Truth in Christ

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Where there is Jesus, there is truth, where there is Jesus there is life, even life eternal. Scripture reminds us that Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life. We are uniquely and corporately called to experience and to live in, and to walk in His Ways. For Jesus gave of Himself, that we may have that freedom, the power and authority, in Christ, to turn to God & experience the fullness of His Presence, His way in us. Jesus has inspired hope in us; that His own joy for our salvation, maybe ours. Our life in this world faces struggles, diversions and frustrations; but to us, are open/present opportunities in Christ, (who is forever present) to engage, to grow through/in the power of His Word, in spiritual communion and in His truth and leading. (His gift to us). Jesus grants us daily, opportunities to draw aside in Him, and receive refreshment, our spirits are enlivened in Him. The blessing of God to us, by/in His means and desire to make us whole, in every circumstance. So (come) let us draw aside in Him, in safety and comfort and partake of Him, in truth and peace, exceeding our understanding and the undeniable, forever loving provision of God, who lifts us, sustains us through every trial. Christ is our city of refuge, we His Church, in peace and surrender in Him, acknowledge and receive His anointing.  He knows us, He created us; He offers the deep, full satisfaction of our souls. 

Isaiah 57:14 And it shall be said, Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s path.

The Lord calls us unto the path of wholesome servanthood, reminding us that we cannot serve two masters; we need be truthful and sincere. He is true to His covenant: repentant sinners in Christ Jesus, are granted pardon and entry into His blessing and Kingdom; those who choose a way, separating from Him, shall perish in their sins. Yet for now the blessing of God is on all the land because of those who answer His voice.  We are called to be true / faithful and loving in a world that is often not sincere, in its care for one another, seeking their own gain above all else. It is often our interaction with unbelievers; those outside of body that we find our greatest struggle with temptation, the vulgarity of life and the disrespect of God’s Principles for life; even we (ourselves) may become exhausted and suffer a loss of joy or hope. Yet it is our calling to be genuine in the faith and spirit of God’s Commission to us to be ambassadors for Christ. Ministering in a fallen world is not for the weak of heart; and requires the heart and mind of Christ, ever present, as our hope. We are called to share what we embrace from a grateful heart; the love of Christ which dwells in us. As for myself, I confess to you, that though I believe Christ was always watching over me; I was not true in Him, living more the way of the world, than the way of Christ. The mercy of a faithful Christian; and God’s word anointed drew me to ask the Lord to show me His truth and His way. So let me share from todays Epistle reading from Ephesians 2 11-14; for it speaks of many; but also of where, of whom I once was; and of me now found in joy in Christ.

So we don’t know when a gentle encouragement of Christ, through us, might help a lost soul, be found in Christ. I take courage and instruction from the words attributed to St Francis: share the Gospel, always and every where ; using words if necessary. Often it is the consistent example of humility, love and mercy, the truth we follow; our model of Him in daily life, that others are led to seek Him; to wonder and inquire the reason for our hope and joy. For we know the truth for He is in us. 

Isaiah 57:19 Peace, peace to the far and to the near, says the Lord, and I will heal him

This is not an easy road, even though the rewards are eternal. Our commitment must be firmly rooted in Him, Christ Jesus, who cannot, will not fail; (He has even conquered death). Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. His word is forever true. And with us, is building a kingdom in our midst. This “building of” is an activity, not a grandiose idea. It progresses with struggle and sacrifice. Christ is the sacrifice for our sins; for we are repentant sinners, saved through His own sacrifice and grace. There is power in faith; for He is forever faithful. We are free from the bond of sin for He broke / removed the power of its curse. Freedom and sacrifice is the creed of our nation and its liberty; it is an echo of the way of Christ. Let us not turn back; but defend and encourage His way. We are called to sacrifice one for all, to the betterment of our neighbor, who is lived by God, just as you are. Listen to this (Ephesians 2:14)                                                  For He himself is our peace, who has made us both one; and has broken down in his flesh, the wall of hostility.  

We are being built together as the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the dwelling place of God. 

Let me remind you, you do not work alone; this is a work of God, in you and through you. In God’s commandments He called us to rest in the Sabbath, from all our labors. Jesus calls us to rest and find peace in Him. In our Gospel Lesson He called His disciples, at their return from their mission to share the Good News, to draw away and rest. He calls us to rest and find peace (in Him), as we gather in this place of refuge, to hear the word of God proclaimed and to worship and be filled together and quickened in the Holy Spirit. To be refreshed and strengthened and filled to over flowing by His love for you.  Rejoicing in Him; we are made whole and new. His mercies, His provision for us is renewed everyday. Welcome to the wedding feast of the Lamb; He will meet you in every need. His love is eternal. In hard times and in peace, Jesus is always the answer, recall what happened when their intended quiet lonely place of refuge, became a place of thousands in need? Jesus provided for them all; each became witnesses of God’s great compassion and provision. Praise Him that He is with us now. Peace, Peace he bids us, come that we all might be refreshed in Him. Hear the Word of the Lord (Isaiah 57:13b) but he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land and inherit my holy mountain. In the Name of the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

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