You need to press in before you press on.
In his message last Sunday Don Longworth referenced the ‘beloved’ relationship the Apostle John enjoyed with Jesus. John references himself in this way six times in his Gospel (13:23, 19:26, 20:2,8, 21:7, 20). It was John who rested on Jesus’s chest as they customarily reclined and ate at the last supper (John 13:23). It was John to whom Christ entrusted the care of his aging mother Mary as he hung dying upon the cross (John 19:26). It was to John and Peter that Mary first ran to bring news of the empty tomb (John 20:2). It was John who outran Peter to the tomb (John 20:4-8); it was John who was first to recognize the risen Christ standing on the shore (John 21:7), and it was John to whom Christ revealed the mysteries of the end of the ages (Rev. 1:1-2).
“I know my sheep and my sheep know me…. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me,” said Jesus (John 10:14, 27). And as Don shared Sunday and I cited yesterday this truth expressed by the psalmist: “The Lord confides in those who fear Him” (Psalm. 25:14)
To enjoy that nearness of communion! Wow! …like nestling confident in the shoulder of a resting Lion, his mammoth chest rising and falling, his roar silenced yet ready in an instant, his giant soft paws relaxed yet with claws quick to answer any call to battle… you are not his prey; he is not your predator… for you he is your defender! Why? You are his beloved.
Do you know this: that place is possible for you?
Someone once said, “You have as much of Christ as you want!” If So, then many of us should pray to want Him more! How much do you want Him? More than your iphone? More than your best friend? More than your life?
James urges, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:7-10).
Press in… press in close to Christ. Then and only then will you find both rest for your soul and strength to press on.
To hear Don Longworth’s full message go to the lincolnbaptistchurch.ca website. Click on ‘Media’ and select the March 3/19 message.