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Thread: In step

  1. #1501
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    Default Re: In step

    A blank cheque

    For reading & meditation: Luke 22:39-48

    "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (v. 42)

    We have seen over the past two days how Jesus, when faced with the news that some Greeks wanted to interview Him, appeared to be precipitated into a spiritual crisis. Whatever we make of this incident in the life of our Lord, it is fairly obvious that some deep struggle is going on inside Him.

    And the terms of that struggle are also clear: "What shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour" (John 12:27).

    This passage in John 12 underlines most powerfully the humanity of Jesus. We see Him recoiling for a moment and only for a moment - from the grim ordeal that He was about to face on Calvary, but He comes through to reaffirm His unswerving commitment to His Father's eternal will and purpose. Note once again the truth that seemed to sustain Him in this dark and crucial hour: "I must fall and die like a grain of wheat that falls between the furrows of the earth.

    Unless I die I will be alone - a single seed. But my death will produce many new wheat grains - a plentiful harvest of new lives" (John 12:23-24, TLB). He gave a blank cheque to God signed in His own blood. He would fall into the ground and die and bear a rich and bountiful harvest.

    He aligned Himself with self-giving and not self-saving. The momentous issue with which our Lord struggled in that hour is similar to the one which you and I are being called to face in these meditations - to die or not to die. The way we respond to it will determine our life-direction.

    Prayer:
    Father, I sense that quietly things are heading toward a moment of crisis in my life - a crisis of commitment. Help me to see these things, not merely as a matter for discussion, but a matter for decision. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

  2. #1502
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    Default Re: In step

    The deepest law

    For reading & meditation: Matthew 10:24-39

    "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."(v.39)

    Out of this incident of the Greeks seeking an interview with Jesus came these great truths that Jesus uttered. We have already looked at some of our Lord's famous statements in John chapter 12 - here is another: "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (John 12:25). What does it mean - "The man who loves his life will lose it"?

    It means that when you focus on your interests alone, your life will disintegrate. Those who have no one to centre on other than themselves and live only to have their own way finish up bankrupt, beggared and defeated. Dorothy Sayers put the same truth most effectively when she said: "Hell is the enjoyment of having one's own way for ever." But the rest of the verse is just as true: "The man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

    In other words, lose your life in the plans and purposes of God and you will find the true meaning of your existence. It is a paradox, but nevertheless true, that you are never so much your own as when you are most His.

    Bound to Him, you walk the earth free. Low at His feet, you stand straight before anything or anyone else. You suddenly realise that you have aligned yourself with the creative forces of the universe, so you are free - free to create, free to love, free to be at your best, free to be all that He desires you to be.

    And this is not just mere acquiescence. It is co-operation with the power that raised Jesus from the dead. No wonder someone called this principle, "the deepest law in the universe".

    Prayer:
    O God, once again You are boring deep - but You have my permission to keep going. When Your drill strikes hard resistances in me, don't hold back. I want the deep living waters of Your presence and power. Amen.

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