Monthly Archives: June 2012
Before getting into the my post, I want to share a great post from a brother in Christ, who I know personally. I can testify to you of seeing, hearing, and feeling Christ in this brother, so loved by God. His name is John Wilson and he blogs at JohnSWilson3. His most recent post “…SINCE WE ARE RECEIVING A KINGDOM THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN…” is a great encouragement to all of us who are suffering.
When I was a teenager, I was trying to figure out what kind of music I liked. I looked through some of my step-dad’s CD’s to try out some of his music. I saw one that looked pretty cool called Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell by Meat Loaf.
I’m not writing this post to advocate Meat Loaf’s music, but to share something of Christ. The other day I remembered one of the songs that I had listened to on Meat Loaf’s album called “Life is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back“. Here are some of the lyrics:
It’s all or nothing, and nothing’s all I ever get
Everytime I turn it on, I burn it up and burn it out
It’s a never ending attack,
Everything’s a lie and that’s a fact
Life is a lemon and I want my money back
And we’re always slipping thru the cracks
Then the movie’s over, fade to black
Life is a lemon and I want my money back
Back, back, back, back!
In case you don’t understand the reference to life being a lemon, a lemon is a new product that has severe defects.
Do you feel that way about life? I imagine that some of you do think that life is a lemon and some of you think that it’s peachy.
Life is a lemon…the natural life that is.
We were all born with the sinful satanic life. From our first heartbeats, our fallen human life is defective. We are not born the way that we were suppose to be. We come into this world through pain and we often leave it in pain. For many, there is more pain in this life, than happiness.
I can understand why Meat Loaf was so dissatisfied. I find no lasting satisfaction in this world either. You may find satisfaction in a person, but then, they are gone. You may find satisfaction in an object, but then, it is gone. Every slightest grip on happiness seems to slip through the cracks. In a world without hope, what can be done?
When you have a lemon car, there is nothing you can do to change that car. It wouldn’t be worth it if you could afford the necessary changes. That’s why it’s a lemon; it leaves a sour taste in your mouth.
You can’t change a lemon, you can only exchange it. My grandmother had a car that was a lemon. The company didn’t offer to fix the car for her, it offered her a new car. We all need to exchange this lemon of a life for the Life that we were meant to have.
The eternal Life of God embodied in Jesus Christ is the Life that we were made for. Adam and Eve took a different life for us, a defective life, a lemon life. But, through His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus cleared the way to the Tree of Life, that we might eat from it.
Jesus Christ is the Tree of Life.
We were branches on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Tree of Death. But, we have exchanged that lemon life for God’s Life. In Christ, we have died to that Tree of Death and we have been grafted onto the Tree of Life. We are here to abide in Him and to enjoy His Life; we are here to express Him. We grow with His growth and we bear fruit with His bearing fruit.
In Christ, we are now the enlargement of the Tree of Life.
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. – [Rev 22:1-2 NASB]
Today’s blog post is a short article written by T. Austin-Sparks in 1940 on a topic that is very wonderful: Entering Into God’s Rest. I enjoy reading all of T. Austin-Sparks’ writings free at austin-sparks.net.
Before getting into T. Austin-Sparks’ article, I want to share a beautiful post from a brother in Christ, Quincy Zikmund. I highly recommend his blog post, Learning From The Body, at Divine Discontent. In this post, Quincy shares an experience of Christ’s Body that is often missing in popular Christianity; every member of the Body of Christ functioning equally.
Entering Into God’s Rest
by T. Austin-Sparks
Adam’s first day on this earth was a Sabbath day. God created man on the sixth day, and the first complete day that man had was the Sabbath, and that Sabbath day becomes the first day for man. Carried over to the New Testament, where God finishes and perfects His new creation work in the Lord Jesus, and enters into His rest, it is God’s Sabbath, and there we begin. That is our first day – God’s rest.
We begin in something that is already perfect. This is the ground of “the everlasting covenant”. To grasp the significance of that is to see what the “eternal covenant” is, to come right in on a perfect ground and start there. It is not how we regard ourselves or how we feel about it, but it is God’s place for us. The fact is, beloved, that in Jesus Christ you and I will never be more perfect than we are now. Those perfections may be wrought into us progressively, but, so far as the ground of our acceptance is concerned, we are “accepted in the Beloved One”, and He wholly satisfies the Father; the Father has come to rest in Him. The work is perfect.
Our acceptance is always on the ground of God’s end reached. Till that is settled, we have no steadying thing when God begins to work in us. Do not forget that. If, when God begins to deal with us in discipline and chastening, in training and moulding and formation, we begin at any moment to say, This is all because I am so bad, so wicked, and the Lord has got to do something with me in order that I may be acceptable, we have given our ground away. We shall never be more acceptable, however much the Lord does in us. We have been accepted, not on the ground of what we are, however bad or good that may be, but on the ground of The Beloved. “Accepted in the Beloved One”.
We sing – and I wish we would lay it to heart more and more – that His perfections are the measure of our own acceptance. That is where we start. Blessed be God, that is the ground of confidence, and when the Lord begins to take us in hand and we begin to feel what wretched creatures we are, that never implies for a single moment that we are not accepted. The eternal covenant means here, in the first place, that we are accepted on the ground of God’s satisfaction with His Son. If we were accepted on our own ground, where we stand in ourselves, there would be no eternal covenant, no ground of security at all. It would be a matter of how we might be tomorrow. But no, it is not a matter of how we are or shall be. The ground is settled in Christ. Now, God is only getting to work to make good in us what is true in His Son, but it does not change the ground. Do not let us give our ground away.
First published in “A Witness and A Testimony” magazine, Mar-Apr 1940, Vol 18-2
- An Interview With A New Testament Scholar (jamaljivanjee.com)