Messiah’s Love Has Hold of Us

Convinced that we live for the one who died and was raised on our behalf.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul and take root as the Spirit of God brings them to life.

That the cross of Christ would not lose its power.

1 Cor 1:17 – Christ did not send me to baptize people but to preach the Good News. And he sent me to preach the Good News without using words of human wisdom so that the cross of Christ would not lose its power. (NCV)

Taught by the Spirit.

1 Cor 2:12-13 – Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. (ESV)

Forget everything except Jesus the Messiah.

1 Cor 2:2 – for I [Apostle Paul] had decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah, and even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal. (CJB)

Forget everything except Jesus the Messiah,
And even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.
Preach the good news without using words of human wisdom.
Taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

This is the secret to finding our life that is hidden with Christ in God, which is our true identity.

Convinced.

2 Cor 5:14-20 – For the Messiah’s love has hold of us, because we are convinced that one man died on behalf of all mankind (which implies that all mankind was already dead), and that he died on behalf of all in order that those who live should not live any longer for themselves but for the one who on their behalf died and was raised. So from now on, we do not look at anyone from a worldly viewpoint. Even if we once regarded the Messiah from a worldly viewpoint, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation — the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new! And it is all from God, who through the Messiah has reconciled us to himself and has given us the work of that reconciliation, which is that God in the Messiah was reconciling mankind to himself, not counting their sins against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (CJB)

The Messiah’s love.
Are you convinced?

The Messiah’s love has hold of us.
What will it take to convince you?
One man died on your behalf and on behalf of all humankind.
What will it take to convince you?

From now on, we do not look at anyone from a worldly viewpoint.
United with the Messiah, we are a new creation. The old has passed.
Taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
It is all from God, who through the Messiah was reconciling mankind to himself.

Forget everything except Jesus the Messiah,
And even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.
It is all from God.

Who do we live for?

Read the texts again. Chew upon the words. Turn them over and over in your mind. Ask the Lord God to convince you that the Messiah’s love does indeed have hold of you. Make this your life work, to forget everything except Jesus the Messiah, and even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.

Soften your heart. Be willing for the Lord God to convince you that one man died on your behalf to unite you with him. The Messiah’s love has hold of you.

What thoughts and questions and emotions arise?

Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?

Consider the following questions:

Does the Messiah’s love have hold of me?
Am I dead? Am I alive? Might both statements be true at the same time?
Who do I live for?
From what viewpoint do I look at everyone and everything?

Are you united with the Messiah?
The Word of God says, “Yes, you are!”
The Word of God says it is all from God, who through the Messiah has reconciled you to himself.
Are you convinced?
From what viewpoint do you look at everyone and everything?

Oh, look!
Join those who have esteemed the Word of God, Who died and was raised,
Convinced that the Messiah’s love has hold of us.

We are convinced that one man died on behalf of all humankind, you, me, each and every one,
In order that those who live should not live any longer for themselves
But live for the one who on their behalf died and was raised.
Live!
Dependent!
Upon the same power that raised Jesus the Messiah from the dead.
Live!
Relying upon the same power that raised Jesus the Messiah from the dead to raise you up to new life.

Read the texts again. Chew upon these words. Turn them over and over in your mind and allow their significance to be absorbed by mind, body, soul and spirit.

United with him.

Rom 6:5-11 – For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will also be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was put to death on the execution-stake with him, so that the entire body of our sinful propensities might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.  For someone who has died has been cleared from sin. Now since we died with the Messiah, we trust that we will also live with him. We know that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, never to die again; death has no authority over him. For his death was a unique event that need not be repeated; but his life, he keeps on living for God. In the same way, consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God, by your union with the Messiah Yeshua. (CJB)

Our old self was put to death on the execution-stake with the Messiah!
The entire body of our sinful natural inclinations destroyed.
Someone who has died has been cleared from sin.
We trust.
We trust that we will also live with him.
Here. Now. We trust. We live. His life. United with him.
He keeps on living for God.
By your union with the Messiah Jesus, consider yourself to be dead to your natural inclinations but alive for God.
Alive for God!

Commit your spirit to the Lord.

Through the Spirit

Gal 5:25 – Since it is through the Spirit that we have Life, let it also be through the Spirit that we order our lives day by day. (CJB)

Gal 5:16 – What I am saying is this: run your lives by the Spirit. Then you will not do what your old nature wants. (CJB)

It is through the Spirit that we have life.
Let it also be through the Spirit that we order our lives day by day.
Then you will not do what your old nature wants.
Through the Spirit, a new creation, fresh and new.
Through the Spirit, no longer living for ourselves,
Given the work of reconciliation,
God in the Messiah was reconciling mankind to himself, not counting their sins against them.

The natural man does not receive the things from the Spirit of God.

1 Cor 2:14 – Now the natural man does not receive the things from the Spirit of God — to him they are nonsense! Moreover, he is unable to grasp them, because they are evaluated through the Spirit. (CJB)

The Lord God does not ask the impossible of us. He provides and works in us exactly what we need for life, for ordering our lives day by day, that we should not live any longer for ourselves, but for the one who on our behalf died and was raised, entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Ask your heavenly Father to give the Holy Spirit to you.

Luke 11:5-13 – And he [Jesus] said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence [importunity] he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (ESV)

Impudence: persistence in requesting or demanding.1
Importunity: In the sense of privation; with downcast eyes, or towards God, awe. Denoting close association; in the sense of union.2

Through the Spirit, close association, union, awe. Persistent in requesting or demanding what he alone can give and do for us.

In our natural state, our old self, stuck in our natural inclinations, we have absolutely no ability to live for God. We have no power to stop living for ourselves. It took me years to realize and acknowledge this truth; I was a good, self-righteous Pharisee.

Through the Spirit.
United with the Messiah.
United in his death and in his life.
United with him to keep on living for God,
Through the Spirit.

Consider Jesus’ teaching on asking, seeking, knocking expressed in different words:

Seek in reading and you will find in meditation; knock in prayer, and it will be opened to you in contemplation.

In the style of the apothegms of the Desert Fathers, John of the Cross’s teaching first comes in these hard, clean, unsentimental sayings that overflow with spiritual wisdom, giving recipients treasures that first must be unlocked; as maxims they were to be repeated and mulled over.3

The more intensely we’re aware of our utter helplessness to live for the one who died on our behalf and was raised, the more impudent, bold, demanding, shameless we’ll become in asking, seeking, and knocking to obtain everything we need to wholeheartedly and single-mindedly live to do God’s will. For we are convinced that we live for the one who died and was raised on our behalf.

Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda, to allow response from your inner depths to surface. What do you discover?

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.

Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Seek his strength. Seek his presence. Seek his wisdom. Seek the power of his love. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty through the Spirit of God.

Inhale.
Exhale.

You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand Gods words, to discern the thoughts and intentions of your heart, to seek the interests of Jesus Christ and not your own.

With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.

With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations and words to make room for the Word of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him.

Luke 11:13 – If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (ESV)

Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)

How much more will the heavenly Father give…

Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)

…the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are. Strive and reach for the goal, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest, completely dependent upon him to reach the goal, united with the Messiah, through the Spirit of God.

As you receive the Word of God into that deepest place of your being, the Lord God is rescuing you, he is loosening your bonds to your old nature, your natural inclinations, and he is delivering you from your illusions and foolish boasting. Through Jesus, our Messiah, God is gradually transforming you from within, revealing who you really are, becoming one spirit with him.

Inhale.
Exhale.
Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.

1 Peter 3:18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition.

2Importunity: NT:335 <START GREEK>a)nai/deia<END GREEK> anaideia (an-ah’-ee-die-ah’); from a compound of NT:1 (as a negative particle [compare NT:427]) and NT:127; impudence, i.e. (by implication) importunity: KJV – importunity.

NT:427 <START GREEK>a&neu<END GREEK> aneu (an’-yoo); a primary particle; without: KJV – without. Compare NT:1.

NT:127 <START GREEK>ai)dw/$<END GREEK> aidos (ahee-doce’); perhaps from NT:1 (as a negative particle) and NT:1492 (through the idea of downcast eyes); bashfulness, i.e. (towards men), modesty or (towards God) awe: KJV – reverence, shamefacedness.

NT:1 <START GREEK>A<END GREEK> a (al’-fah); of Hebrew origin; the first letter of the alphabet; figuratively, only (from its use as a numeral) the first: KJV – Alpha. Often used (usually an, before a vowel) also in composition (as a contraction from NT:427) in the sense of privation; so, in many words, beginning with this letter; occasionally in the sense of union (as a contraction of NT:260).

NT:260 <START GREEK>a%ma <END GREEK> hama (ham’-ah); a primary particle; properly, at the “same” time, but freely used as a preposition or adverb denoting close association: KJV – also, and, together, with (-al). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3The Sayings of Light and Love, #158, St John of the Cross (1542-1591).

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