness. There is now no more condemnation, the old has gone and the new has come; we are heirs of of God and joint-heirs with Christ; we are the salt of the earth, the city on a hill, the light of the world. Because we have that glory, greater works we can do; because we have the glory, as He is so we are; we can do all things through Him; we are more than conquerors; He is able to do exceeding abundantly more than we can ask or think, according to the power that is at work in us. Because He has brought back the glory we who believe in Him have the divine nature. And because the glory of the latter house surpasses the glory of the glory of the former, we go from glory to glory to the glory of the Lord of Glory. Alleluia!

david & the ark Jesus bring back  the glory 1 bring back  the glory 1 Birth of Jesus1 birth of Jesus ushered God with us carry the ark 1 ark

O let us rejoice with great joy that Jesus has brought back the glory.

The First Adam lost the glory. The Last Adam brought back the glory.

 

He Brought Back God’s Glory

http://youtu.be/6a44rQfwCic

 

He Brought Back the Glory

That we lost through the fall

And so doing changed our story

By lifting us from the fall.

 

He bridged the gap for us;

Made peace between us and God.

Jesus justified us

and made us children of God.

 

All those who receive Him

are raised from deadness to life.

All those who accept Him

Are given abundant life.

 

 When Adam fell, we lost the glory of God

But God in His mercy, made a way for us

He sent Jesus, the Light and the Living Word

To come down, pay the price to justify us.

 

Just as David was a type of Jesus

A man after God’s own heart

Who brought back the Ark to Jerusalem,

Jesus also brought back our lost glory.

 

Let us reverently bow before the holy Child whose innocence restores to manhood its ancient glory; and let us pray that he may be formed in us, the hope of glory.

C.H. Spurgeon

22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one John17:22

… as He is, so are we in this world.1John4:17

http://youtu.be/6a44rQfwCic

 

 

 

The Birth of Jesus

http://youtu.be/GvPPCIAy7CA

 The birth of Jesus

Ushered God with us

Brought God for us

Signalled God is us.

The birth of Jesus

Brought Hope to us

Who sat in darkness

To enter God’s brightness.

 

The birth of Jesus

Was the birth of Light

And the birth of Life

And the birth of Love.

 

 

The birth of Jesus

Birth God’s song

For those in the wrong

Gave hope to those

wallowing in the dung.

 

May this season

rekindle your hope

even against hope

Because of the God of Hope.

May this season

give you reason

to press on in season

and even out of season.

 

May your remembrance

Cause you to dance

And run your race of grace

With super-abundant grace.

 

https://inspiration4generations.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/the-birth-of-jesus-by-fenny-west/

 

 

 

 

The Birth of Jesus worth giving thanks for(2)

 

The birth of Jesus

Laid the foundation

For the liberation

Of man under condemnation.

 

 

The birth of Jesus

Sounded the death knell

Of Lucifer- the devil

Who caused man’s downfall.

 

The birth of Jesus

Oozed an aroma

Of hope the world over

Now man can cross over

To the Alpha and Omega

 

The birth of Jesus

Painted a picture

Of a glorious future

For those who will

have a divine nature.

 

The birth of Jesus

Ushered a glorious dawn

Of God -the Son

Whose light shone.

 

The birth of Jesus

Brought a Friend

Who will stick to the end

And end the reign of the fiend.    

 

The birth of Jesus

Brought our Mediator

Brought our intercessor

And our Saviour.

http://youtu.be/9kF-oKqIu5w

 

 

https://inspiration4generations.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/the-birth-of-jesus-worth-giving-thanks-for-by-fenny-west/

 

 

Fenny West2014

 

 

 The Birth of Jesus was the Birth of God’s Vision

The Birth of Jesus

was the birth of God’s vision

of man’s salvation

and liberation

from bondage

and tutelage

wreckage and

damage.

 

The birth of Jesus

was the birth of the key

to our victory

and end of our misery;

the birth of Jesus

was the solution

to the problem of

fall, sin and separation.

 

The birth of Jesus

Was the unveiling

of the Road to God;

the unveiling

of the bridge to God;

the unveiling of

the compassion of God;

the unveiling

of the love of God.

 

 Thank God for the Key

that unlocked the prison door.

Thank God for the Key

that became the Door.

Thank God for the Door

That opened the Way to God.

 

  The Gift that Counts

 The Gift that Counts

The Gift that Counts.

Is the gift that costs.

 

Give Him your trust

If you will not rust.

 

Give Him your life

If you will have life.

 

Give Him your interest

If you will increase

https://inspiration4generations.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/the-gift-that-counts-by-fenny-west/

 

Give Him your first

If you will not be last.

 

Give Him your future

If you want it assured.

 

Give Him your relationships

If you want a good fellowship.

 

Give Him preeminent place

If you want superabundant grace.

 

Give Him your seed

If you want to succeed.

 

Give Him your time

If you want multiplied time.

 

Lead someone to Christ

as a disciple of Christ.

Give the gift that costs

For it to be a gift that counts.

 Seek His Kingdom first

And all other things

Will be added to you.

 

 

21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”

22 Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood.

23 All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.”

24 Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

2Sam24:21-24

Dealing with Death (by Fenny West)

Dealing with Death

To live is Christ, to Die is Gain

When my mother died, soon after I completed my secondary education in 1972, followed by my dad in 1978, soon after my National Youth Service, I was still young, unsaved and devastated, not knowing what the future held. But God in His mercy upheld me, and provided for the funeral and enabled me to forge on.

 There have been other deaths in my family since then that were very close to me some of which I did not even know about because I was abroad and could not have been able to attended if I was told, owing to circumstances beyond my control.

 

In January 2010, a bosom friend of mine died suddenly. He was like a brother to me. We lived together not longer after I was born again and attended the same church before I was ‘exiled’ to Ireland. He was one of the few people that kept in touch with me and encouraged me when I was going through the valley of the shadow of death.

I thank God I was able to go home with his wife and son to bury him.

 

In May 2012, death hit home with three close family members dying within two weeks- my brother’s wife who took care of me on my visit to Nigeria on two years ago, my uncle’s wife who was like a mother to me while I was growing up as a teenager and my first cousin here in London who has been like a brother to me. Since coming of age, I would say this is the one time death has made its greatest impact on me, more so as a believer.

 

21   For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

22   But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.

23        For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

 

For to me, to live is Christ

 What was Paul saying?

For me to live…If I should continue living, if God continues to give me breath, if he elongates my life beyond the present, it means one thing and one thing alone: CHRIST:

Christ

Held

Respectfully

Infinitely

Supreme,

Totally.

 

If God spares my life, it means I still have work to do, my purpose is yet to be completed, it is not finished yet, and I will resolve to commit my life wholehearted and continue  my purpose- being productive, enriching others, encouraging others, glorifying Him on earth and fulfilling vision.

 I shall not die before my time because He holds my future. My life is hidden in Christ in God. Let hell break loose, let the storm come storming in and the wind come howling. I know whom I have believed. I know whom I serve. It shall be unto me as He had promised. Faithful is He who has promised Who will also do it. I will not fear any evil or any shadow of death.  When my time comes I will bow out gracefully. But as long as I am here, it will be fruitfulness to the glory of God.’ For me, to live is Christ!’

 

Shall tribulation separate me from his love while on earth? No

Shall persecution separate me from his love while on earth? No

Shall famine, peril, nakedness, sword, imprisonments or shipwreck separate me from His love? No!

His love is unfailing, unconditional, higher than any mountain, deeper than any valley. As far as the heavens are above the earth so great is love for me. His steadfast love never ceases, His mercies never come to an end they are new every morning and great is His faithfulness. (Lam3:22-23)

This good work He has begun in me, He will continue until He brings it to a glorious finale. For me to live is Christ!( Phil1:6)

Yes, I will live this life one day at a time.  Everyday will have its challenges but His grace is sufficient for me. In my weakness His strength will be made more perfect.  Every challenge will change my playing field, take me to a new threshold of faith, enable me see the face of God that has hitherto eluded me. Every pain will bring a gain hitherto hidden.  Every valley of Bacca, every valley of weeping, will bring me to a place of spring to spring forth to the glory of God, going from faith to faith and glory to glory and strength to strength until my end comes.

 

Because to live is Christ, Paul was able to forget those things which were past, the fact he was a murderer, persecutor of the Church, wrecking many lives and families.  He was able to forgive himself as God had forgiven him and press on to fulfil vision. If he had dwelt on this past it would have buried him. He would have amounted to nothing in Christ.

 

Also because to live is Christ, Paul had to forget his achievements too to avoid them holding him down from going further for what ‘eye had not seen, ear had not heard neither had entered into the heart of man what God had prepared for those who loved Him.’ Paul kept pressing on, burning on for the Son of God until he finished his work and leaving a legacy of 13 best sellers of all-time. His afflictions worked for him. Through his deprivations he made many rich.  When he was weak, he was stronger in God as the grace of God was made more manifest and super-abundant and God took glory rather than man.

 

Paul was sold out to Christ and was not longing to live here in the world to please himself but advancing the cause of Christ. He was trapped between to blessings- living for Christ, being productive for Him in his service and being with Him. His desire to depart was not to get away from the pressures of life but a longing to be with his Saviour. He wanted to bid farewell to sin, disease, temptation, sorrow, tears and pain forever.

 

So if you want to remain on earth because you want to make babies, get more houses, ride the latest car and own the latest gadget, you are deluded, misguide,myopic, out of order and probably not saved. But if it is for the advancement of the gospel, fulfilling the vision He has given you, then your desire is a good desire and a good cause.

 

‘To Die is Gain!’

When you look at death from an earthly perspective, to say ‘to die is gain’ is a mouthful. You can hardly chew. You will probably disagree or agree with some reservations. But these are words and inspiration from a man of God who was living beyond the natural; a man who knows he was seated with Christ in heavenly places, far above principalities and powers and thrones and names that shall be named, not only in this world but also in the world to come.

Paul saw through God’s eyes, had a heavenly perspective. He had told us

In Colossians 3

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

2     Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

 

According to Matthews Henry: ‘All those to whom to live is Christ to them to die will be gain. Death is a great loss to a carnal worldly man; but to a good Christian it is gain. It delivers him from the evils of this life, and brings him to the possession of the chief good.

‘We have naturally an aversion to death but Paul had an inclination to it.’

 

Paul told us we are citizens of heaven, absent with from the body is present with the Lord, if we suffer with Him we will also reign with Him. He knew when he gives up the ghost it is not the end of his life but the end of a chapter on earth and a glorious New Beginning in Heaven.  He believed his Saviour who had promise: ‘Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. I go to prepare a place for you and when I am done I will come and take you so that where I am you may be also.’(John14:3 paraphrase)

 

Why is: ‘to die is Gain’

To die is gain because of reunion

Reunion

 

8       We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 2Cor5:8

1     “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

2     In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3     And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.John14:1-3

 

 

C.S. Lewis said: “Has the world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret?  There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.’

 

Matthews Henry said: “He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his feet in the grave.”

 

Are you looking forward to that reunion? If you know Him, death will not fill you with dread but with great expectation of a happy reunion with your Saviour.

If you don’t know Him you need to fear and if you are not afraid your confidence is hollow and on a shaky foundation. You will have a rude awakening on that Day. And this is an opportunity for you to make your peace with Him. Heaven and hell are real.

 

‘Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God. (John3:3) As many as received Him to them He gave the power to become children of God. (John1:12)   Jesus said ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and open I will come and dine with him and he with me. (Rev3:20)

       that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

10     For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11     For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

13     For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

 

This is a time for sober relection; a time for repentance and reconciliatioion and restoration. Today, if you hear His voice do not harden your heart. Let Him in!

Jesus talked more about hell than He did about heaven. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. Heaven is a place for those who have made Jesus the Lord of their lives- not because they said a sinner’s prayer once and went back to live their lives to themselves but because they followed through that first commitment and lived in Him and for Him. Anybody can say a sinner’s prayer from their head but whether or not it came from the heart is a different questioned and will be evidenced from your commitment to Him thereafter. Someone said “Jesus is not Lord at all unless He is Lord of ALL” another way of looking at this is : ‘If Jesus is not Lord of ALL, He is not Lord at all.’

21   “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22     Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

23     And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

24     “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:

25     and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26     “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:

27     and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”Matt7:21-27

 

Have you set your affection on things above? Are you looking forward to meeting Jesus? Are earthly allurements beclouding heavenly realities?

 

Are you a believer and have you lost a love one who is a believer? Only you can answer that question. If you have any doubt, this is a good occasion to reconcile yourself to Christ.

If you are sure of your salvation know that death is a door that has ushered your loved one into the presence of Jesus in heaven.   You are going to see them again on the last day.

 

 

 

Resurrection

Yes, we have the assurance that because we believe in the Lord we shall rise again on the last day.

 

23     Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24     Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25     Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

26     And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

 

2       Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

3       And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1John3:2-3

 

Are you a child of God?

Do you have this blessed hope that when He is revealed you will be like Him, having a glorified body?

Paul said:

The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.

43     It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.

44     It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

45     And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

So as your spirit and soul depart at death, you await the glorious new day when Jesus comes with you at the trumpet call, when those  who are dead in Christ will rise first and those who are alive and remain will be caught up with the Lord in the air, reunited with the saints who have gone before.  These are also the cloud of witnesses in the gallery of heaven who have been cheering us on from there in our Race of Grace:

“Come on…You can make it. Don’t give up! We made it, so can you.” Heb12:1-3

 

1       Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2       looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Joseph: ‘My dreams got me into trouble but I dreamed again. I was falsely accused and imprisoned but God held me and brought me out in the fullness of time to fulfil vision.’

 

Cloud of witnesses

Paul: ‘in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,

5       in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings…2cor6:4

2Cor11:23 in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.

24     From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.

25     Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;

26     in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

27     in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness —

28     besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.

29     Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?

30     If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.’

 

 Readiness for Rapture

Death is gain because you are being prepared for rapture.

 

Rapture

14     For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15     For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.

16     For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

17     Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

18     Therefore comfort one another with these words.

 

1COr15 26        The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

 

Remaining in His Love

In death the believer knows that nothing can separate him or her from the love of God. What an assurance!

 

38     For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

39     nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans8:38-39

8       For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

 Rom14:8

15     Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.

 Ps116:15

That is why even though you walk in the shadow of death you need not fear any evil. Besides, you’re only walking in the shadow of death. A shadow does not harm or hurt. Jesus took the full force or penalty of death for you so you need not fear as you pass through the door of death to eternity.

 

Relocation

When you die you are just changing places, from earth to heaven, temporary and transient to the eternal. Your dosh does not follow you (if you have some) but your deeds – good deeds- follow you. Rev14:13

 

 

Death is gain because of Rest from labours

13     Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”Rev14:13

When you think of how you combine two or three jobs just to make ends meet, which refused to meet. You are always robbing Peter to pay Paul and none of them was satisfied. You finished with one challenge and another one surfaced and you wondered, ‘Lord, I wish you would come quickly.’ And death comes, surely a relief, a rest from all your struggles.

You were paying rent and you aspired to have your own house. Then you graduated, had a mortgage, now the mortgage is like a noose on your neck.  You know you have a vision but you are wondering: ‘If I leave this job and start my ministry I may not be able to pay my bills and so ministry takes a back seat.

 

Death is gain because of Rewards

Why? We know that there will be a time for showing; a time for giving account for how we have lived our lives; time for His glorious appearing when we, like the servants in the parable of the talents will meet our Master and Maker, Lover and Owner to answer for our stewardship. (Luke16)

May you and I be greeted with ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

 because we have traded what was given to us and gained more, in Jesus’ name. Matt25:21

Don’t trade your talent for a mess of pottage that the world has to offer. Use your gift for the purpose God gave it to you. Use it to glorify Him don’t prostitute it.

 

12     So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.Rom14:12

24     Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

25     And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

26     Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.

27     But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

It is a place for reward such as crowns:

 

7       I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

8       Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Crowns in Christ (poem)

 

The Crown of Rejoicing doubtless comes
to those who delight in winning souls
who go out weeping sowing precious seeds
making outreach their call, their goal.
1Thess2:19-20

The Crown Incorruptible surely comes
To those who run the Race of Grace well
Who commit to strict discipline, deny themselves
And focus on Jesus in order to excel.
2Cor9:24-27

The Crown of Righteousness will come
To those who long for and love his appearing
Who fight the good fight of faith
Run their course, keep the faith, not wavering
2Tim4:5-8

The Crown of Life will fitly come
To those who endure the trials of life
And overcome because of their love for God
They are ready to lay down their lives
James1:12

The Crown of Glory will gladly come
To the shepherd, the faithful pastor
Who feeds and not fleeces the sheep
Who, the broken hearted restores.
1Pet5:2-4
http://christian-talk.forumotion.com/t3625-the-crowns-in-christ

To die is gain because of Rejoicing.

 

1       Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

2       Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3       And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

4       And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

 Rev21:1-4

Friend when we leave this earthly plane for the shores of heaven, when mortality clothes immortality; when we leave the temporal for the for the eternal, when the last enemy is beaten hands down, it will not be a time of foreboding like those who do not know where they are going. It will be a time of rest, a time of resurrection, a time of great reunion and of course great rejoicing.

 

For, the description of heaven that we have read in the Holy Writ is nothing compare to what we shall be greeted with.

It shall be a time of great rejoicing because it will be a time Rest… Rewards….Resurrection…Relocation…Rapture

 

So what is in it for us who are still alive? Should we all go and die because to die is gain? No!

We are here because of the grace.  We are here because we have work to do. We are here because God is giving us chance to repent if we have not. We are here because God wants to prepare us for the prepared place if we are not prepared yet.

Yes, it is natural to mourn our loved ones, but we do not mourn like those who do not have hope.

 

13     But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.

14     For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.1Thess4:13-14

 

16     For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

17     Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

18     Therefore comfort one another with these words.

 

David mourned before his child die hope God will spare his life but after the child died David pulled himself together and carried on pressing on.

 

23     But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”2Sam12:23

 

So beloved, your beloved, our beloved who have gone cannot be brought back but you can go to them at your appointed time. Therefore, live your life to the full. Complete the good work they have started.  Keep flying their flag to the glory of God.

 

Your sister shall live again; your brother…  mother…, father…; your friend…; your cousin… etc, etc

They are now citizens of heaven who have taken residence in heaven, ambassadors who have been called home for good.  You will join them in your time.

 

Death is under the feet of Jesus.

We are His body and so death is under our feet.

 

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.

9       But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Heb2:8-9

 

Should we all go and die because death is gain?

Certainly, not!

Gate-crashing to a party is as wrong as gate-crashing to the gate of death.  Wait for your turn. Don’t commit suicide because of the trials and tribulations. Use them to climb higher and higher like Paul did.

Let the trials make you better and not bitter.  Trade with your talents and gain more so that you will have something better than you were given to show your Master.

Forget your past achievements and failures and press on for the mark of the price of the high-calling in Christ Jesus. Press on to the finishing line so that you too can say with Paul:

6       For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

7       I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

8       Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Spurgeon wrote on this theme of death in his devotional:

“These all died in faith.”-Hebrews 11:13

“Behold the epitaph of all those blessed saints who fell asleep before the coming of our Lord! It matters nothing how else they died, whether of old age, or by violent means; this one point, in which they all agree, is the most worthy of record, “they all died in faith.” In faith they lived-it was their comfort, their guide, their motive and their support; and in the same spiritual grace they died, ending their life-song in the sweet strain in which they had so long continued. They did not die resting in the flesh or upon their own attainments; they made no advance from their first way of acceptance with God, but held to the way of faith to the end. Faith is as precious to die by as to live by.

Dying in faith has distinct reference to the past. They believed the promises which had gone before, and were assured that their sins were blotted out through the mercy of God. Dying in faith has to do with the present. These saints were confident of their acceptance with God, they enjoyed the beams of His love, and rested in His faithfulness. Dying in faith looks into the future. They fell asleep, affirming that the Messiah would surely come, and that when He would in the last days appear upon the earth, they would rise from their graves to behold Him. To them the pains of death were but the birth-pangs of a better state. Take courage, my soul, as thou readest this epitaph…”

 

 

In conclusion

 

Press on so that you too can say at the end of your Day, your Chapter on planet earth:

“It is finished! I have done the work which you gave me to do and now I come to you.”

Use every stumbling block to leap to a higher ground to give glory and honour to God.

 

Celebrate the life of your loved one who has gone to be with the Lord, because to live is Christ and to die is gain.

 

 

 

Death to the Believer

 

Death to the believer

Not a dark vale of doom

But door to the better

Higher, greater, sweeter;

Ushering into heaven’s bloom.

 

Death to the believer

Is the end of suffering

End of pain, end of tears

End of mourning and fears

And glorious New Beginning.

 

Death of the Redeemed

The dawning of the blessed hope

Eternal life with God in heaven

Abode of all blood-washed citizens

Prepared, furnished by the God of Hope.

 

 

Death of the Redeemed

Chariot that takes you to Jesus

Door that delivers glories beyond

His manifest presence has dawned

You’ve come from minus to plus.

 

So believer press on

As you wait for your turn

Throw sorrow and fear away

As you wait for your day

Do your work while it is day

Until you finish and finish well.

 

You can go on because of His grace

Replenished daily as you seek His face

You may be disappointed

 But don’t be despondent.

Let your focus be on Jesus

Author and Finisher of your faith.

 

 

 

I Have Carved You

 

I have carved you –

Not just your name

Not just your frame

But your whole being

Your whole image

Including your age

and all your days

on the palm of My Hands.

 

You’re a constant movie

Right before my eyes

I see where you are

I know where you’re going

I see what you ‘re doing

I feel your pain

I know your concerns

I have not forgotten you

And will never forget you.

 

My well never runs dry

My sun never sets

My fountain of love is ever full

And is even running over

Let this dry your tears

and drown your sorrows

and drive away your fears

deal a death blow to your doubt.

 

Let us pray

Heavenly Father

We thank you for opening our eyes to see to that to live is Christ and to died is gain.

 

Thank You granting us grace to remain here because of the work you have for us to do. O that we will resolve to find that purpose and pursue it with passion and finish it to your glory.

Lord, for those who do not know You, may this be a time of sober reflection and coming to know You and walking with You with confidence assurance that heaven is their home, absent in the body, present with the Lord.

Father, open our eyes to see the gain there is in the death of our loved one; a time of reunion with our other dead loved ones; a time of rejoicing a time of rest, a time of awaiting their reward.

 

O that we would not mourn like those who do not have hope, knowing that we cannot bring the dead back but we can go them when our time comes.

 

Help us, O Lord, to press on like Paul, forgetting the past disappointments and achievements and press on for the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Help us, Lord, to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith, and fight the good fight of faith so that we too can say at the end of our journey here:

‘I am ready to be offered as drink offering.  I have fought the good fight. I have finished my race. I have kept the faith. Henceforth is kept for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge will give to me and not to me but to all those who are awaiting His appearing.’

Spirit of the living God, come and revive and energise us and comfort us to see through the eyes of God and match on from strength to strength and from glory to glory until we are able to say: ‘I have finished the work which You gave me to do. It is finished and now I come to You.’ in Jesus name, amen.

©Fenny west 2012