Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Are You Feeling Discouraged?

Dear Friends,


I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles. ~ Isaiah 42:6

Jehovah promises to direct His Servant in such a way that He shall have Him as His protector and keeper and shall know His presence in all things.  “I will keep You,” Jehovah promises. “And I will hold Your hand” (hold it fast), He says.

There must have been many wearisome days when Jesus of Nazareth, the Servant of Jehovah, thought of that verse.  Did He recite: “He will not fail nor be discouraged, / Till He has established justice in the earth” (v.4), as He wrestled with ornery disciples, rebuked pious Pharisees, or dealt with the rank unbelief of the people?  When the process was slow and the days were long, Jesus Christ experienced the immediate assistance of God.  And so may we!

We too are His servants.  If we have been born from above, we are dressed in His Spirit.  We too must bring a right answer to a wrong world, and we too can know He will hold our hand and give us His immediate assistance in the face of frustration and persecution.

If Christ is not discouraged, knowing His kingdom has come in the hearts of men and will one day come universally, then we need not be discouraged either.  God gave Jesus a “covenant to the people,  As a light to the Gentiles” (v.6).  The word covenant means “promise.”  God promised us light in place of darkness (see v.6).  He promised prisoners would be free (see v. 7).  The death of discouragement and true spiritual freedom begin here and now for Jehovah’s servants!

In Him,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Think About the Cross

Dear Friends,


Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. ~ Luke 23:9

Perhaps you would never play such cruel word games with Jesus as Herod did, but there are other games just as hurtful to the Savior.  Human beings can play the games of indifference, of rejection, or of willful ignorance.  Modern man has grown “tolerant” - he simply walks over “the pavement” of his Savior’s sorrows and goes on his way untouched, unreached, and unregenerate.

“Behold the man!” cried Pilate, displaying the tortured Christ, sure His sufferings would engender pity.  Instead, like beasts smelling the blood of a kill, the chief priests and officers cried out, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” (John 19:6).  And what was Jesus doing while all this was going on?  Nothing!  He who had the power to summon ten thousand angels to His help chose to stand helplessly, resigned to die because there was no other way to reconcile the world to God!  He who had the power to consume His enemies with the breath of His mouth answered Herod “never a word,” though every effort was employed to make Him talk.  Jesus didn’t play games with His enemies; He was tall and straight and true.  He told us He was the truth, the way, and eternal life - and then rested His case.  He neither teased us with the unattainable nor taunted us with the irresistible, but simply offered us salvation.  Behold the Man!  The Man of men - God Himself in human form!

Then dare to play your games if you will!  As for me, I am sold - devastated by the story of the God-man subjected to humiliation that defies description.  I am captured, reduced to tears - I worship!


In Him,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Does Your Soul Delight in Christ?

Dear Friends,

Most commentators point to Jehovah’s servant as the two heroes of the drama described for us.  Who is this  servant?  Some say Isaiah speaks of the Jewish people in exile; others, the prophets.  Others say the servant is Cyrus, whom the Scriptures acknowledge as an elect instrument.

The role of the Servant of the Lord is fulfilled only in Jesus Christ.  The Servant is described as upheld by Jehovah even while He lays a charge upon Him, as masters do with faithful servants.  He is elected for the service to which He came and He dwells deeply in God’s love.  Peter described Christ Jesus as a precious cornerstone of God’s building (see 1 Pet. 2:6-7).  “This is My beloved Son” (Matt. 3:17), God announced at Christ’s baptism.  “To you who believe, He is precious” (1Poet. 2:6), Peter says.

Is God’s Servant, Jesus Christ, precious, beloved, to you?  Or is He merely a name in a book, a founder of a church, a historical character; or a nice idea?  If Jesus is chosen and precious to God, than it follows He should be chosen and precious to us.

Do our souls delight in God’s Servant?  I have heard people say, “I love God, but I have no time for Christ.”  But how can you love God and yet have no feeling for Him in whom His soul delights?  Jesus said, “You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).  He also said, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30).  To love God is to love Christ.  They are one and the same Person!


In Him,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor