Friday, October 31, 2014

LET HIM BE EVERYTHING TO YOU

Years ago I stood at an altar beside my wife and heard my father (who was the minister) ask Gwen, “Will you accept David to be your lawful husband?” We exchanged vows, each saying, “I will.” Gwen has loved me in a thousand ways, but never better, never more, than when she let me be the man of the house. It took a while for her to step aside and let me do the “husband” things—especially since I’m really not very mechanical. But she learned to tactfully encourage me to fulfill this role.

God intended for a husband and wife to reflect His relationship with us, His bride: “For thy Maker is thine husband” (Isaiah 54:5). We are “a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). But Jesus is not like any earthly husband. When He says, “I will,” He has all power and glory to see it done. You can find our Lord’s vows to His beloved all through His Word.

Our love for Him appropriates it, rests on it, and lets Jesus be God to us. Here are some of the vows He has made to all who have pledged their love and faithfulness to Him:

“I will bear; even I will carry . . . you” (Isaiah 46:4). “Can a woman forget her child? . . . Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee” (Isaiah 49:15). “He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). “I . . . will heal him . . . and restore comforts unto him” (Isaiah 57:18). “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

Jesus is our righteousness, our health, our deliverance, our rock of salvation, our daily bread, our comfort, our provider, our strong arm, our defense, our light, our joy, our peace—our everything in time of need! Let Him be God to you. Don’t fret and try to work things out yourself. Prove to Him that you will trust His power!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

“SHE DID THIS FOR ME”

“And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. . . . And [Jesus] turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment” (Luke 7:37-38, 44-46).

Have you ever washed His feet with your tears? Have you come to Him asking nothing for yourself or your ministry or your family? Have you come simply pouring out on Him a gift of incense, an alabaster box of love and worship? Listen to His heart cry: “Thou gavest Me no kiss. No water for My tired feet! But she did this for Me!”

In Matthew 26, another woman came to Jesus and poured perfume on His head as He sat eating. The disciples saw it and said with indignation, “To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor” (Matthew 26: 8-9). We are just like those disciples; we think it’s wasted time to be alone, ministering to His needs when so many poor, suffering people need our time and prayer petitions. Jesus said, “Why trouble ye the woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always” (Matthew 26:10-11). In essence He was saying, “She did this for me!”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SPENDING TIME WITH JESUS

Why did Jesus say, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6)? It is because the Lord desires intimacy. He wants to be shut up alone with the love of His heart! So many will pray and never miss a prayer meeting. They will go to any home meeting—and certainly it is scriptural for two or three to agree together in prayer. But there will come a tug from the Lord and He will whisper, “Come alone—shut the door—let it be just the two of us.” Secret, closet prayer is the most intimate thing you can share with your Lord. If you don’t have this kind of relationship, you don’t really know Him.

Without intimacy with Jesus, even your good works can become evil: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). What is Jesus saying? The key is, “I don't know you.” There has been no intimacy; someone is doing an awful lot in His name without really knowing Him. This means that we can become so wrapped up in doing good, in programs, in helping others, that we lose touch with Jesus.

When we do spend time alone with Him, do we ever think of His needs? Jesus became man with all man’s needs, including the need for friendship and love. He felt rejection just as we do, having never laid aside His humanity. Jesus is God and still man. Being touched by the feeling of our infirmities means that He still experiences the hurts and needs of a man. I recently thought, “Lord, when You were on earth did You ever ask if anyone loved You simply for Yourself—as Jesus, the man?” Look at the multitudes that pressed Him on all sides, crying out for help, for mercy, for sight, for healing, for food, for signs and wonders. He saw them as sheep having no shepherd; He heard their cries and wept. But so few came who were asking for nothing—so few came just to love Him.