Through the years PRAYER brought a lot of emotional pressure to my soul. Old books and the teachings on prayer did not help. It was very typical of people don’t pray but will hand you a book.
All I could think about this the things that I had done; wrong thoughts that I thought; words that I should not have spoken it was like bilge in the bottom of the boat of my brain. Prayer was like an inventory of all I had done wrong -what a struggle this was! All I could think of was how everything I DID was against God answering my prayers!
Honestly, I left frustrated and angry with NO REST after prayer. Satan was relentless and he brought up things so long ago-I was crushed, crushed by the weight of my sin!!! Here I WAS TRYING TO PRAY.
All the time I did not realize that GOD WAS NOT LOOKING AT THAT. The good or bad or right or wrong that I had done was not the BASIS of my prayers being answered.
The basis of my prayers being answered was that Christ was crushed by my sin, my guilt brought him suffering and my selfishness brought him pain and blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary. He took all of them and drank God’s wrath against them to the dregs of that bitter cup and nothing was left but peace, forgiveness and acceptance.
Now, it would almost seem when I utter the words “in Jesus name” that it brings Calvary to God’s mind, the pleasure he has in Christ that now he has in me and that the Holy Spirit takes what I pray and reinterprets them before God with the right language prayed by a righteous person was made righteous only by the blood of Jesus.
“Your love is better than wine.”
The love of Christ is like those clusters of grapes gathered into a basket. There are so many grapes to gather we could never stop filling them.
The wonderful love of Jesus Christ seen in the manger of Bethlehem,
the love of Jesus in the workshop of Nazareth, the love of Jesus in his holy ministry,
the love of Jesus in the temptation in the wilderness, the love of Jesus in his miracles,
the love of Jesus in his communion with his disciples, the love of Jesus and being so poor that he did not have a place to put his head on a pillow,
the love of Jesus and during such contradiction of sinners against himself,
the love of Jesus in his death, burial and resurrection!
“Your love is better than wine.”
We also see the love of Christ in the winepress. See those clusters of grapes being crushed.
We see when this crushing began he sweats “as it were great drops of blood.”
How the grapes of his love were crushed over and over again when he gave his back to those who whipped him and his cheeks to those who plucked off his beard.
The grapes of his compassion were crushed when he did not hide his face from shame and spitting.
But how the red wine flowed from the wine press when he was nailed to the cross, when suffered in body, was depressed and spirit and forsaken of his God.
It was then you heard the cry the winepress, “My God my God why have you abandoned me?” Stand there at the wine press of the cross see the sounds that come from it both terrible and sweet.
Stand there and believe that all your sins were carried by him that he suffered what you should have suffered and as your Substitute was crushed for you.
Yes his love is better than wine.
How can one not weep, when he reads this?
“Your love is better than wine.”
Now, think about the love of Christ in the wine bottle where his precious love is stored up for you.
The love of his promises given to you.
The love of his providence that rules for you.
The love of his intercession where he pleads for you.
The love of his representation for he stands at the right hand of the Father as Representative of his people.
The love of his union with his people for you are one with him as members of his body.
The love of all that he is and all that he was and all that he shall ever be!
For in every way and in all circumstances he loves you and his love will never end.
It is hard to imagine the sin bearing event of Christ on the cross. I mean I am just thinking of the many times I as an individual have already sinned and it is not unreasonable knowing I will sin in the future.
I mean not just sins of commission and omission.
Thought, word attitude. It must be in the millions. He bore my sins on the cross. Then the countless billions of others…Jesus has to be God in the flesh we could never be saved because no one could bear all that filth.
Satan is always trying to make you feel like a LOSER. After all, we do so many things wrong. That is why there are three components to your testimony.
THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB
THE WORD OF YOUR TESTIMONY
LOVING NOT YOUR LIFE EVEN TO DEATH.
IT IS ABOUT HIS TESTIMONY IN YOU! Remember: you are going to have to wash your robes all the time. When you blow it-GO TO God and ask his forgiveness. He delights in repentant hearts!
YOU ARE A VALID WITNESS. It is not about how people can preach or talk better than you. You are a person that God is working for, in and through. You are strategically placed where you are so you can be a light for the gospel.
YOU NEED GRIT IN YOUR TESTIMONY. When you say, no matter what I will serve the Lord even if I die in the attempt. It makes you near unbeatable. That is a radical witness.
In order to have faith you must PAINT A TRUE PORTRAIT OF CHRIST.
The scholastics caricature Christ into a JUDGE AND TORMENTOR.
But Christ is NO LAW GIVER.
He is THE LIFE GIVER.
He is the FORGIVER OF SINS.
You must believe that CHRIST MIGHT HAVE ATONED for the sins of the world with ONE SINGLE DROP OF HIS BLOOD.
INSTEAD, HE SHED HIS BLOOD ABUNDANTLY in order that He might give ABUNDANT SATISFACTION for our sins.
Here let me say, that THESE THREE THINGS:
FAITH, CHRIST, and IMPUTATION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS are to be JOINED TOGETHER. FAITH TAKES HOLD OF CHRIST.
GOD accounts THIS FAITH for RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
“…a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.” (Mt 17:5).
God is saying no different today. It is his Son’s voice we should be hearing, the only voice worth listening to.
We will hear what the Lord God will speak and HE SPEAKS CHRIST the LIVING WORD OF GOD the TRUTH PERSONIFIED and …he comes to us with GRACE ON TOP OF GRACE.
Here God the Father from the realm of his most excellent glory. He SPEAKS in the presence of MOSES AND ELIJAH who embodies the spirit of the law and the prophets.
They were speaking of his coming death in Jerusalem.
THE LAW seen in MOSES was on STONE TABLETS exposed and convinced people of sin and showed their utter ruin because of sin.
THE PROPHETS seen in Elijah had the Spirit of Christ in them testifying spoke of salvation BY GRACE that should come to us through the suffering and glory of Christ.
CHRIST ALONE LOVED BY GOD THE FATHER IS NOW THE VOICE WE HEAR AS WE READ AND STUDY SCRIPTURE.
GOD the Father establishes here that it the by grace alone, through CHRIST alone that we can be saved. The grace of God reigns in our hearts through the IMPUTED righteousness of Christ and the grace of God came ABUNDANTLY in God’s dearly loved Son.
The problem with most evangelicals these days is that they have a form of truth and a form of godliness so that is why they’re focused on good manners and presentation rather than truth. Because they have been duped with the belief that how they are saying the truth will make it more effective so this is probably why they slather a thick sugary icing of entertainment on everything they do. They want the truth to be more palatable than disagreeable.
These Evangelical Goldilocks want to say things just right and things that they presume are true and biblical with just enough love, humility, or graciousness to make it “more” true. They are so much in love so much the praise of man. They believe that things can’t be true unless you say it just right or do a lot of good things to earn people’s trust.
This premise is ridiculous because they have forgotten that the truth can stand ALONE no matter their character or how polite and courteous they are. The Bible says “Let God be true and every man a liar.” That means every sinner before they came to Christ had no credibility with speaking the truth. They were liars because they rejected God’s truth. So those who used to be liars are now under the obligation to speak the truth are not qualified by their manners or etiquette to speak the truth because of the fact that in and of themselves God had once called them liars.
Thus every man and woman’s credibility has been lost in and of themselves. The obligation to preach the Christian scriptures is absolutely necessary for anything we would say in and of ourselves lacks any credibility and cannot help anyone.
Our credibility is correctly explaining the truth. That is where our energies and labor should be focused so that we will not be ashamed. Only the word of God is the absolute truth! Jesus says to the Heavenly Father, “Your Word is truth.” Only Jesus is the truth personified because he said that “he is the Truth” Therefore, we are obligated as former liars to speak the truth of God’s Word in a Christ-centered manner. That is our ONLY credibility according to God and makes us reliable and trustworthy.
IF we refuse to preach God’s Word as is, clearly then we are once again called liars and false witnesses. BUT God remains true and since he is the God of truth who has sent forth “the spirit of truth” into the hearts of his real people who will proclaim Scripture as true and Christ as true.
That is why we must speak scripture clearly distinctly-credibility.
This is a prayer from various scriptures for world wide missions and evangelism that I wrote and I plead you would pray with me.
Lord Jesus, we long for you to ask your Father to give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession!
And the entire earth will belong to you. All kings will bow before you, and all nations will serve you!
King Jesus, You are the ever living One able to intervene and save the lost masses of this planet for all time and eternity!
They will come to God through You alone and in the day of Your power, Lord Jesus,You shall have multitudes of willing, loyal subjects, among all peoples, kindred’s, tribes, nations and languages.
Oh LORD demonstrate your holy power before the eyes of all the nations. Let all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.
Now show them your power; show them your might. At last they will know and understand that You are the LORD!
Your realm will stretch from sea to sea and from the ends of the earth and your people will live undisturbed, for you will be highly honored around the world and you will bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth!
Brother Stephen S. Gibney