Knowing Christ and making Him known
‘I, the Lord, am your Saviour, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob’ (Isaiah 49:26).
We are not to keep this to ourselves. God wants ‘all mankind’ to ‘know’.
‘Jesus, the Name to sinners dear, the Name to sinners given, it scatters all their guilty fear, it turns their hell to heaven’- This is not something to keep to ourselves.
We must make Christ known to others - ‘Oh, that the world might taste and see the riches of His grace! The arms of love that compass me, would all mankind embrace. His only righteousness I show, His saving truth proclaim: ‘tis all my business here below to cry: “Behold the Lamb!” Happy, if with my latest breath I may but gasp His Name: preach Him to all, and cry in death: “Behold, behold the Lamb!”’ (Mission Praise, 385).
‘Go into all the world and preach the Good News’ (Mark 16:15).
Keeping Christ at the centre in joyful worship and courageous witness
David is in great danger. His life is being threatened by his enemies (Psalm 70:2).
We might expect that he would be depressed. Far from it!
He is not preoccupied with his own problems. He calls on God’s people to worship the Lord with joy: ‘May all who seek You, rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation continually say, “God is great!”’ (Psalm 70:4).
How was David able to rise above his own problems and call the Lord’s people to worship? - He knew that the Lord was his ‘Rock of refuge’, his ‘strong Fortress’ (Psalm 71:3).
Like David, we may face ‘many terrible troubles’. Let us learn, like David, to praise the Lord and look to Him to lead us in the way of victory: ‘You have done great things, O God... You will revive me again’ (Psalm 71:19-20).
With our faith centred on Christ crucified, let us give all the glory to God.
Paul preached the Gospel, ‘not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power’ (1 Corinthians 1:17; 2:4).
He preached ‘Christ crucified’ with a determination ‘to know nothing except Jesus Christ crucified’ (1 Corinthians 1:23; 2:2).
This is the message of our salvation - ‘Christ crucified... Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).
All the glory belongs to God. We have no right to steal away any of the glory for ourselves: ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
Our faith is ‘not based on human wisdom but on God’s power’ (1 Corinthians 2:5). ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’(Mission Praise, 712). Christ is our full salvation. ‘Let us rejoice and be glad’ in Him’ (1 Corinthians 1:30; Psalm 118:24).
Keep Christ at the centre: concern for the poor grounded in devotion to Christ
The Pharisees are developing their wicked plan. God is fulfilling His saving purpose (John 11:49-53).
The voice of ‘common sense’ is not always the voice of the Lord (John 12:4-6). There is a higher wisdom than ‘common sense’. We are to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He leads us to put Jesus at the centre of our lives.
Jesus is not suggesting that the poor are unimportant. He is emphasising that we must not lose sight of Him.
If our concern for the poor is not truly grounded in devotion to Christ, it is not the obedience of faith (John 12:8).
The Pharisees are lying in wait for Jesus. They say, ‘The world has gone after Him’ (John 12:19). They are going after Him too - in a different way!
The crucifixion draws near. God is to be ‘glorified’ in the defeat of Satan and the salvation of sinners (John 12:28, 31-32).
Jesus had ‘come’ for this ‘hour’ (John 12:27).