Category Archives: Restoration

Jesus is God’s plan!

When we are talking about god’s plan of salvation we are really talking about a person: the God man Jesus Christ. His name means God is saviour or Joshua. Jesus the rescuer; He is God’s elect!

When did God come up with this plan?

jesusLet’s think for a moment. At what point in history did God come up with a plan to save humanity? Was it as a reaction to Adam’s sin? Did God have an emergency board meeting discussing what action heaven should take? No, God’s plan is and always will be the cross of Jesus – even before sin entered the world through Adam and Eve.

1 Peter 1:20 “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”

Inventors of evil things

Incidentally, it seems a bit remiss of God not to warn Adam that if he sinned, not only would his children die but that they would burn for ever and ever tortured in hell? The simple explanation of course, is that it just isn’t true!

Romans 1:30 “inventors of evil things”.

I believe that only the wicked minds of men could invent and plan such horrible tortures inducing fear and control. That’s what religion does best! Look at its fruit: in the past – the inquisition and the burning or heretics. Today? Groups like Westbro Baptist Church and ISIS  (Islam has a similar theology of Hell based on gnostic Roman Catholicism but reserved for all those who don’t believe in Islam!)

Jeremiah 32:25 “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”

However, I’m getting a bit distracted here. Just to say that God is a good God and he plans good things:

1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Ephesians 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”

Jesus draws all men

Anyway, back to my point. Jesus is God’s plan. He is God’s choice and we are ALL chosen in him. This plan is all about Jesus; he is the focal point of history drawing ALL men and ALL things to himself!

John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (pull) all men unto me.”

John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

What is that attraction? It is power of unconditional love! Resurrection power!

Colossians 1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Jesus died for all

Anyhow, let’s have a look at what Jesus has done for us all at the cross. Firstly, Jesus didn’t just come to die for mankind. He came to die AS mankind.

2 Corinthians 5 “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again”

Therefore, this means that we should look at lost people around us differently. Not one of them is beyond the grace of God! Our only claim to fame, is that because we believe and are called christians, we now have been given a job to do: we are on God’s welcoming committee!

What about those who don’t hear this good news and die in their sins? Does death mean that Jesus gives up the search? After that point we are a lost cause? Death and the devil won! Just a minute though, Jesus came to save the lost – what can be more lost than missing the final call!

Jesus has the keys of death and hell so if he wishes to preach to the spirits in prison – who is going to stop him!

Jesus paid for all

Secondly, he’s paid everyone’s outstanding debt of sin!

1 Timothy 2:6 “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

John 1:9 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Everyone is included! Jesus is the saviour of all men not some exclusive group!

Jesus  – the saviour of all

1 Timothy 4:10 “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

For fun, let’s rewrite this verse as a Calvinist and then an Arminian:

If the bible was written by Calvinists this verse would say the following: God is not the saviour of all men only those that believe (the elect)

If the bible was written by an Arminian this verse would say the following: God wishes to be the saviour of all men but unfortunately he can only save those who believe in this lifetime.

Fortunately for us, the sentence structure is used identically elsewhere so the meaning is crystal clear with no ambiguity.

Galatians 6:10 “as we have opportunity let us do good unto all men especially those who believe.”

When you put these two verses together it leaves very little wiggle room as to the meaning of ‘all’.  In other words, Galatians 6:10 means that you are supposed to do good to everyone but ‘particularly’ (same Greek word in both verses) those within your sphere of influence: your neighbour, your church family.

Therefore, 1 Timothy 4:10 means: that God saves ALL. We all qualify but of course to experience that salvation we have to believe it! If we substitute other words instead of saviour the meaning abundantly becomes clear: “God is the judge of all men but especially those who believe.” (this is true by the way!)

Conclusions?

Consequently, could it be that Jesus wins all in the end?

Philippians 2:10 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (see 1 corinthians 12:3) to the glory of God the Father.

1 Corinthians 15:28 “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

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Love never fails (Part 1)

Gods brilliant plan (Part 2)

How big are God’s plans? (Part 3)

God is a universalist (Part 4)

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How big are God’s plans?

How extensive is God’s plan of salvation? I mean, how really big does the ALMIGHTY God and creator of the universe think? How big are God’s plans for his creation?

God’s rescue plan – how big?

entebbeIn fact, if he tells us that he can do far more than we can ask or imagine then surely the Gospel has to be a hyper, super, huge, massive epic victory of monumental and universal proportions!

What can we imagine? What about something small-scale like the Israeli  Entebbe rescue operation – saving a few hundred hostages from the clutches of terrorists?

Or maybe, on a bit bigger scale, an operation closer to a Dunkirk, when the majority of the dunkirkBritish Army (338,000 men)  ‘miraculously’ saved from the clutches of the German invaders by an improvised armada of vessels?

What if, Gods plan of salvation is not restricted, as the Calvinists believe, to a small group of people the elect but is in fact universal in scope?

Israel only?

Of course though, when Jesus started his ministry, indeed it was confined to the tiny nation of Israel.

Matthew 15:24 “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

That is why, you must read the Gospel’s through the lens of Jesus coming to his own people: the lost sheep of Israel. Did others get in on the act? Oh yes of course, but it really awaited the Apostle Paul to explain how that God’s plan of salvation was for ALL people regardless of nationality, gender, skin colour or creed.

Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

The whole world is included

In fact, John in his famous text makes the same momentous announcement: God doesn’t just love Israel. No, he loves the whole world and Jesus came to save ALL of it!

worldJohn 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

1 John 4:14 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”

Again, the despised Samaritans – who had no legitimate claim on God, assert that they are included in this world-wide salvation!

John 4:42 “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”

All creation

Let’s not stop there though because this plan of redemption and salvation is not just restricted to human beings – it is for all creation! (Have you ever wondered why the disciples were told to preach all creation)

Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Colossians 1:28 “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;”

The reason for this, is that the fall of man has affected the whole of creation; creation groans. Consequently, God’s plan isn’t just to save a few people and then get them out of here and then let the whole lot fall apart in some divine demolition! No way! God cares not just about suffering human beings but about all creation! His plan is complete restoration. Anything less than this is not the Gospel.

Isaiah 11:9 “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Therefore, the scope of the cross reaches from the lowest depths of hell to the heights of heaven!

universalColossians 1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Revelation 5:13 “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

Therefore, if you are part of the elect (a member of the church of the living God), then get busy – you have a job to do! All creation awaits your revelation! 

Romans 8:18 “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

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Love never fails (Part 1)

Gods brilliant plan (Part 2)

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Download my book ‘LOST’ – FREE!

bookIn this short and inspiring little book, Paul Noble reveals a Saviour-Shepherd-God who searches diligently for each of His lost sheep UNTIL He finds them. However, there’s no lost sinner MORE lost than the self righteous religious soul who regards him or herself as qualified for divine acceptance because of his or her own good deeds, done in a spirit of slavish servitude with expectation of just recompense.

But there’s hope for even the most  self righteous and self-deceived among us! After all, any of us might be such–given the right chemistry, temperament, and circumstances, right? I believe that you will find Paul Noble’s portrayal of our Saviour-God’s heart and diligence to pursue and restore us deeply touching and encouraging.

Our Heavenly Father will never force us to receive Him or recognise our father-child relationship with Him. HOWEVER. . .! Our Saviour-Shepherd-God CANNOT help being the Wonderful, All-Powerful LIGHT that He is, and there’s no inner darkness too black, obscure, entrenched or hidden that it can escape His healing radiance. His arms are ALWAYS open to us! May His Spirit inspire you to worship as you read these pages!

–Charles Slagle
Author of ‘From the Father’s Heart’

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Party over! (Lost son part 5)

The party is over!

The big problem with sin, is for the most part its enjoyable!

Hebrews 11:25 “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”

Unfortunately, for the sinner though, its pleasure doesn’t last and it always has consequences. In other words –  there is always a big price tag attached! The party is soon over!

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Severe famine

Luke 15: 14 “But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.”

partyFor the prodigal son therefore,  this is exactly what he comes to realise, as his money soon runs out and unfortunately for him, this coincides, with severe country-wide famine! Suddenly, he finds himself alone, in need and desperate. Rashly, he joins himself to a citizen of the country who breeds pigs. All that does though, is increase his hunger, as the pigs seem to be better fed than him!

The phrase: “no one gave him anything” is particularly poignant, as at one point he had everything: including a family, food and a job. Now however, he has nothing. He is living in a graceless society; it’s survival of the fittest! Ironically, later on in the story, the elder son later accuses the Father of never giving him a goat to celebrate with his friends, insinuating the Father’s lack of generosity – go figure!

Alone and empty

pigsThe prodigal however, is learning a salutary lesson from these difficult times. The party has ended and he’s alone.

7 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”

 Now, he’s got lots of time time to think! Suddenly, he comes to the realisation that if he doesn’t do something drastic –  then he’s soon going to be in the grave: dead from starvation. In other words he going to ‘perish’ with hunger –  there’s our greek word ‘appolymi’ or ‘lost’ again!

He comes to life!

I love it though,  when it says that ‘he came to himself’. It’s as if he’s been asleep and finally he’s begun to wake up. Indeed, the dead son is coming back to life! He realises how stupid he’s been! Even the servants in his Father’s house are better fed than him! Anyway, that’s what his grumbling and empty stomach tells him. In fact, maybe these dire circumstances are a blessing in disguise? Could it be, that his Father prayed every day for his son’s return and yet God engineered a famine? Who knows!

Partly, this parable is again about repentance or a change of mind. This is what we see as the prodigal comes to his senses! This results in an action plan and a simple decision – he’s going home.

What am I going to say?

However, what is he going to say? How will his Father react? This time however, instead of demanding what’s is his from his Father, he’s going to approach with humility: confessing that he sinned against heaven (God) and also towards his Father – the angels are already holding a party!

However, although his humility is good, like the elder son, the younger son doesn’t yet really know the heart of his Father because his solution is to become a slave.  He’s playing safe and setting his expectations low. He can believe that his Father might be merciful because after all, he still family but the abundant; over the top; magnificent hyper-grace that he’s about to receive – no way.  If he’s lucky, he thinks he might be to spend a few nights bedding down in the stables?

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Further reading:

Part 4 a lost son (departure)

Part 3 a lost coin

Part 2 a lost sheep

Part 1 Lost 

Lost and found

A purpose focused church

Other Kindle Books!

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Forgiven – how do I know?
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The departure (a lost son part 4)

Death – the ultimate loss

grave stoneThe departure or death of a loved one is probably the most painful circumstance for any human being to handle – the ultimate loss. Of course, if the particular circumstances are tragic or unresolved, then it can be even more devastating.

The first tragic death and murder is that of Abel, murdered by his elder brother Cain in a fit of jealous rage. (Genesis 4). Imagine, how his parents, Adam and Eve, must have grieved and regretted their own sin – which had started this deadly ball rolling!

Joseph and Jacob (Genesis 37)

Later on, and in the same book of Genesis, we have another family tragedy: Joseph (again the younger) and the favourite of his elderly Father Jacob, is betrayed by his jealous elder brothers and sold into slavery into Egypt. The guilty brothers trick Jacob into believing that Joseph is dead (killed by a wild animal). Poor Jacob the deceiver has been deceived. He is heart broken and grief stricken. Fortunately, the story has a happy ending, as several years later Jacob is amazed to find that his son is not only alive and well – but the ruler of all Egypt!

The Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-14)

desert islandIf I was left on a desert island and I could only have one portion of scripture, the parable of the prodigal son would be it! I believe that this parable is one of the greatest illustrating the Gospel of Grace. 

In previous articles, we looked at the two previous parts: the lost sheep, and the lost coin but in the parable of the lost son we are at the momentous climax. Indeed, this whole three part parable in Luke 15  suggests that the divine trinity is fully involved in redemption: the Shepherd (Jesus) ; the Women (Holy Spirit) and the Father (Father.) For those that don’t think that the trinity is found in scripture – “put that in your pipe and smoke it!”

Luke 15: 11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.

A departure!

departuresThe parable begins with an unreasonable demand from the younger of two sons. He wants his inheritance and he wants it now. Effectively, he is saying: “Father I want you dead!”. Personally, I would have told him where to stick it! I mean, didn’t the Father guess how the son was going to spend his money – wine, women and song; in other words prodigally or wastefully!

Of course, every Jewish boy would have learnt  the commandment: ” honour your Father and Mother”, so, he’s not just rebelling against his Father but against heaven (God). By the way, where is the mother in this story? If the Father was recently bereaved then this would make the story even more poignant!

Proverbs 15:20 “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.”

Just to add insult to injury though, a few days later after receiving his portion of the inheritance, he’s up and out the door. What about his responsibilities on the farm? Maybe, that’s why his elder brother is so furious on his return?

How we treated God

Isn’t that a picture of how we treat God though? Arrogantly, we turn our backs on God or as the famous song says: “I did it my way.”  We don’t want to retain God in our knowledge and yet we blame natural disasters as ‘acts of God’?

Romans 1:28 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”

Hiding from God

Indeed, you get the feeling that this younger son just wants to escape. He wants to blot out all memory of his Father’s house. Now he can live as he chooses. No one to tell him what to do. No one to ‘rain on his parade’. Now he’s free to live it up – and that’s exactly what he does!

Certainly, this typifies the human race from the moment that Adam and Eve sinned and hid in the garden. Did God separate himself from them or did they become enemies in their minds -separating themselves?

Genesis 3:10 “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Does sin separate us from God?

Does sin then, really separate us from God as many Evangelicals preach from the pulpit? Habakuk 1:13 is often the verse quoted as a proof text. However, you can see that it’s in the form of theological argument as to justice rather than proof that God can’t go anywhere near sin!

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?”

I mean, if God couldn’t go anywhere near sin or even look upon it, then why would God himself come in the person of Jesus to live amongst sinners? Indeed, what upset the religious and pharisees (separate ones), was that Jesus called himself the friend of tax-gathers and sinners!

We separate ourselves from God

A better explanation therefore, is that sin negatively effects our minds and we separate ourselves from God. We cannot stand his presence. In other words , sin engenders a degeneration in the whole of the human psyche. We become alienated in our minds; building up a negative picture of God. We were created for relationship with God; instead God becomes our enemy!

Colossians 1:21 “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled”.

Ephesians 2:17 “You walk no longer just as the Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them because of the hardness of their heart and they having become callous have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness”

Example: Cain

This separation complex, can be seen in the mind of the first murderer Cain. Even though God is very gracious to him – under the law he would have been put to death –  he seems to be blaming God for his situation, when it’s the shedding of innocent blood at his own hand that has brought a curse on the ground (his lively-hood). Notice, how Cain adds (high-lighted) to the pronounced judgement from God.

Genesis 4:14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.”

Conclusions so far:

Back to our parable though,  surely this verse has echoes of the departure of the younger son from the Father’s house?

“So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.”

“And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.”

Fortunately though, that’s not the end of the story but it does get worse before it gets better. However that’s the topic of the next post!

FREE book: Christ in You!

To help this revolution along download FREE PDF book: “Christ in You.”

Further reading:

Part 5 party over ( a lost son)

Part 3 a lost coin

Part 2 a lost sheep

Part 1 Lost 

Lost and found

A purpose focused church

Other Kindle Books!

Forgiven Book CoverGods Grace Works Book
Forgiven – how do I know?
   NEW!

Gods Grace Works Every Day

Christ the end of law for righteousness

Christ in you – the hope of glory

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In the dark – the lost coin! (part 3)

In the dark!

Luke 15:8 “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

Lost something?

It’s a horrible feeling when you realise that you have misplaced your wallet or mobile phone. I automatically go into deep intercessory prayer – Lord help!

A lost coin

coinHowever, this is the point of the parable of the lost coin in Luke 15. God hasn’t lost something as trivial as a mobile phone. No, He’s lost the whole human race and He’s determined to get us back! In the parable of the lost sheep Jesus is the good shepherd. In this parable, the woman represents the Holy Spirit.

One coin?

Why though, is one coin so important when you have nine left? If you do some research, it is possible that this coin was part of a wedding dowry that the woman wore around her neck. In fact, the drachma coin – which is the correct translation – was a rare coin not in circulation and certainly not the normal possession of a peasant woman.

What does the coin represent?

women lost coinWhat does this coin represent? I believe that it represents our true identity as we are created in the image of God with his value stamped on our lives. Yes, the coin has rolled somewhere into a dark corner – maybe amongst dirt and grime. Nevertheless, it hasn’t changed our value just because we are lost. No, its worth just as much as one of the other coins around the women neck.

What does the women do?

What does the woman do? Does she stand around moping over her loss? No, she goes into action. First, she lights a lamp. Next, out comes the dust pan and broom and the whole house gets a complete spring clean as she searches high and low for the lost coin.

He shines into the darkness

darkWe can learn alot from this. There is no chance that the lost coin can be found in the dark so she lights a lamp. As lost people, that is exactly our condition: we are ‘in the dark.’ I mean, have you ever been in a cave when someone switches out the lights. It’s pitch black, so dark you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. The Bible says that we were in that kind of darkness – a darkness that had power over us and somehow characterises us!

Colossians 1:13 “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”

Ephesians 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”

Translated from darkness!

The devil’s occult or hidden realm therefore, is one of darkness and once we are found by the Lord we are translated from darkness into the kingdom of light! Every shadow has to flee; every dark corner is revealed in our lives as the Holy Spirit goes to work!

2 Peter 1:19 “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light G3088 that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:”

2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

She sweeps the house

Cleaning houseNext, the woman gets the broom and starts to sweep and tidy the house. This is exactly the strategy of the Holy Spirit in our lives as he goes around with his divine vacuum cleaner getting rid of the remains of last nights pizza and dirty dishes. ‘Tidying up’ is essentially separating the common from the precious or holy.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Then the mop is out, cleaning  floors and making the place spick and span. Wow this house is starting to look really good!

Ephesians 5:26 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word”

Of course, this is all in aid of finding the lost coin – and that’s exactly why holiness in our lives is good.

God loves a party

Therefore, God is not a party-pooper, a perfectionist only interested in a clean house. No, this is all for a reason – and indeed later on when she finds the coin –  the added bonus is that she can invite her neighbours into a nice clean house made ready for a celebration and party!

Diligently searching

Of course, while she is diligently cleaning the house she is looking out for the glint of silver. She searches everywhere. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is brilliant at searching for that which is lost:

1 Corinthians 2:10 “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Imagine the joy on the face of the woman, as at last she finds the coin in a dark corner, maybe covered in dust or worse. Joyfully she cleans it up and it’s restored back to its original beauty.

Real life example – Bartimeus

For a moment though, lets jump to a real life example in the life of Jesus. In Luke 18 we have the wonderful story of Bartimeus the blind beggar. In Luke 18 we are not told his name but we are told in the paralell passage in Mark 10. His name means: ‘son of Timeus’ and Timeus means ‘highly prized.’ That certainly relates to what we were saying about the preciousness of the lost coin.

Luke 18 35 Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. 36And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. 37So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”39Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?”He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” 42Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

Blind and a beggar

However, even though his name  means ‘highly prized’ , here is a man who is not living up to his name. He is three things: he’s blind; he’s a beggar; and he’s a citizen of Jericho – the city of the curse. Surely, that’s just like us.  Even though we are ‘highly prized’ by God, we have been blinded and sold a lie as to our identity and self-worth by the god of this world – the devil. We are lost in our own dark world: the city of the curse.

2 Corinthians 4:4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

The unfortunate consequence of this blindness, is that he is reduced to begging for scraps. He’s at the bottom of the food chain because he cannot work. This is quite a contrast to another citizen of Jericho – who Jesus encounters later on: Zacchaeus who, although very rich, is likewise spiritually blind. Incidentally, his name means ‘pure’ which again, even though people didn’t see him this way, Jesus affirms his value! 

A revelation of Jesus!

What happens in the blind man’s man’s heart though, is a revelation as to who Jesus is. The worth of Jesus as the Son of David – a King! Indeed, light has shone in is heart and no rebuke from those around him is going to shut him up. This lost sheep is going to bleat its head off at top volume until the Good Shepherd responds!

Faith

Again, this an instance of: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! “ Acts 2:21. That’s what faith simply is. It’s recognising our inability; our weakness; blindness and helplessness; yet we call upon God to help. Indeed, its precious faith that Jesus is searching for and to this man  he says an interesting thing: “your faith has made you well.”.  What is God looking for? He’s looking for faith in the hearts of men:

Luke 18:8 “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

Faith, therefore, is the currency of heaven. It’s extremely precious and valuable.

1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

He receives his miracle

Therefore,  by faith (his own faith),  he receives this miracle of sight. His eyes are now open; no  longer in the dark. Found! Immediately, the work of repentance and renewal begins in his heart as he begins to discard his old lifestyle! Straightaway, he throws away his old garment (Mark 10) and follows Jesus in the way loudly praising God!

A celebration

Like the woman, who celebrates with her neighbour, this is the fruit of true repentance and a miracle – joy!

Acts 26:18 “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

Fully sighted Bartemeus therefore, is now instantly in the praise and worship team of heaven; part of the royal priesthood!

1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

FREE book: Christ in You!

To help this revolution along download FREE PDF book: “Christ in You.”

Further reading:

Part 4 a lost son

Part 2 a lost sheep

Part 1 Lost 

Lost and found

A purpose focused church

Other Kindle Books!

Forgiven Book CoverGods Grace Works Book
Forgiven – how do I know?
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Gods Grace Works Every Day

Christ the end of law for righteousness

Christ in you – the hope of glory

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Lost! (part 1)

Being lost!

lostI don’t know about you but I really enjoyed the enigmatic TV series lost. I’m not sure I understood it – it lost me at times! However, it was a good title, as ‘lost’ accurately describes the precarious situation the survivors of the air-crash find themselves in, trapped on a strange island.

Of course, in these days of Satellite-Navigation systems and Google Maps, its actually allot harder to get lost. If you do find yourself in that unfortunate situation all you have to do is resort to asking for help from a passer by: “please can you help me. I’m lost”.

Losing something or someone

Rather than being lost though, it’s losing something important: say a wallet or phone; that is more of our modern day experience. Maybe though, in these days of computers, it could be accidentally deleting an important file or the hard-disk crashing losing all your work. You just pray that you backed up the file so that it can be recovered later! 

All these kind of losses pail into insignificance though when compared to the personal loss of losing a loved one!

Bible definition

Indeed, the Gospels covers all these range of human experiences of ‘lostness’: We have the loss and recovery of sheep, coins, eyesight, health and even the restored to life!

What the Bible means by this word though covers a broader scope than this: the greek word translated lost in the New Testament: apollymi (G622), means not only lost but destroyed, spoiled, perished, ruined or simply broken.

The human condition – lost

In fact, the Bible describes our fallen sinful human condition as being lost. Indeed, there are only two camps: you are either lost or you are saved!

1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that (lost) perish G622 foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

The good news is: that Jesus came to save the lost! He came to rescue persons that are perishing and broken. 

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should G622 not perish, G622 but have everlasting life.

Moreover, God absolutely no desire to see any one of us perish or be lost but come to come to repentance or a change of mind.

Perishing repentance

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

This last verse is interesting as the parable that Jesus tells us in Luke 15 is remarkably about those two concepts. That’s the topic of my next post though!

FREE book!

To help this revolution along download FREE PDF book: “Christ in You.”

Further reading:

Part 2 A lost sheep

A purpose focused church

Other Kindle Books!

Forgiven Book CoverGods Grace Works Book
Forgiven – how do I know?
   NEW!

Gods Grace Works Every Day

Christ the end of law for righteousness

Christ in you – the hope of glory

Facebook page

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