Tag Archives: Patient

Singing with the King @ Christmas (12)

Christmas Star

Good Christian Men Rejoice (In Dulci Jubilo)

Good Christian men rejoice with heart and soul and voice!

Give ye heed to what we say: News! News!
Jesus Christ is born today!
Ox and ass before Him bow and He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy!
Jesus Christ was born for this.
He hath opened the heavenly door and man is blessed evermore.
Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace!
Jesus Christ was born to save.
Calls you one and calls you all to gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!

The title reveals the mood of this ancient carol: Rejoice! And is a repetitive fashion, the author gives you three reasons to rejoice.

REASON NUMBER ONE: News! Prophecy was fulfilled: Christ, the Son of God was born; and something was accomplished that had never been seen: God became man.

REASON NUMBER TWO: After the news comes joy! Joy that God has come to earth to walk among His People. This joy began with the magi, as we see in their response: When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! (Matthew 2:10) People heard the joy of the Father when He said:  “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5) Joy in Heaven when you and I repent: There is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents. (Luke 15:10) And you and I have joy when we receive His Word: I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! (John 15:10)

REASON NUMBER THREE: We have peace because He saved us. Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. (Romans 5:1)

Christ was born to save. This is a huge proclamation. He didn’t come to judge. He didn’t come to rule. He came to save. And that was the plan ever since the beginning: Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you. (1 Peter 1:17-20)

And even though our salvation was long in the making, the good news if you are being slow regarding His salvation, He is waiting: The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (1 Peter 3:9)

So, what’s keeping you?

Save

Singing with the King (98) – The End

But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. (Psalm 73:16-17)

For those of you who know me (and I may have mentioned this a few times in this blog), Psalm 73 is my favorite. Now it breaks my heart that David didn’t write it… but I still love this one.

I’ve talked about this verse before in number 72, called Understanding. But tonight I need this to be more immediate, more urgent.

So who’s end is Asaph talking about? Well he wraps it up with an explanation in the last two verses:

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

Those who are far from the LORD. Do you know anybody like that? I’m sure you do. We all do. Now the good news is that thought they are far from Him, they are near you, and you have another new year to talk to them. You have this new year because God is patient:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Now note it doesn’t say that He is patient with that with those who are perishing, those who are far away. No, it says He is patient with you. Why? Well who’s supposed to tell them about Jesus if it’s not you?

I end with the words of Jesus as an urgent reminder:

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ 45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

As we draw another year closer to the return of our Lord, who is it you need to share the love of Jesus with? Not all ends are good ends.

Singing with the King (73) – In Praise of Judgment

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. (Psalm 96:11-13)

Judges gavel with  old paperThis psalm begins on a grandiose scale: Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Nothing less than “the whole earth” is to sing to the LORD. The verses continue to crescendo until, in these final few verses, all of creation joins in the song. The heavens are glad; the earth rejoices; the sea and all its creatures shout His praise; the fields and crops burst with joy; and the trees sing.

That is a pretty remarkable chorus.

But why are they glad, and why are they rejoicing? Why are they praising and singing? Because He is coming to judge. What? All of creation is getting stirred up, tuned up, and geared up because God is going to judge the earth? Frankly, I don’t see a reason for such a production. Doing all that for His love, or His grace, or His mercy—that I can see, and I would even join in. But judgment?

Now I’ve got to admit that my view of judges and judgment is a bit skewed. Because I look at such things in our country and I see little reason to rejoice. In fact there is a verse in Psalm 11 which describes our current state of degradation:  “The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:4)

The good news is Scripture tells us what judgment looks like—God-style.

God is an honest judge. (Psalm 11:7)

He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. (Psalm 9:8)

It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall. (Psalm 75:7)

Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you. (Psalm 82:8)

And at the end of the above Psalm it says: He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth. (vs. 13b)

We see that God’s brand of judgment requires honesty, justice, fairness, and truth. If you just consider truth, and how it has been dismissed, is there any wonder why man’s judgment is critically flawed? It also says that He alone is worthy, and since everything belongs to Him, then He alone is rightful.

And when you see God’s version of judgment, then you realize that it will be something to rejoice about. But until that day comes, you must remember: The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. (1 Peter 3:9)

Now balance that with this request: They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?”(Revelation 6:10)

Fear His judgment, or praise His judgment. The choice is yours.