25th April, 2016
WHEN HE COMES - 6
"Calvary…the gateway into our unbroken communion"
“Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the LORD with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, Lord, behold He whom You love is sick."
John 11:1-3 NKJV
The basis of our petition for Him to come in power and in revival is not because of us. It is because “he whom You love is sick.” We must always and ever appeal to His love for His Church, in every intercession we make. If our motivation for sending for Him is different from the fact of his unending, undying and unwavering love for His Church, we may be found bragging, boasting, beating our chest and flogging the brethren with the result of our ministries. If our prayers are answered and He comes in grace and power to visit His people, it is because of His love for His Bride, it would not be because we did anything. It was actually His grace at work within our hearts that brought us what we are doing in the vineyard. The breastplate on our hearts as we beseech Him to come in power to visit our land again must be the breastplate of love. It is love within our hearts for the Church that must motivate every labour we put into the vineyard service.
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus; that if One died for all, then all died..."
2Cor. 5:14 NKJV
Our labour must be compelled by His love that took Him to Calvary. Our plea for revival must be based on “he whom you love is sick.” Our expectation of His coming to revive and restore His friend is purely based on His love! Our holiness; our friendship with Him and our dutifulness cannot draw Him an inch... He will only come because of his love. While we must not take His loving kindness for granted, we still must remember it is his love and goodness that leads us unto repentance (Rom. 2:4).
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
1John 4:10 KJV
“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
Rom. 8:32 KJV
This is the basis of our expectation. Nothing good will He withhold from him whom he loves. He did not love us because we loved Him first. His love for us is not reciprocal of any love we had shown. Hence, it cannot be withdrawn because of anything we have done. Even in His withdrawal from a sinner or a backslider, it is in order for him or her to feel thirsty of that love again. It is that we might seek Him and His love. He never desires the death of a sinner. Until a sinner dies in his sin, the Master's love remains undying towards Him. The death of a sinner is a personal loss to our Lord! Even at the cross, the thief that acknowledged his sin still found pardon and a place in His bosom of love.
Peter backslid and denied the LORD thrice before the cock crew twice. He went back afishing, thus leading other disciples away from the great commission He left for them after all His labour on their lives... His love drew Him back to the seaside in search of His beloved... He met their physical needs. He laid fish on fire for them. He showed them the right side in which to cast their net. And rather than a sharp rebuke and discipline for Peter, the ring leader, he only called him aside with a tender love in His tone.
“...Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?"
1John 4:10 KJV
It was love He sued for in Peter. It was the love Peter saw in His Master that broke him into tears and led him into a lifelong commitment. It was love for Himself that Jesus regarded as the reason and basis for labouring on “My sheep.” Friend, while we look at him whom Jesus loves... as you lift up your eyes, do you not see love for you in His face? No matter how prodigal you have been... His love for you remains unabated. Until you die, He will never stop loving you! His love is the reason for His outstretched arm unto you today. His love is the reason why He has remained quiet and longsuffering, as if He condones your misbehaviour! Arise, the Master calleth you!
While the prodigal son was still afar off - afar off from holiness; afar off from righteousness... the father saw him and ran for him. He fell on his neck and kissed his dirty mouth. There is still the best robe in His wardrobe of love... He still reserves the “ring” - symbol of His covenant love - for you... the fatted calf can still be slaughtered. He has been sorrowful over your life in the wilderness of sin... the rags that sin and Satan has now clothed you with is not His desire! The best robe is still in store for you. Come now! Rise and come! Lift up your eyes from your failure. Look unto Him, who for your sake “hangeth” upon the tree. Calvary is the basis of our redemption. Calvary is still the reason for our restoration. Calvary will still remain the gateway into our unbroken communion with Him.