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Some years ago a Christian farmer was deeply concerned over an unsaved carpenter. The farmer sought to explain how that the finished work of Christ was sufficient for his soul to rest upon. But the carpenter persisted in the belief that he must do something himself. One day the farmer asked the carpenter to make for him a gate, and when the gate was ready he carried it away to his wagon. He arranged for the carpenter to call on him the next morning and see the gate as it hung in the field. At the appointed hour the carpenter arrived and was surprised to find the farmer standing by with a sharp axe in his hand. "What are you going to do?" he asked. "I am going to add a few cuts and strokes to your work," was the response. "But there is no need for it," replied the carpenter, "the gate is all right as it is. I did all that was necessary to it." The farmer took no notice, but lifting his axe he slashed and hacked at the gate until it was completely spoiled. "Look what you have done!" cried the carpenter. "You have ruined my work!" "Yes," said the farmer, "and that is exactly what you are trying to do. You are seeking to nullify the finished work of Christ by your own miserable additions to it!"
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
Karl Marx, died in 1883 with these last words: "Go on, get out - last words are for fools who haven’t said enough."
Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, d.1170 "I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace."
The very last words of Buddha to his disciples were, "Strive without ceasing." How different these are to the last words of Jesus who said, "It is finished."
(From a sermon by Jason Jones, "So You Call Yourself a Pastor" 2/25/2009)
In the early 1970s the Dallas Cowboys had a star running back named Duane Thomas who was kind of a head case. One year the Cowboys made it to the Super Bowl and someone asked Duane Thomas what he thought about playing in the "ultimate game." He replied "If this is the Ultimate Game, why do they play it again next year?"
Jesus is the ultimate answer because IT IS FINISHED. That is the message of the New Covenant and not of the Old that constantly has to do and redo. It was all done for us through Christ and now we are to reflect Him to those around us and to do it with great and greater glory as His Spirit continues to transform us more and more with each passing day.
During one of his great campaigns, D L Moody was approached by a man who had been to a number of the services and who, although convicted of his need for Christ, had kept on postponing a decision. Now the last night had come. The appeal was over, the people were going home, the work crew was busy folding up the chairs and dismantling the platform, and Mr Moody was preparing to leave. The man finally plucked up his courage. He came to the evangelist and blurted out, "Mr Moody, what must I do to be saved?" Moody looked at him. "I’m sorry sir," he said, "but you’re too late." "Too late, Mr Moody?" The man was desperate now. "Surely I’m not too late!" "Yes, sir," said Moody. "You’re too late. As a matter of fact, y...
John Stott wrote, “I could never believe in God, if it were not for the cross… In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our...
READY TO RECEIVE
At the wedding in Cana, it is interesting that Jesus waited until their resources had run dry before he performed the miracle. Only when the people came to the end of their supply were they ready to receive what Jesus had to give.
John Piper, in an article entitled “The Present Power of a Future Possession,” said, “The cost of food in the kingdom is hunger for the bread of heaven, instead of the white bread of the world. Do you want it? Are you hungry? Or are you satisfied with yourself and your television and your computer and your job and your family?”
Likewise, the cost of the new wine that Jesus is offering is thirst. Are you thirsty? Do you want something more? If so, when you come to Jesus you have come to the right place, for he is the God of abundance and life. He gives extravagantly. To receive this wine you have to come to him with your thirst.
As you stand there...