Thursday, July 2, 2015

I Chose You (2)

Let us continue deeper into the transforming revelation of ‘I’ in the three word statement “I chose you,” as the Holy Spirit guides us. We should be extremely grateful that our Lord gave us the Holy Spirit to better understand His word.  Let us intently hear Jesus as He says, I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Sprit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears and He will tell you what is yet to come.”(John 16:12-13). “I will not leave you as orphans:  I will come to you.”  (John 14:18)

If we begin reading John 12 we will get the context of the words that Jesus spoke in John 15:16,   “..I chose you...”  He speaks these words to His disciples just after he predicts his death and before he goes to the cross. One can just imagine the hopelessness the disciples felt when they heard the Lord’s prediction; their discouragement, disappointment or maybe anger.  Peter tried to stop Him from completing His mission and our Lord had to put Peter in his place when in Mark 8:33 He said, “..Get behind me, satan...”  Jesus knew that once He ascended and sent the Holy Spirit into the hearts of His disciples, His words would transform them from men without backbones to pillars of the truth.  They would become aware of being in Christ and seeing things from God’s perspective; not from the natural realm. Jesus is speaking to the disciples and also to us when He says in John 14:20, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me and I am in You.”    He is presenting Himself to us, not a confusing new doctrine. Paul came into this powerful revelation when he wrote in Galatians 1:15-16, “But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man.”

In the book of John we read that the crowds followed Jesus, but many had their doubts concerning His claims. John 12:42-43 “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him.  But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.”  Our Lord will not allow hypocrisy to be near Him nor to be in us. Listen as He clears the atmosphere of the hypocrisy the religious system had created. He did it then and He is doing it today. John 12:44-46  reads, Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, He does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.  When He looks at me, He sees the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” This confirms John 1:14, “The word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”

 Let us allow the Holy Spirit to saturate us with this one objective; to know God and discover the real source that makes living worthwhile. The Lord says in Jeremiah 9:23-24, “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts, boast about this; that he understands and knows me . . . . It is obvious that God wants us to know Him; He gave us His spirit so we can overcome any situation we encounter.  We can experience God’s eternal love and glorious grace,  but before we can become pillars of truth in God’s temple we must know the God of this temple. Revelation 3:12 “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God....”  God knows exactly what He is dealing with when he says to us, I chose you.” It is time we take God’s Word seriously, and not be satisfied with the status quo of today's Christianity.

Read how God dealt with men and women He chose in the past if you want proof that the eternal word never makes mistakes. What is the history of the ages, is it not the history of mankind. What is the history of mankind if not the history of God and the eternal word? Isaiah 45:18-19 reads, “. . . He who created the heavens, He is God; He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited-He says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in the land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendents, ‘seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.” As you read these two verses count the many times God refers to Himself.  If we are honest we have to admit that God wants us to know Him.  At the end of the last statement we can add, and I chose You. We have to ask ourselves are we truly seeking God.  Listen to what he says in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” He makes it very clear that we will find Him.  Is it possible we are not seeking God with our whole hearts?  Perhaps you say, I just do not have time to sit down and study the Word of God.  My life is filled with so many things there are not enough hours in the day to do everything.  There is your problem.  You are looking at time and life through the natural man.  Let me ask you, before Jesus began his public ministry, do you think he just sat around and read the scriptures?  Remember that He was the eldest and after Joseph died he took on the responsibility and the welfare of the family.  Remember the apostle Paul after he had his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.  He went away to Arabia for several years to try and make sense of what had just happened to him and later returned to Damascus (Galatians 1:17).  I am sure that he had to use his skills to provide for himself and even after he was sent out, there were times he worked in order to not be a burden to anyone. I Thessalonians 2:8-9 reads, “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.  Surely you remember brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the Gospel of God to you.”  Are you thinking, but he was called and chosen to be an apostle.  I remind you the same Jesus who chose Paul is the one who said to you and me, I Chose You. The answer to all our questions is knowing Christ, the Son of the Living God.  Time and life were created by Him and for Him.  Colossians 1:16 reads, “For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.”  This is why God called and chose Paul, not only to be an apostle, but to be the expression and example of a life who has come to know by revelation ‘Christ in us’; to know the glorious work of the cross of Christ in us. Jesus and Paul’s lives were victorious because they were God conscious, something we have lost or never learned. Only a heart that is God conscious can declare and walk in the reality of Acts 17:28, For in Him we live and move and have our being.” Therefore, we will better understand the purpose of hardships, discouragements and painful situations. Everything is explained by the MAN Christ Jesus.  Everything is explained in the MAN Christ Jesus. He interprets history and the destiny of the universe. 

Regardless of what you are going through, it is all for Christ.  The reality of all this is that God gave us Paul, the example of Christ. If we take Paul as our example, as the one who leads us into the secrets of Christ in a fuller way, who not only embodies and represents that which he speaks; God leaves us without excuse when we stand before Him as to why we did not come into a greater measure of Christ.

Before we take the next word in our three word statement I CHOSE YOU, let me give you one last scripture explaining why He chose us.  Psalm 103:13-18 reads, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.  As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children – with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts.”  Amen!!

John Casarez