It’s Too Much to Take but OK, I’ll Take It, Indeed, I’ll Take It All! (Thank you, God)

“We are citizens of heaven itself (Colossians 1:13, I Thessalonians 1:12), and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20), and we are commissioned to share the Gospel with others. God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course and evils of this world (Ephesians 2:2–6), from the old man nature (Romans 6:6-12), from sin that can so easily beset and entangle us (Hebrews 12:1), so we may be free to serve Him and enjoy our lives immersed in the graces of God.” ~LMJ~

We Are Not in God’s Secret Service

“Today so many believers feel hesitant to even acknowledge that they are Christians for so many reasons, one being that some feel guilty by association when they hear of another Christian behaving incorrectly and unjustly project this attitude of guilt upon themselves. If we heard about a bad doctor, do we stop going, or do all the doctors stop receiving patients? No! Neither should believers. We are not in God’s secret service, but in His family, with God-given permission to speak and conduct our lives as the ambassadors of Christ. This is our heavenly commission.  When Christians suppress godly issues of the heart, Christianity becomes more of a subculture rather than mainstream.  Life’s greater principles are evidenced by receiving and giving, but if a Christian believer begins to suppress the free course of God’s Word, the receiving end of his life can become limited. God through Jesus Christ has made us free, and has given us many reasons to enjoy a merry heart. A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance {makes one glow with excitement}: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken– Proverbs 15:13. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones– Proverbs 17:22. To genuinely experience God and our Savior’s presence, let us seek to enjoy the benefits of having a merry heart, having a union with our heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, our inner joy.” ~LMJ~

Matthew – Revealing Our Shepherd King

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When the fullness of time finally came, Jesus Christ was born into this world (Galatians 4:4). Throughout the Old Testament there were many prophecies that would highlight his life, death, resurrection, and ascension as we have seen.

The Bible reveals four major prophecies, each of which each relate to a different Gospel. In Matthew. Jesus Christ is revealed as the king of Israel, and in this day of God’s grace Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and he is also our Redeemer.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we can learn how Jesus as the King and Messiah redeemed all of humanity.

In Matthew many parables relate to a king or the kingdom of heaven. The words “kingdom of heaven” (meaning the king’s reign from heaven), is used 32 times in Matthew, while “kingdom of heaven” is only used 10 times in the other three Gospels combined. In Matthew we have the fulfillment of the King of Israel who was God’s prophesied righteous branch.

“The kingdom of heaven” is Christ’s kingdom, for he was the King from heaven, while the words “kingdom of God” represents God’s heavenly kingdom that has no beginning and no end – spanning all time.

When Christ again returns to earth, he will fully establish his kingdom of which there shall be no end. However, today in grace we are citizens of the kingdom of God and in the future we will partake in the kingdom of Christ, for we are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Today the kingdom of Christ is suspended until the King returns to earth to be the King of kings. Without the king’s presence on earth, his kingdom is held in abeyance. This is why II Corinthians 5:20 says that we are “ambassadors” in “Christ’s stead.”

There is no way that any one Gospel could fully explain the life of Jesus Christ; conversely, when we examine each Gospel and study them in the light that God’s Word reflects, then the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ’s ministry will become known in a most positive and dynamic way.

Jeremiah 23:5 – Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch {offspring}, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. {Also see Jeremiah 33:15, Zechariah 9:9.}

This righteous branch that God would raise up would be a King, and God’s offspring and is a direct revelation not only to the life of Jesus Christ but also to the Gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew’s Gospel we have the royal (or kingly) genealogy from Abraham through Kings David and Solomon to Christ. The believers during the Gospel period had been hoping for this righteous branch who would be their king; however, they lacked understanding of what a king really was because they were used to the kind of kings that were despots or dictators, such as Herod, who was indeed the opposite of Jesus Christ.

A king from a spiritual point of view would be a pastor, someone who would love and protect his people, someone who would fight for the rights of his people, and someone who would be a leader showing them how to believe and accept God’s grace.

Jesus said in Revelation 22:16 “I am the root and the offspring of David.” David was the king of Israel, and Jesus being born through Mary (as the promised seed), had every legal right to inherit the throne of David.

Now David, what was he? David was a shepherd, he was called as a shepherd to be the king of Israel, this was the true spiritual function of a king – to pastor, to bind wounds, and to dedicate his life to protect his flock, as Jesus had done.

Matthew 27:11 – And Jesus stood before the governor {Pilate}: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

The words “thou sayest” literally means you said it, or you got that right! Jesus knew who he was because he knew the prophecies written of him. Jesus further said to Pilate regarding this question of whom he was, “art thou a king then? Jesus answered {to Pilate}, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,” (John 18:37).

God gave to Matthew the revelation to write about Jesus Christ as our shepherd king whom we can look to as “the author and finisher of our faith {believing faith}” Hebrews 12:2.

Matthew 22:37-40:
-37: Jesus said unto him {a lawyer who was tempting him}, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
-38: This is the first and great commandment.
-39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
-40: On these two commandments hang {suspend} all the law and the prophets.

Jesus as a loving King and as our example of a genuine shepherd lightened the loads that believers would carry by giving only two commandments that both relate to living in love.

It is enlightening to see how James wrote regarding this very subject of love by calling it the “royal law” in James 2:8. The reason that the law of love is royal is because it was given to us by the King.

Jesus Christ is our example of a genuine King whom we can continue looking to even today as Philippians 2:5 teaches us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Jesus came into this world to teach and show us how to love God and man, as we continue learning how to enjoy the life of love that is called “a more excellent way” I Corinthians 12:31-13:13).

In God’s eyes we are royalty because we are His sons and daughters, and as we put on the mind of Christ we will discover Our Shepherd King who gave the ultimate sacrifice – his life – so we may receive and enjoy the more abundant life.

A Merry Heart (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Often we hear the phrase “you cannot talk about religion and politics.” However, I do not believe this is a true statement, for when God lives in our hearts, then “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). It does not really matter what people say we should not talk about when the truth is in our hearts, and in our thinking. And as we allow God into our lives we cannot help but share the treasures of His lovingkindness towards us, and of His graces of which we are partaking. Another wonderful verse of Scripture is “for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

When God comes into our lives and we began thinking His Word, we literally become what His Word says we are. Nevertheless, if we cannot talk about the inner joy we have in God, then we could unintentionally begin to suppress the inner joy we have in our Savior, and with God’s healing Word.  Paul said of Jesus “he cannot deny himself” (II Timothy 2:13), Jesus never denied who he was to anyone or what he believed, rather he lived with confidence in who he was, and he is our example. We have the God-given privilege to believe and to conduct ourselves as those who have allowed Him into our lives and hearts.

II Corinthians 5:20 – Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech {call} you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

We are ambassadors for Christ, regardless of whether or not we ever share God’s Word with anyone. It is true, that at certain times it may not be appropriate to share God’s Word, like when we are being paid to work, however, there are plenty of times when it is appropriate to share God’s Word with our families, friends, and acquaintances.

Today so many believers feel hesitant to even acknowledge that they are Christians for so many reasons, one being that some feel guilty by association when they hear of another Christian behaving incorrectly and unjustly project this attitude of guilt upon themselves. If we heard about a bad doctor, do we stop going, or do all the doctors stop receiving patients? No! Neither should believers. We are not in God’s secret service, but in His family, with God-given permission to speak and conduct our lives as the ambassadors of Christ. This is our heavenly commission.  When Christians suppress godly issues of the heart, Christianity becomes more of a subculture rather than mainstream.  Life’s greater principles are evidenced by receiving and giving, but if a Christian believer begins to suppress the free course of God’s Word, the receiving end of his life can become limited. God through Jesus Christ has made us free, and has given us many reasons to enjoy a merry heart.

Proverbs 15:13 – A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance {makes one glow with excitement}: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 17:22 – A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

To genuinely experience God and our Savior’s presence, let us seek to enjoy the benefits of having a merry heart, having a union with our heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ. We can invite God’s healing Word into our homes and fellowship with Him around the accomplishments of Jesus Christ for us, as we with our families bask in the love of God. We may then reach out to other people who come across our paths with the words of life that are graciously given to us from the written word of our Father of Lights.

Philippians 2:16 records, “Holding forth the word of life” for it is the Word of life that gives us purpose, reason, and vitality, and the Word of life gives us all the spiritual treasures to enjoy our lives with a merry heart.

The Faith of the Gospel

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Ephesians shows us that we have been raised (spiritually) to an elevated position, seated with Christ at the right hand of God. This is why God can give to us, His beloved children, spiritual wisdom and understanding in the true knowledge of Him. Philippians continues on with this wonderful knowledge that continues opening our eyes that we may truly see.

Philippians 1:27 – Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

The word “conversation” is the word in the Greek Text for citizenship, for according to God’s Word our citizenship is already in heaven. The Scripture is imploring us to conduct our lives as heavenly citizens worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Paul says that whether he is present or absent that he wanted to hear that their Christian lives were being conducted as those who were standing fast in one spirit, and standing together in the knowledge of their citizenship. Paul wanted the believers to be of the same mind working together for the faith of the Gospel. The faith of the Gospel is our believing that God Almighty has indeed called us into the Gospel, and into His family, and that we can believe this together as members of the household of God.

Philippians 1:28-29:
-28:  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of {or from} God.
-29:  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

God’s healing Word encourages us not to be terrified, not to have fear about our adversaries, our opponents. In this life there are people who think we are off our rockers simply because we believe in that which is unseen (John 20:29). Our own personal adversaries sometimes scrutinize the way we walk before God, they even try to throw hurdles (by words or deeds) in our way to trip us up simply out of spite. This reminds me of the Psalm “They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah” (Psalms 57:6). This is to them the “evident token of perdition” for they reap what they themselves sow. However, for us who do believe and continue standing, we will be receiving proof of our own salvation, and spiritual wholeness, and that is from God.

We are citizens of heaven itself, and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20). God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course of this world. This is given to us “in the behalf of Christ” because he was our substitute for sin and all its consequences. Then verse 29 concludes with “but also to suffer for his sake.” This phrase has been used incorrectly and totally out of context, because the word “suffer” does not imply that we should allow our adversaries to cause us to suffer in any way. Rather the word means to endure with ever increasing experience, for not only are we going to heaven, but when we endure we will become stronger, setting even greater examples for one another who believe that God does deliver His children. When we have complete faith in the Gospel, knowing that God does deliver His children (I Corinthians 10:13; II Corinthians 1:10), and knowing that He has already given us a standing with Him, then our faith – our believing faith in the Gospel – will continue to strengthen and inspire us with godly blessings.