“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Joy, the greater part of His sustenance

“In the mean while his disciples prayed Him, saying, Master, eat. But He said unto them, I have [food] to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought Him ought to eat?” (John 4:31-33).
Christ’s satiation of appetite resulted from the response and actions of the Samaritan woman. The new hope that sprung up in her like a fountain, the new direction of her heart and mind and new life, all brought Jesus wonderful joy and satisfaction. In this humbled Samaritan outcast Jesus saw a predestinated life in eternity. Even before proving a long, future life of righteousness, He counted her actions as a perfect life before God. The Father and Son saw her seed and prolonged her days and Their pleasure would prosper her all her days. Her response to Christ’s truth and kindness was enough proof to call this sinner a saint and to declare that she had never been involved in a life of sin. As our minister in the heavenly temple today, doesn’t Jesus have the same fullness for us when we surrender to Him? He is the same yesterday and today and forever.
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Heb. 1:9).
Her joy, as great as it was, did not exceed His. This new Samaritan “fellow” clung to the Saviour of the world, with the oil of gladness. He had given her “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that [she] might be called [a tree] of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.” (Isa. 61:3). The glory of the Lord is His joy. It is a scene of united joy that we see in Revelation 10:3. At that future event, time will be almost “no longer”. Just before the seventh angel sounds his trumpet the Godhead is about to bring the Latter Rain preaching to the world in order to gather to Them Their children sprinkled around the globe, “them that mourn in Zion” (Isa. 61:3). At this anticipation, the glorified Christ energetically roars like a lion; and the Father, even more energetically, thunders in response.
Christ’s joy was entwined with duty to His Father. “Jesus saith unto them, My [food] is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.” (John 4:34).
Jesus loved righteousness; He loved pleasing His Father and doing His will. The Father’s will was the plan for our redemption, for the restoration of His eternal kingdom and the destruction of Satan’s rebellious kingdom of iniquity. The greatest joy of the Son of God has ever been to see His Father’s plans materialize, to cooperate with His Father, and to have a part in the redemption of His kingdom.
Joy was Jesus’ strength. One of the ways that Jesus revealed to us His Father, was in His ability to be sustained by very little food. Many today “comfort eat”. Others don’t eat for strength, but for desserts and drunkenness. Others overeat to please their belly. In this scene between Jesus and the Samaritan woman, we see demonstrated what truly kept Jesus energized. It wasn’t food and water. No doubt He hadn’t eaten all day and was in need of water also. He sat patiently by the well hoping for someone to be gracious enough to share some water from the deep well. He was truly thirsty and it was high noon. Only at the hottest part of the day did that socially unaccepted woman always come to the well. Yet, when the Lord finished opening to her the eternal principle of His love for her, and the disciples returned from the city with food, He wasn’t hungry or thirsty anymore. His thirst and hunger were met in His soul as He envisioned a great work started by this one rejected prostitute. She had been rejected by the world, but now was received up into glory. She was in paradise with the Saviour of the world.
There was rejoicing in heaven as this one sinner, who for long time was dissatisfied with a life of sin and had heard the straight testimony from the True Witness, now believed God’s acceptance and His forgiveness toward her. “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.” (Isa. 40:1,2). There was rejoicing in heaven as the angels of God beheld the rejoicing in the heart of Christ and His Father.
He had said some hard things to her. But they were necessary wounds. She needed to be confirmed in where she stood before God. Her own mere conjecture of her disobedience to God’s will wasn’t enough; and she needed to hear clearly how disobedient she was from someone who loved her. Fellow Samaritans like the three men who came to counsel Job, for years had already spoken to her of God’s wrath upon her. But, the people’s selfish concept of truth was as humanistic as their mercy was platonic. All that their condescension did was drive her into a deeper rebellion against God. But, in Christ’s pointed, yet warm, presentation of truth she saw a conviction of sin that she could accept.
Jesus’ mercy was built upon His exposure to the Law of His Father. He sucked “honey out of the rock, and [olive] oil out of the flinty rock.” (Deut. 32:13). He was leading the woman to do the same by first convicting her of her sins and then showing her His mercy.
All the days of His life the Prince would drink “the best wine…that goeth down sweetly” (Song 7:9), and eat only the oil and honey of joy. But that sweet fatness, which was “sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Ps. 19:10), would only come from the granite slabs of the Law. Studying and striving to obey His Father’s Law ended in Christ’s purest joy. With all His heart Jesus could say, “His commandment is life everlasting.” (John 12:50). His oil and honey joy never superseded the continued watchfulness of right and wrong, but only heightened His discerning righteousness and sin. “Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” (Isa. 7:15).

The same will be for us. If we expose ourselves to the blinding, grinding Law of God, even if the reality of our “sin by the commandment [appears] exceeding sinful” (Rom. 7:13), then we will have cause for repentance, and He will bring us off more than conquerors over sin. His joy of obedience will become ours. We will see the holy standard in Jesus, and He will inform us how He, as a weak man like us, obtained the power to keep it. By beholding Him we will be changed into the same image.
“I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness.” (Mic. 7:9).
We will need less physical food to eat because through the Spirit of Jesus our perverted appetite is converted to His redeemed appetite in body, mind, and soul. Our stimulation coming from grace and truth will exceed the stimulation that comes from food, and will bring our flesh into subjection to “the Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9). His character will be reproduced in us, His mind influencing His strong righteousness upon our weakened conscience.
“Be of good cheer;” Jesus says to all His children,  “I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).


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