Sunday, 7 January 2018

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Isaiah 49:3,5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; John 1:29-34

Don't Keep God's Great Salvation To Yourself.
"The Lord said to me: You are my servant, Israel, through whom I show My glory ... I will make you a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 49:1,7).
We are not to keep the Lord's salvation to ourselves. God wants ‘all mankind’ to ‘know.’ (Isaiah 49:26). ‘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).

Christ is our full salvation. Let us rejoice and be glad in Him. 
"Paul, called to be an apostle by the will of God" (1 Corinthians 1:1)
Paul preached the Gospel, ‘not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power’ (1 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 2:4). He preached ‘Christ crucified’ with a determination ‘to know nothing except Jesus Christ crucified’(1 Corinthians 1:23;  1 Corinthians 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).

Turn your eyes upon Jesus - He's "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
Jesus Christ is the Word of God.  He is the Beginning.  He is also the End (John 1:1-3; Revelation 21:6).  He is ‘the Word… made flesh’.  ‘We have seen His glory’ (John 1:14).  This is only the beginning.  When He returns, we shall see His glory – ‘we shall see Him as He is’ (1 John 3:2).  From Him, there is creation (John 1:1-3).  From Him, there is salvation (John 1:12-13).  In Him, we receive the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 1:29,32-34).  He is the Word of God, the Lamb of God and the Son of God (John 1:1,29,34).  When we look at Jesus Christ, we see God – ‘the ‘Word was God’ (John 1:1), ‘No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known’ (John 1:18).  Do you want to know what God is like? – Look at Jesus (John 14:9).  What do we see when we look at Him? – ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1: 29).

Lord, You’re calling us to choose the life of fruitful service.

1 Kings 7:13-8:13 Lord, You’re calling us to choose the life of fruitful service – “gold, silver, precious stones”. You’re calling us t...