Father, thank you for allowing us to gather to have the freedom to learn about you and seek you out. I thank you for the willingness of those here to come and hear of your Word and your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that you would give us open eyes to see the gospel in its entirety and truth, gradually transforming our minds and sanctifying our souls to the likeness of Christ. Father, prepare the hearts of those about to hear or read this to receive your Word and prepare mine to deliver it. Let us see the truth of Jesus' sufferings, but also the truth of what his sufferings provides for us each and every day. I love you and praise you forever, in Jesus' name I pray, Amen.We will be pulling from the scripture of Isaiah chapter 53 to look at the sufferings of Jesus. If you have your Bible, go ahead and read the entire chapter to get a feel of the context of what is going on and what we're going to be talking about. The focal point that comes to mind for me when reading through this scripture is verse 3, which says:
"A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."
- My thought process, according to the scripture and with God's help through prayer, serves me that God's love is shown in two ways:
- Jesus Christ left his Holy throne on high seated at the right hand of God in perfection to suffer, die, and be crushed for OUR iniquities.
- His love opens our eyes to the world for what it truly is by bringing us to God.
"Now we understand what it is to be loved, and it is not to be made much of, but to be rescued from the desire to be made much of." -John PiperGod's love is God bringing us to God; in case you didn't notice, everything is taken care of by God; all he requires from you is that you come along for the ride.
- Now that we've established in the most basic sense, what God's love is, let's establish the most basic sense of God's grace. His grace is simply upon the fact that he chose to reveal himself to us. He doesn't owe us anything, he didn't have to provide us with a Bible to live by, or a human sacrifice of his own Son to atone for our sins, or anything. God didn't have to do ANYTHING! It is simply by his grace that he chose to reveal himself to us and open our eyes.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come."
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
In closing, I just want to leave you with this last quote from John Piper out of his book Don't Waste Your Life, "If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full." As you go throughout this week, ask yourself if you recognize that you need healing. Ask yourself if you have been healed and made a new creation, and if you haven't, will you allow God to heal you by his wounds. The price has been paid, and your deposit is waiting....