Thank Him Pt. 2

 


Not Greater Than My Master

Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master,

Nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

John 13:16 ESV

 

NOT GREATER THAN MY MASTER

 

            It is amazing to me how often I need to remind myself that I am not greater than my master.  On the surface you may read this verse and think that it’s a no brainer to know that you are not greater than Jesus.  Surely, everyone must know and understand that.  Yet there are times when it is helpful to remind ourselves of this.

            As we embark on our Christian journey it is filled with joy, excitement, wonder, awe, hope, graciousness, love, and many other wonderful expectations.  There is good reason for this for we serve an awesome God who has called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.

            It is when the journey gets rough that we need to remember these words that the Lord spoke to us.  It is when things do not go as you thought they should or as you have planned it that you need to remember these words.  It is when the storms of life beat upon you and it seems that the enemy has released all the hounds of hell that you need to remember that I am not greater than my master.

            Have you been attacked by others?  I think of Jesus as He ministered to many with love and compassion and yet He was constantly in danger for many sought to kill Him.

            Are people talking about you?  I think of when they accused Jesus of being a glutton and a drunk.  Clearly it wasn’t true but they said it anyway.

            Have you felt betrayed?  I think of how Jesus healed many and preached deliverance to the captives and yet these same people cried out “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.”

            Do you feel abandoned?  I think of Jesus when in His darkest moment every single one of the disciples ran for their lives and left Him all alone.  Peter even denied he ever knew him.  The list goes on and on.  Jesus was falsely charged.  He was crucified though Pilate knew He was innocent.  No on came to His defense or rescue.

            Many of us never expected to go through any of these things but we have.  Remember that you are not greater than your master.  Remember that God’s grace has saved us but it has not exempted us from all of these experiences.  In Psalm 55 David wrote, “…Oh, that I had wings like a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest.  Indeed, I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.  I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.”

            THE GOOD NEWS is that The Lord is so good that He doesn’t allow more to come against us than we can handle.  As a matter of fact our God even uses these events to refine us and draw us closer to Him.  It is when the vessel is broken that the beautiful fragrances come out.  In our brokenness the Lord brings something beautiful out of us.  In Psalm 30:11 ESV the psalmist writes, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.  You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.” 

            Philippians 1:6 tells us that we can be confident that He will finish the work that He has started within us.  So not only has the Lord not forsaken you but promised to finish the good work in each of us.

            I think of Horacio Spafford, who wrote the great hymn “It Is Well With My Soul.”  He had five children and in a short period of time lost each of them.  It was in a boating accident that he lost four daughters on one day.  It was this event that inspired him to write, “Though Satan should buffet, Though trials should come, Let this blessed assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And has shed His own blood for my soul, It is well with my soul.”  Spafford understood that it was because of Jesus that he would be ok.  It was not the circumstances that would comfort him but His Lord.

            One last thing.  As the Lord was on the cross He looked upon all those that hurt Him, scoffed at Him, and eventually were guilty for His crucifixion and with the most passionate love said, “Father, forgive them..”  It is when we feel the sharp pain of all these things that we must again remind ourselves that we are not greater than our master.  Release those through whom the pains came through.   Perhaps they didn’t intend it.  Perhaps they didn’t realize it.  Perhaps it was just your perception.  Whatever it is.. release it and know that the Lord will make it all work together for good.  He is doing a great work in all of us.

 

 

 

 



Overwhelmed

Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer.  From the end of the

earth I will cry to You,  When my heart is overwhelmed;

Lead me to the rock this is higher than I.

 Psalm 61:1-2  NKJV

 

            Life has a way of bringing you something that completely overwhelms you.  It usually comes unannounced and rarely do you expect it.  It simply knocks on your door and insists on coming in.  That overwhelming thing comes in many forms.  It takes the form of bad news, a tragic loss, unexpected trials, unfulfilled expectations, huge disappointments, betrayals, inner struggles, anxieties, fears, and so on.

            This psalm makes it clear that it is not a matter of if this happens but when.  He says, When my heart is overwhelmed.”  Therefore, it is something that we are all familiar with.  Surely, there has been a time in each of our lives when we have been overwhelmed.  Or perhaps this season is still ahead of you.

            The Lord is showing us how to handle these overwhelming times.  Of course He would.  He tells us in His Word that He is the God of all comfort.  The scriptures remind us that He is a present help for us in the time of trouble.  In these verses the psalmist speaks to the Lord and says, “I will cry to You.”  Too many times we hurry into the arms of man to find our answers, to find some sort of comfort.  The psalmist knew all too well that the answer to all our problems are found in Jesus.  Psalm 118:8 tells us that “It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.”  Though he may mean well, man is simply limited in his abilities to help.  The Lord has no such limitations.

            The psalmist continues his pray by asking God to intervene when he is overwhelmed.  He says, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”  He anticipates his need and knows where to go for help.  1 Corinthians 10:4 tells us that our rock is Jesus.  The psalmist knows that there will be times when that which overwhelms him is beyond his capabilities to handle alone.  He knows that it is too much for him to handle.  He knows that he needs to be led to the rock, Jesus, who is able to withstand the storms of life that he cannot.  The rock that cannot be moved.  The rock that will be a shelter for him.  The rock that he can anchor himself to till the storms pass.

The Lord, Jesus, is there for each and every one of us anytime we need Him.  Take joy in knowing that what is beyond you is not beyond Him.

 

 

Pastor Luis Rodriguez



Passionate Love

Passionate Love

 

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God

Hebrews 12:2 – ESV

 

On this Good Friday we remember what Jesus did for us on the cross thousands of years ago.  Today we celebrate the fact that Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins.

So often we hear that Jesus went to the cross because He had to.  The truth is He did not.  Jesus did not have to go to the cross, but He chose to go anyway.  He chose to go because of His passionate love for you and me.  He chose to go because He knew that there was no other way for our sins to be forgiven.  He chose to go because there was no other way for you and I to get into heaven.

The week leading up to Easter, Resurrection Sunday, is often referred to as Passion Week.  Throughout the week we are reminded of all that the Lord went through leading up to His Resurrection on that Sunday.  As a youth I remember feeling sad that the Lord had to go through all He did.  The lies that were brought against Him, the ridicule He endured, the beatings, and of course, the death of the cross.  Hebrews 12:2 tells us that He “Endured the cross, despising the shame.”  It was the worst death and the shame leading up to it was horrible.  The same verse tells us why He was willing to do that.  It says, “For the joy that was set before Him.”  That joy is you and I.  The reason He was willing to go was you and I.  Knowing this I now am grateful instead of sad.  I now am happy and rejoice that Jesus loved me so much that He went willingly to the cross to die for my sin.  For if He had not done so I would have to pay for my own sin and I am not qualified to do so.

Fellow brother and sister, it is His passionate love for us that brought Him to earth to live a sinless life.  It is His passionate love for us that drove Him to the cross.  It was His passionate love that held Him to the cross and not the nails.  It was His passionate love that said, “It Is Finished.”  It was His love for us that paid for our judgment and our hell.

Let me remind you that Passion Week did not culminate at the cross.  It culminated on Sunday with His resurrection.  Jesus did not stay on the cross.  On the third day He rose from the dead and secured the believer’s place in heaven.  Romans 4:25 says that Jesus “Was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”  He rose again for us.  Otherwise we would still be dead in our sins.

The saints of the day visited an empty tomb and declared that Jesus is Alive.  I declare the same today.  On Easter Sunday remember that Jesus is alive and He did all that He did because of His passionate love for you.