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My Seasonal Thoughts December 2003

‘He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.’

Luke Chapter 9 Verse20

While I love nothing better than to be surrounded by my family, something I hope will be the portion for many at this time of year, I am acutely aware of those for whom this time of year holds nothing but dread. We come to the close of yet another year in our history and for some it has been the hardest year of their lives.

Some have been told the dreaded news that they are suffering from cancer. Some have suffered heart disease and their lives have changed forever. Some have watched and nursed loved ones who have suffered from strokes and are now unable to communicate with their families.

My thoughts however are much with those who have suffered the loss of a dear one in this last twelve months. Their year started out full of hope and expectation yet devastation and even despair would meet with them as the year opened up. Mums and Dads, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, children, aunts and uncles have now left empty place at our tables.

I wanted more than ever to be a means of encouragement to all those of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have suffered in any way this year. The only way I can do this is by talking about the one thing needful, ‘The Christ of God.’

It is a time of year when much of the world - for one reason or another - has the name of our Saviour upon their lips, but I have to ask the question - What does Jesus really mean to me?

Jesus Christ is first and foremost the Lord my God. I see Him as the Creator God who created all things by the word of his power in the space of six days and all very good. He breathed life into the corpse that was to become man.

I view Him as One who is to be worshipped by all men, though few in our day bow the knee. His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are way beyond anything that I can imagine. He is supreme, He is the ultimate, He is God.

Jesus is also my Saviour. I believe with all my heart and soul that He chose a people for Himself to be saved for all eternity. He calls them His elect. I believe that I am one of them. How do I know that I am one of them?

Well there was a day when I had little or no thoughts at all about God, Heaven, Hell, life or death. God changed that! Through the workings of His Spirit I became aware of sin – my sin. I became aware that I had sinned against God and as my Judge He would have been absolutely just in sending me to a lost eternity.

His Spirit not only made me aware of my sin, but also of my need of a Saviour. My mind was enlightened in the knowledge of Jesus and why He had been born of a virgin in Bethlehem. He had been sent by God to save the world from sin. He was sent as God’s sacrifice for my sin.

He paid the penalty that was due for my sin on the cross at Calvary. There God judged Jesus as if He were judging me and my sin. There I believe Jesus Christ the Son of God died for me and for my sins. It is here that my soul journeys each morning. This journey is as necessary for me today as it was the first day I believed.

I see Jesus as my righteousness. The Bible talks about the old man and the new man. I believe that the old man was crucified with Christ and a new man was raised with Him. I now walk in newness of life with a clean heart and a right spirit within me. Is this pride talking? No, it is faith. Some days I find it easier to believe than others but thankfully God does not change as I do.

Your sins and iniquities I will remember no more.

I am as righteous in the sight of God today as I will be in glory. I can say this because my life is hid with God in Christ. It is no longer I that live but Christ in me, the hope of glory. I am adorned with His righteousness which He purchased for me with His own blood.

Does this mean that I have no sin? No my friend!! I am riddled with sin from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet there is no soundness in me. I am a wretched man, a sinner of the highest order and this sin is ever before me. The good that I would do, I do not, but that which I would not do, that is what I do.

It is because I see my sin so clearly each day that I see the urgency of having a Saviour and I know of none other name under heaven given among men whereby we may be saved than that of Jesus of Nazareth. He saves His people from their sins.

He came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

I view Jesus as my Best Friend. He is my constant companion and I talk with Him throughout each day. I do not spend my days on my knees nor in a closet, I simply talk as I walk with Jesus. No matter where I go or what I do, He is there.

I am still learning that without Him I can do nothing. I would not step out of my house if I thought for a moment that He would not be with me. If thy presence go not with me carry me not up hence.

I can say whatever I like to Him and He will keep all my secrets. He never turns His back on my cries for help, nor does He laugh at me when I get things wrong. When others have forsaken me He comes even closer because He understands me when others do not.

I do not have to make an appointment to meet with Him, neither do I have to wear anything special. I simply come as I am. He has never yet turned me away though there have been days when my vision has been so impaired through unbelief that I have lost sight of Him. I hate these days and I would gladly be without them.

The thought of spending an eternity with Him sends my soul into raptures. He is love, He is favour, He is altogether lovely and the peace that He floods into my soul from time to time is beyond words and past understanding.

As a sheep of His flock, He is my Good Shepherd. He protects me from evil and from all types of danger. He leads me to green pastures where my soul can delight itself in fat things. A good book, a testimony or a word in season are gifts from His hand. His Word is my guide book.

He is my guide. He leads me in ways and in paths that had I been left to myself I would never have gone down. He has shut many doors and hedged many paths in my life. Often I have been angry and frustrated with Him, yet He has not held this against me. He has gently led me in the way that I should go.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.

Sometimes I have felt that He has been slow with His guidance, but perhaps that is simply my own impatience. He has promised to meet all my needs yet there have been days when the bills have piled up and there is no sign of clearing them.

My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

He knows that I worry about such things and He knows that I do not seek riches. He knows that I am happy if I can pay all my bills on time, yet I have to confess that He keeps me waiting! He has never failed to meet my needs, yet still I worry!

The guidebook that He has given me has often changed the way in which my days have turned out. Many a morning I have opened the Book with nothing but doubts and fears in my mind only to be challenged and strengthened by what I have read. Truly the words in the Book are alive!

Some days I read my Bible and all I see is black letters on a white background, while on other days I cannot put it down. It is more up to date than any newspaper and I could not live without it.

I remember one morning in particular this year. I had slept in for a Doctor’s appointment and I never go or do anything without reading my Bible and praying first thing in the morning. This day I just had no time so I picked it up and kissed the Book instead!

He is also my refuge. Many a day storms have raged in my soul and have blown me off course. Dark clouds have encompassed me and doubts, fears and depression have sunk in. I look in vain to friends and loved ones for help but it is beyond them. Troubles have come in like a flood and threatened to overwhelm me completely. I would have drowned in defeat had it not been for the strong arms of Jesus.

He has pulled me out from many a deep mire. He has hidden me in the clefts of the Rock when circumstances have contrived against me. Days have come when the waters have gone over my head yet He has proved to be my Lifeline on each occasion.

The troubles that afflict the just in number many be, but yet at length out of them all the Lord doth set him free.

Sorrow and pain have made up not a few days of this year yet He has provided a balm for my needy soul. When I have felt all alone in this world and the thought of facing yet another day makes me cringe, He sends His love in a letter, a card, an email or a telephone call. Oh! For arms to embrace Him and for feet to run after Him.

I wish that I could count the number of times this year when I have murmured against Him, but sadly I cannot. I dread to think of the times that I have failed Him or let Him down. I hang my head in shame when I consider His love and His goodness to me. He is simply wonderful. I am not greedy and I am happy to share my Friend with anyone else who will accept Him as their Redeemer.

Come see a man who told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?

If I have to ask of Him a gift or two it would be this – 1) That He would give me wisdom and 2) That I would have a more consistent walk today and all the days that follow. My prayer for you is that He would ravish you with His love. For those who are as yet strangers to grace and to God then I beg of you accept God’s gift to you today.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

I could go on and on but I have to sum up. I have thought for a little of what Jesus means to me and I have to echo the words of Peter – ‘He is the Christ of God.’ My wish for you at this time? That you would know the blessing God commands – Life that shall never end.

What does He mean to you today?