Sharing Jesus Part Two

God's Message on the Web - My earliest podcasts.

May we begin with this reading:

John 5:19-30, Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

The giving of gifts is an art form in any society. For example, one must understand the value of a gift before he understands the significance of the gift. The significance of a gift is not determined by the receiver but by the giver. Until the receiver appreciates the significance of a gift, he/she is not in a position to appreciate the significance of the gift. If the receiver thinks of the value of the gift only in selfish terms (considering only what the gift means to him), he may miss the significance and value of the gift.

Permit me to give two examples to illustrate the truth of the statement just made.

Years ago, by virtue of opportunity I did not create and circumstances I did not produce, I helped complete a lengthy process that gave the church legal status in another country. The students in the Bible training school in which I taught wanted to celebrate that positive conclusion to a lengthy, uncertain process of questionable outcome. A part of the celebration involved the students laughingly, giddily, dressing me as a chief and presenting me with certain items that looked interesting but rather common to me. A year later I learned by accident the significance of the honor they showed me and the effort they made to obtain permission to present me with what I regarded to be “common items.” Only then did I begin to realize the significance of what they did. My appreciation of their gift was immediately transformed.

The second example comes from Luke 21:1-4. As Jesus watched the wealthy place their gifts in the temple treasury to support the temple’s work, he observed a poor widow (the height of helplessness among the helpless) placing two small (we likely would say tiny) copper coins in the same treasury for the same purposes. Jesus stated, “She has given more than the wealthy gave.” What a strange statement! How much wood for the sacrifices would her two small coins buy? Jesus explained, “The wealthy gave from their surplus. She gave all she had to live on.” One could not appreciate the significance of what she gave until he understood what her gift meant to her.

The patience of God in producing our salvation is much more than good news–it is incredible news!

  1. From the moment sin began its rule over people (Genesis 3), God began His redemption journey that would culminate in humans having the choice of salvation.
    1. In God’s determined pursuit of our salvation, He endured much to give us the choice to be reunited with Him, just as people were given the choice to rebel against Him.
      1. People chose to be rebellious.
      2. God labored to give us the choice to be righteous before Him.
    2. The patient God watched as a humanity that began in absolute goodness descended into absolute evil.
      1. When God looked at all He made (including people), he was pleased!
        Genesis 1:27-31, God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food,” and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
      2. Then God watched as a humanity that was good and pleased Him descended into evil through choices God did not make.
        Genesis 6:5-6, Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

        1. Though only three chapters are involved, a lot of time passed.
        2. In this transition, there were people like Abel, Seth, Enoch, the people who called on the Lord’s name (Genesis 4:26), and the sons of God (Genesis 6:2).
        3. God watched as people made bad choices, and all people such as Seth, Enoch, and the sons of God disappeared.
        4. He watched as people became so wicked that they did not have any good intents–they were inwardly evil as well as evil acting.
        5. He watched until the human wickedness was so great that He was sorry that He made human beings and was deeply grieved at what people had become.
        6. Yet, in all this He did not give up–rather He attempted to begin again.
      3. Yet, God’s attempt to begin again met with failure because, again, a human made a rebellious choice.
    3. Even though God’s attempt to begin again was frustrated by human decisions to do evil, God did not give up.
      1. He waited until a man like Abraham existed.
      2. Though Abraham was likely an idol worshipper before he met God, living in a society that looked upon deity with idolatrous views (see Joshua 24:2), Abraham was a man capable of enormous faith in God once God spoke to him.
      3. Abraham, in faith, did things most of us would not seriously consider doing.
        1. Though he was a very obedient man, he is forever known as the man capable of great faith in God.
        2. As an act of faith, he lived as a nomad in a area where evil people coveted what he possessed.
        3. As an act of faith, he was willing to sacrifice his son of promise to God Who made the promise.
    4. The patient God waited until the man of faith became a nation.
      1. Have you ever thought about how long it takes a man without children to become a nation?
      2. The patient God waited until the family of Abraham became a mass of slaves in a country that wanted them to be there as slaves, but not as a people.
      3. The patient God prepared them a leader, removed them (with major opposition) from slavery, delivered them at the Red Sea, and led them to Sinai.
      4. Everything they were, and everything they would become, they owed to God.
        1. He rescued them from slavery.
        2. He gave them freedom.
        3. He made it possible for them to have a country of their own.
        4. He provided them the guidance they needed to allow them to become a people like no other people in their time.
        5. Without the acts of God, they would not even exist–they literally owed God everything.
      5. And all God wanted was a people who listened to Him, who lived in His ways, and who were uniquely His people–what God wanted was the source of their blessings!
    5. The patient God proceeded toward His objective even when Israel was faithless in its leadership or as a people or both.
      1. He worked with Israel through the period of the judges, even when Israel was faithless.
      2. He worked with Israel in the the period of the united kingdom even though 2 of the 3 kings abandoned Him, and all 3 made inexcusable mistakes.
      3. He worked with the 10 tribes who devoted themselves to idolatry until the Assyrian captivity, giving them repeated opportunities to turn from their evil.
      4. He worked with Judah until, through, and after the Babylonian captivity.
      5. He worked with the returning remnant through the period between the Old and New Testaments.
      6. In all these hundreds of years, Israel was faithless much more often than they were faithful, but the patient God refused to give up until He achieved His objective of creating opportunity for reconciliation.
  2. Finally, God could send His Messiah (Christ) with a realistic expectation that someone would listen to him and make the choice to be reconciled to God.
    1. When he was born, the angels announced it:
      And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:9-14).
    2. When Jesus was presented at the temple, Simeon said:
      Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel (Luke 2:29-32).
    3. At 12 years of age, Jesus said of himself:
      “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)
    4. When the man Jesus approached John the baptizer, John said of him:
      “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”  John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God” (John 1:29-34).
    5. Years later Peter wrote these words regarding God’s redemptive work in Jesus:
      But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:8, 9).

Have you ever seen the patience of God in your salvation? Have you ever considered how long God endured in order to give you opportunity to be reconciled to God?

Have you responded to God’s patience by making your choice to be reconciled to Him?

None of us begin to know what a great thing the patient God has done for us in our salvation until we begin to understand what God endured to make our salvation possible.

David Chadwell

Author: Greg

Welcome to Gods Message on the web. My name is Greg and I want to welcome you. I started doing these Podcasts, MP3, and Audio Books back in 2007. Stay awhile and make yourself at home. The Christian Podcasts here are free and for everyone to enjoy. I’m doing a complete series on David Chadwell who is a retired minister from Fort Smith, Arkansas. I’ve also done an Audio Book for Wayne Jacobsen’s the Naked Church. Plus a series of MP3s for Pastor Billy Crone and his The Final Countdown series.

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